WP hunting first Vodacom title
Cape Town - The might of the North and South clash on Friday evening in Kimberley in the 15th Vodacom Cup final, when Griquas host Western Province.
These two sides not only came out tops in the two pools, but were also impressive in their playoff matches in the last fortnight, advancing to the final with relative ease.
It would take a very strong argument to say that the two most deserving teams are not in Friday’s final. WP have not lost once this season, GWK Griquas were only pipped at the post in their pool match against the Golden Lions.
Not only have these two sides collected the most log points, but they’ve also scored the most tries in the competition (Griquas with 40), but they’ve also conceded the least (WP with 16, the same as the Pumas, whom they beat in last weekend’s semi-final in Cape Town).
Griquas coach Pote Human might disagree, but the history book would suggest the team from the Northern Cape would be the favourites on Friday. Not only are they playing in their seventh Vodacom Cup final, but they are hosting their fourth and are aiming for their fifth title.
And of the three finals they have hosted in Kimberley, in 1998, 2005 and 2007, Griquas have never lost.
On the contrary, WP will be playing in their first-ever final at this level. But this Cape team know how to win - in the last two seasons under coach John Dobson, they’ve only lost once, in last year’s quarter-finals (they also drew one game in 2011).
Only six teams have won the Vodacom Cup - Griquas and the Golden Lions (four times each), the Blue Bulls (three), the Free State XV, Valke and Pampas XV (once each).Teams:Griquas:
15 Francois Brummer, 14 Rocco Jansen, 13 PJ Vermeulen, 12 Matthew Rosslee, 11 Wilmaure Louw, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Jacques Coetzee, 8 Leon Karemaker, 7 Jonathan Adendorf, 6 Jaco Nepgen, 5 Ligtoring Landman, 4 Edwin Hewitt, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes (captain), 1 Janro van Niekerk.
Substitutes: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Steph Roberts, 18 Ivann Espag, 19 Chase Minnaar, 20 Marnus Hugo, 21 Jean Stemmet, 22 Rudi Vogt.Western Province:
15 Kurt Coleman, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 Ederies Arendse, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom (vice-captain), 8 Nick Fenton-Wells (captain), 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Rohan Kitshoff, 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Hilton Lobberts, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Sidney Tobias, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Substitutes (TBC): 16 Rob Herring, 17 Deon Carstens, 18 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 19 Reuben Johannes, 20 Rick Schroeder, 21 Mike van der Spuy, 22 Berton Klaasen, 23 Damian de Allende, 24 Gerbrandt Grobler.