Tank Lanning

Province to sneak it

2010-10-01 11:10
Tank Lanning
Tank Lanning

Two legendary games on Saturday as the battle for semi-final home ground advantage hots up - The Blue Bulls host Province and the Cheetahs host the Lions.

The defending champions are currently in third position on the log with 38 points and are five points behind their Cape opponents who are in second place with 43. Victory for Province in Pretoria will confirm their status as one of the two sides who will host a semi-final.

However, if the Bulls come out on top and achieve maximum points on Saturday, and at the same time deny Allister Coetzee’s troops any log points at Loftus Versfeld, they will end the weekend level on log points with WP!

Were that to happen, Frans Ludeke’s men, who will be at full-strength for their final league game of the season against Griquas next weekend, will fancy their chances of ending the season in second position on the log as Province will have to defeat The Sharks at Newlands to retain their second place status at the end of the league phase of the competition.

The Bulls could lay claim to the favourites tag this weekend as they have regularly defeated their Cape rivals at Loftus Versfeld recently. In fact, Province have only recorded one victory in Pretoria since 2005 when they eked out a 15-10 win back in 2006.

BUT … They might have missed a little trick. In bringing back Gurthro Steenkamp at loosehead, who admittedly has been in fine form for the Boks this year, they lose the giant junk of granite Dean Greyling, a man who has caused no end of trouble for opposition tightheads this year. And in only having rookie prop Rossouw de Klerk on the bench, the Bulls may have missed a chance to try and smash WP up front. The Cape side have lost Wicus Blaauw to injury, so themselves only have JC Kritzinger on the bench. Having Greyling and the human battering ram, Jaco Engels, coming on fresh in the second half would have had Province quaking in their boots!

Meanwhile … In Bloemfontein … With both sides playing the bottom feeders next weekend, it’s basically a knock out game, with the loser more than likely out of the running for a spot in the semi-finals. The hosts are currently in fourth position on the log with 37 points, only two points clear of the Lions, who are in fifth place on 35.

On paper, this game should be won by the Cheetahs, but grass is very different to paper, and John Mitchell’s Lions not only have the bit between their teeth, but also seem to have the rugby gods travelling on their team bus! Can they continue their dream run?

The Sharks should book themselves a home semi-final by smashing the walking bonus points, sometimes also known as the Leopards, in Durban on Friday night.

Griquas could still mathematically qualify for the semi-finals so will give it a full go in Witbank against the Pumas but will have to rely on other results going their way in order to finish the season in the top four.

So to the weekend then …


Sharks v Leopards, Durban - 19:10

Referee: Jaco Peyper (SARRA)
Assistant Referees: M Kemp (AR1), R Rossouw (AR2)
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee

Head to Head (since 2005): P: 4 W: 4 L: 0  PF: 249  PA: 101                   

Sharks: 15. Louis Ludik 14. Odwa Ndungane 13. Andries Strauss 12. Riaan Swanepoel 11. Lwazi Mvovo 10. Andre Pretorius 9. Charl McLeod 8. Keegan Daniel (capt) 7. Willem Alberts 6. Jacques Botes 5. Gerhard Mostert 4. Steven Sykes 3. Jannie du Plessis 2. Craig Burden 1. Eugene van Staden
Bench: 16. Kyle Cooper 17. Patric Cilliers 18. Anton Bresler 19. Michael Rhodes 20. Rory Kockott 21. Patrick Lambie 22. Luzuko Vulindlu

Leopards: 15. Cecil Dumond, 14. Kempie Rautenbach, 13. Jovan Bowles, 12. Walter Venter, 11. Dumisani Matyeshana, 10. Clayton Durand, 9. Tiaan Dorfling, 8. Riaan Swanepoel (captain), 7. Wilhelm Koch, 6. Victor Joubert, 5. Edrich Linde, 4. Bradley Mockford, 3. Os Van der Walt, 2. Gavin Williamson, 1. Bennie Uys
Bench: 16. Pellow van der Westhuizen, 17. Eric Meyer Coetzee, 18. Anthonie Gronum, 19. RW Kember, 20. Theuns Kotze, 21. Ghafoer Luckan, 22. Jan van Zyl

Key matchup: Willem Alberts vs Wilhelm Koch
My prediction: Sharks by 24


Pumas v Griquas, Witbank - 15:00

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (SARRA)
Assistant Referees: Q Immelman (AR1), S Breytenbach (AR2)

Head to Head (since 2005): P: 4 W: 0  L: 4 PF: 62  PA: 146                  

Pumas: 15. Johan Jackson, 14. Conrad Marais, 13. Shaun Venter, 12. Juan Visser, 11. Nicky Kritzinger, 10. Ricardo Croy, 9. Jacques Coetzee, 8. Christo le Roux, 7. Alwyn Bester, 6. Corne Steenkamp, 5. Marius Coetzer, 4. Luan Velthuizen, 3. Ashley Buys, 2. Hannes Franklin (captain), 1. Ronnie Uys
Bench: 16. Hansie van Dyk, 17. Dawie Steyn, 18. Willem Jacob Serfontein, 19. Jaco Bouwer, 20. Hendrik van der Nest, 21. Elgar Watts, 22. Ashwin Scott

Griquas: 15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Rocco Jansen, 13. Jean Stemmet, 12. Barry Geel, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Naas Olivier (Captain), 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Leon Karemaker, 7. Danie Schoeman, 6. Justin Downey, 5. Cecil-John Kemp, 4. Edwin Hewitt, 3. Jacobus Adriaanse, 2. Ryno Barnes, 1. Steph Roberts
Bench: 16. Simon Westraadt, 17. Jean Botha, 18. Frederik Spies, 19. Wesley Wilkins, 20. Marnus Hugo, 21. Wilmaure Louw, 22. Rudi Vogt

Key matchup: Ronnie Uys vs Jacobus Adriaanse
My prediction: Griquas by 6

Blue Bulls v Western Province, Pretoria - 15:00
Referee: Craig Joubert (SARRA)
Assistant Referees: M Mdashe (AR1), J Greeff (AR2)
TMO: JC Fortuin

Head to Head (since 2005): P: 12  W: 8  L: 4  PF: 321  PA: 231                  

Blue Bulls:
15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Jaco Pretorius, 12. Stefan Watermeyer, 11. Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 10. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. CJ Stander, 7. Okkie Kruger, 6. Derick Kuün (captain), 5. Fudge Mabeta, 4. Flip van der Merwe, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1. Gurthrö Steenkamp
Bench: 16. Bandise Maku, 17. Rossouw de Klerk, 18. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19. Dewald Potgieter, 20. Ruan Snyman, 21. Francois Brummer, 22. Stephan Dippenaar

Western Province: 15. Conrad Jantjes, 14. JJ Engelbrecht, 13. Juan De Jongh, 12. Jean De Villiers, 11. Gio Aplon, 10. Willem de Waal, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Francois Louw, 6. Pieter Louw, 5. Anton van Zyl (captain), 4. Adriaan Fondse, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. JD Moller
Bench: 16. Hanyani Shimange, 17. JC Kritzinger, 18. De Kock Steenkamp, 19. Nick Koster, 20. Conrad Hoffmann, 21. Lionel Cronje, 22. Paul Bosch

Key matchup: Jacques-Louis Potgieter v s Willem de Waal
My prediction: WP by 3

Cheetahs v Lions, Bloemfontein - 17:05
Referee: Stuart Berry (SARRA)
Assistant Referees: L Burger (AR1), M van Zyl (AR2)
TMO: J Meuwesen

Head to Head (since 2005): P: 12 W: 7 L: 5   PF: 342  PA: 283                 

Cheetahs:  15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Philip Snyman, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Corné Uys, 10. Louis Strydom, 9. Tewis de Bruyn, 8. Ashley Johnson, 7. Christo Van der Walt, 6. Hendro Scholtz, 5. Waltie Vermeulen, 4. Francois Uys, 3. WP Nel, 2. Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1. Coenie Oosthuizen
Bench: 16. Skipper Badenhorst, 17. Kobus Calldo, 18. Izak van der Westhuizen, 19. Kabamba Floors, 20. Tertius Carse, 21. Sias Ebersohn, 22. Riaan Smit

Lions:  15. Michael Killian, 14. Jannie Boshoff, 13. Waylon Murray, 12. Doppies la Grange, 11. Deon van Rensburg, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Jano Vermaak, 8. Josh Strauss, 7. Wikus van Heerden, 6. Derick Minnie, 5. Franco van der Merwe(captain), 4. George Earle, 3. Ross Geldenhuys, 2. Martin Bezuidenhout, 1. JC Janse van Rensburg.
Bench:  16. Edgar Marutlulle, 17. Wayne Swart, 18. Trevor Hall, 19. Warren Whiteley, 20. JP Joubert, 21. Burton Francis, 22. Marius Delport.

Key matchup: Meyer Bosman vs Doppies la Grange
My prediction: Cheetahs by 5

Absa Currie Cup semi-final contenders – remaining fixtures:

The Sharks: Leopards (home), Western Province (away)
Province: Blue Bulls (away), The Sharks (home)
Blue Bulls: Western Province (home), Griquas (away)
Cheetahs: Lions (home), Leopards (away)
Lions: Cheetahs (away), Pumas (home)
Griquas: Pumas (away), Blue Bulls (home)  


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