Currie Cup

Lions out to maintain 100% record

2015-10-23 10:06
Johan Ackermann (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Golden Lions will be aiming for a perfect end to their Currie Cup season when they host defending champions Western Province in the final at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday (13:45 kick-off).

Rasta Rasivhenge will be in charge of the match in what will be his first Currie Cup final.

Coached by former Springbok lock Johan Ackermann, the Golden Lions have so far this season swept aside every challenge in front of them. They were unbeaten in their league fixtures, and last week managed to hold off a stirring challenge from the Free State Cheetahs in the semi-finals.

Lions supporters will be hoping that their team will be able to maintain their impressive form, and in doing so, turn the tables on WP, who beat them in a tense final in Cape Town last year.

The men from Johannesburg have momentum and home ground advantage in their favour.

However, WP will point to their undoubted cup-winning pedigree. On Saturday, the Capetonians will be making their fourth consecutive final appearance.

Furthermore, WP also have history on their side as they are the most successful team in the popular competition.

WP have won the coveted gold cup a record 33 times, while the Lions are ranked third on the list of competition winners.

The Lions won the trophy 10 times and their most recent success was in 2011, when they beat the Sharks in Johannesburg. 

The Currie Cup finals have always produced memorable team and individual performances, and there will be more to come on Saturday.

Judging by their performances throughout the season, and especially last weekend, the two key men in this final will be Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff and WP fullback Cheslin Kolbe.

Boshoff has a laser boot, and this season he has rediscovered his superb kicking form. He is also a good distributer and has an appetite for attacking the gain-line.

Apart from Boshoff, the Lions will be looking to their high-tempo game and also their industrious work-rate at the breakdown area to punch through WP’s defence.

Kolbe, an outstanding Springbok Sevens player, has the X-factor and the skills to create scoring opportunities from nothing. He aptly demonstrated this in WP’s playoff win over the Blue Bulls in Pretoria last weekend when he initiated one try with a quick throw-in and then displayed superb reflexes to catch an awkward bouncing ball to score the winning try.

The WP Under-21s will also be involved in a final on Saturday, emulating their senior team’s achievement of four consecutive final appearances. They take on the Free State Cheetahs Under-21 in the main curtain-raiser at 11:15.

In the first match of the day, the EP Under-19’s will battle it out with their Blue Bulls counterparts for the Absa Under-19 A-Division crown. Former Springbok Sevens star Mzwandile Stick is charge of the EP youngsters.


Golden Lions:

15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Courtnall Skosan, 13. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12. Howard Mnisi, 11. Anthony Volmink, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Kwagga Smith, 6. Jaco Kriel (captain), 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Lourens Erasmus, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Jacques van Rooyen

Substitutes: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Ruan Dreyer, 18. Fabian Booysen, 19. Stephan de Witt, 20. Jaco van der Walt, 21. Stokkies Hanekom, 22. Sampie Mastriet

Western Province:

15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Dillyn Leyds, 13. Johnny Kotze, 12. Juan de Jongh (captain), 11. Seabelo Senatla, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6. Rynhardt Elstadt, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Wilco Louw, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 1. Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16. Michael Willemse, 17. Oli Kebble, 18. Chris van Zyl, 19. Jurie van Vuuren, 20. Jano Vermaak, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Huw Jones




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