Currie Cup

Pace-setters clash at Newlands

2014-08-22 14:22
Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Bonus-point wins will be a thing of the past for either Western Province or the Golden Lions by the time their third-round Currie Cup clash ends at Newlands on Saturday.

Both teams have enjoyed terrific starts to the 2014 competition by clocking up maximum log points although the Lions have fared better in the collective try-count with 13 touchdowns as against 10 by Province.

The Lions will run out at Newlands without talisman eighthman Warren Whiteley, who has led from the front, and now finds himself in the Springbok squad.

His Bok call-up comes two weeks after the Lions lost their matchwinner, flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff, who has been sidelined by a fractured arm.

The Whiteley void has been filled by the wily Willie Britz, and tough-as-nails flanker Derick Minnie takes over the captaincy.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann felt Britz was the perfect shoe-in for Whiteley.

"Willie and Warren are similar in that they play off other players. Our combination, with two guys playing towards the ball and Willie as the link, is still correct," said Ackermann.

"He (Whiteley) is an inspiration for the players off the field as well. We are going to miss that but that is the one position where there is a lot of competition."

This will be the first time this season that the Lions will have to cope with the double setback and it could start chewing away at their hitherto all-round effectiveness.

One of the main reasons for the Lions' strength in this competition has been the fact that they have not had Bok call-ups and consequently they have been able to field a Super Rugby outfit in the Currie Cup.

Given Province's new-found style of play, the Newlands-based team is probably best equipped to expose any signs of vulnerability in the Lions' game.

The set piece and the ability to exploit turn-over possession has been central to both team's success this season.

Last week against the Blue Bulls, they did not enjoy the lion's share of possession but when they secured turn-over ball they lashed out with a six-try performance.

Province coach Allister Coetzee has identified how equally effective the Lions have been when switching to attack, even from deep defensive positions.

"The Lions represent a big test for us as they are not scared to have a go with ball in hand, even from their own goalline," said Coetzee.

"I'd say they are the overall favourites in the Currie Cup. They're the pace-setters, they have a good set-piece and, like I said, they're not scared to attack from anywhere."

The Currie Cup favourites tag is something that Ackermann is not entirely comfortable with.

"It brings new pressure. In Super Rugby we were always the underdogs, now suddenly people will tag us as favourites to win matches," said Ackermann.

"There are too many rounds left to get excited (at this stage)."

Read more on:    lions  |  wp  |  currie cup  |  allister coetzee  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Your thoughts on the Currie Cup being cut to a one-round tournament in 2018?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.