Currie Cup

Rain to decide Durban clash?

2013-10-18 13:22
Brad Macleod-Henderson (Gallo)

Durban - Sharks coach Brad Macleod-Henderson has warned the Free State Cheetahs will be a far different proposition in the Currie Cup semi-final to the side they have become accustomed to beating as they prepare for their showdown in Durban on Saturday.

Despite a few hiccups in recent Super Rugby clashes against the Bloemfontein outfit, the coastal side held a formidable competition record against their opponents, winning eight out of their last nine meetings, including a 50-26 thumping last month.

But Macleod-Henderson read nothing into that scoreline, with the focus solely on this play-off meeting.

"It will be a completely different game to when we last played the Cheetahs here," Macleod-Henderson said.

"We’ve got a tough game on our hands as they’ve got a big forward pack and some strong ball-carriers.

"And then they have some exciting backs, a dangerous number nine who likes to snipe around the fringes, and a good centre pairing and very good wings."

The Sharks, who lost 17-13 to Western Province last week, made five changes for the clash, including the introduction of Frans Steyn and Patrick Lambie to their starting XV.

Questions were again raised about the integration of Springboks into the side, although the addition of three more this week would take their tally of national players to an imperious 10 for the Kings Park clash.

"There’s no set blueprint when it comes to what the correct integration policy is," Macleod-Henderson said.

"We were generally happy with the way they all went on Saturday, and we’re looking forward to seeing another big impact from them this Saturday."

Rain had been falling for most of the week in Durban which meant tougher conditions for the players.

"I’m sure the Durban public aren’t too happy with the weather each weekend, but last week was a good training exercise for what conditions might be like on Saturday.

"The set-pieces will become vitally important again, and it is something we’ve focused on again this week."

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske felt the contest would be determined by whoever wins the front row battle.

His Springbok trio of Trevor Nyakane, Adriaan Strauss and Coenie Oosthuizen could have a slight advantage with Jannie du Plessis missing from the Sharks, with a hand injury sustained against Province.

Still, the Sharks front-row would include Bismarck du Plessis and Tendai Mtawarira as well as Wiehahn Herbst.

The Cheetahs boss made just one change for the clash, bringing in wing Riaan Smit, who would assume the kicking responsibilities, for Rayno Benjamin.



15. SP Marais, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Louis Ludik, 12. Francois Steyn, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Keegan Daniel (captain), 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Peet Marais, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Danie Mienie, 18. Stephan Lewies, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Cobus Reinach, 21. Fred Zeilinga, 22. Heimar Williams

Free State Cheetahs:

15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen

Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Teboho Mohoje, 19 Freddy Ngoza, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Johan Goosen, 22 Rayno Benjamin


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
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.