Currie Cup

Sharks bank on Bok Reinach

2014-10-09 11:29
Cobus Reinach (Gallo Images)
Durban -  The Cell C Sharks play their final pool match of the 2014 Currie Cup ahead of the playoffs when they take on Western Province at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday (17:05 kick-off).

Enjoying some great form at the moment, they will want to maintain that continuity as the competition heads into next week’s semi-finals, a place in the knockouts already guaranteed, reports Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick.

They will be bolstered by the return of Cobus Reinach who featured in the Springboks’ Rugby Championship campaign. The lightening quick scrumhalf is one of a number of changes this week.

The season-ending injury to Paul Jordaan necessitates a midfield reshuffle, with S’bura Sithole shifting from wing to outside centre to form a powerful partnership with Andre Esterhuizen.

Tonderai Chavhanga has been selected on the wing with the final backline change seeing Reinach playing his first game in this year’s Currie Cup after being released from the Boks back to the province.

There are only two changes to the forward pack, both in the front row as Matt Stevens starts at tighthead prop and Monde Hadebe takes over the hooking duties from Kyle Cooper who has not been passed fit to play.

“Western Province have had a fantastic season, they’ve only lost once and they’ve secured first place on the log, so congratulations to them,” said coach Brad MacLeod-Henderson.

“But we’re looking forward to the challenge, Newlands is a great place to play rugby. We’re finding some form at the right time so we’re looking forward to the game.”

Should the Lions lose to Free State in the earlier match, the Sharks will have the opportunity to go into second spot and secure a home semi.

“It’s good to know, going into our game, what is needed if the Lions slip up. Whether it’s a draw, whether we need four tries, or whatever else is required. But the reality is that we need to prepare to go down there and put in a good account of ourselves regardless.”

Paul Anthony, the team’s assistant coach, agrees that it’s going to be a big game. And from a team so defensively oriented in the past, to one that combines attack and defence very effectively.

“They’re not number one on the log for nothing, they’ve been playing well. They’re attacking from turnover which means they’re still defensively astute, but their players are intelligent and they capitalise very effectively on turnovers. They make the right choices and take the right options - that’s been their strength on the counter. They have a good eye for where to launch their attacks from and they have lots of speed, out wide, from fullback, at centre. And that’s why they can hit you so effectively. So your defensive lines have to be outstanding and you have to cut down all areas that give up turn-overs, you can’t afford to concede turn-over ball.”


Western Province:



15. SP Marais, 14. Tonderai Chavhanga, 13. S’bura Sithole, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Lionel Cronje, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Tera Mtembu (captain), 7. Etienne Oosthuizen, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Marco Wentzel, 4. Stephan Lewies, 3. Matt Stevens, 2. Monde Hadebe, 1. Thomas du Toit

Substitutes: 16. Franco Marais, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. JC Astle, 20. Khaya Majola, 21. Conrad Hoffmann, 22. Fred Zeilinga

Read more on:    sharks  |  wp  |  currie cup  |  cobus reinach  |  durban  |  cape town  |  rugby

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