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Golden Lions

FULL-TIME
26     18

Sharks

Currie Cup | Ellis Park
12:30 (GMT) | 19-09-2015
  • 83
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  • 82
The Loins continue their unbeaten streak!
  • 81
It's taken short and the Sharks have secured the ball. They are in possession on their 10 metre line but knock the ball on in the tackle. FULL-TIME!
  • 80
The game restarts with a Lions penalty after du Preez was penalised for foul play after the try had been scored. Boshoff will have a shot at goal from the halfway line. He strikes it well but pushes it to the right. 22 drop out to the Sharks
  • 79
Pietersen makes no mistake this time as he brings his side within eight points of the Lions
  • 78
The Sharks seem to have their fins up at the moment. Pietersen takes the contact and offloads to Francois Kleinhans who spots an opening. He takes it and sprints all the way for the Sharks' second try of the match
  • 77
He fails to add the extra points
  • 76
Pietersen gets the ball at first receiver and his chip kick bounces kindly for Jordaan who takes the ball onto the Lions' 10 metre line. He offloads back to Pietersen who runs 40 metres to score in the corner
  • 75
The Lions secures the ball and have opted to keep it among the forwards. Once again, excellent defence by the Sharks forces a knock-on. Scrum feed to the Sharks on their 5 metre line
  • 74
The Lions look to release their backline but are quickly stopped. The forwards take over. PENALTY! The Sharks are caught offside before the scrum was over. They opt for another scrum
  • 72
The Lions are pushed back inside their half but Smith finds another gap and sets off on a run. He makes his way to the Sharks' 10 metre line before putting in a chip kick. Skosan is there to run onto it and the pressure on the Sharks is relentless. The Lions come within inches of the try line but he Sharks have stolen it. KNOCK-ON! They unfortunately knock the ball on and the Loins will have the scrum feed on the Sharks' 5 metre line
  • 70
Cronje probes the blind side but the Sharks close him down. The ball is recycled and kept among the forwards. Just as they look to be gathering some momentum, they lose the ball forward to hand possession back to the Sharks
  • 68
The Lions have taken the ball onto the halfway line but the Sharks wins back possession. However, they knock it on straight away and the Lions will have the feed
  • 67
Sithole goes on a massive run down the left touchline for the Sharks and gets close to the 5 metre line before a great cover tackle by Mnisi forces the knock-on. Lions will have the feed to the scrum
  • 65
Boshoff pops the conversion over in no time
  • 65
The backline is brought in and an excellent line by Skosan sees him cut in on an angle to make his way through the defence and dot the ball down under the uprights
  • 64
A mistake by Claassens hands possession back to the Lions close to his 22 after his kick went straight into touch. The Lions are on a roll now as they enter the 22 and employ the big boys to make the hard yards.
  • 63
The Sharks are looking to hit back and are in possession just outside the Loins' 22. STOLEN! Kriel gets his hands on the ball and steals it. Coetzee puts in a kick that finds touch just outside the Sharks' 22
  • 61
Boshoff makes no mistake with the extra points
  • 60
The Lions secures the ball and their rolling maul sees them enter the Sharks' 22 before going down. The play is taken through the phases and Smith once again makes a few metres. The ball is quickly recycled and Mnisi puts Lourens Erasmus through a gap. TRY! The lock steps his way past the final defender to score under the uprights
  • 58
We have gone to uncontested scrums as Hadebe is doing duty on the tighthead for the Sharks. Reinach gets the ball and puts in a clearance kick that finds touch outside his 22
  • 57
Lions are back on the front foot as they find themselves in possession on the Sharks' 10 metre line. Combrink makes a break down the touchline but is brought down on the 22. The ball is sent through the hands to the other side of the field but Robbie Coetzee loses the ball in contact, two metres from the try line. Sharks scrum on their 5 metre line
  • 55
He strikes it well and turns immediately as the flags are raised
  • 54
The Sharks have regained the restart and are in possession just outside the Lions' 22. PENALTY! The Lions enters the ruck from the side and Pietersen will have a shot at goal.
  • 52
Another easy three points for the sharpshooter as he stretches the lead to nine points
  • 51
The Sharks give away a needless free-kick for not setting in time and the Lions take full advantage as they find themselves 10 metres from the try line. PENALTY! The Sharks are once agin enalsied for having their hands in the ruck. Boshoff will have a shot at goal
  • 49
The Lions regain possession after a Reinach box kick. The home side sends the ball wide and Skosan is able to make a few metres before he is brought down. The ball is taken through a few phases before Smith breaks through a gap. His offload is not the best and Skosan can't hold onto it. Sharks Scrum just outside their 22
  • 47
Another solid scrum by the Sharks but the Lions are able to secure the ball. Coetzee is under pressure and manages to find touch on his 22. The Sharks secures the ball and have made their way close to the try line. PENALTY! Smith wins the turnover at the breakdown. It's taken quickly and Boshoff finds a good touch inside the Sharks' half
  • 46
They secure the ball and sets the maul. They have made their way within inches of the line but lose the ball forward in contact to hand the Loins the scrum feed on their 5 metre line
  • 45
The Sharks have a chance to hit straight back as they win a scrum PENALTY on the Lions 22. Pietersen finds touch with the kick on the Lions' 5 metre line
  • 43
It's too easy for him as he slots his third penalty of the match
  • 42
The Lions gets the ball and goes immediately on the attack. The forwards have rumbled their way onto the Sharks' 5 metre line. PENALTY! The Sharks concede a penalty close to their try line. Boshoff will have a shot at goal
  • 41
KICK-OFF! Boshoff gets the second half underway! The Sharks kicks the ball back and finds Boshoff just inside his half. He attempts yet another long range drop goal effort but it goes hopelessly wide. 22 drop out to the Sharks

Half Time

  • 40
The Lions are on the front foot once again as they enter the 22 through Mnisi. The ball is taken through the phases but they are not making many metres. Smith looks for the crash ball but he is hit hard in the tackle and loses the ball forward. The Sharks happily dots the ball down inside their try line. That's HALF-TIME!
  • 39
Pietersens' is allowed to roll into touch. The Lions secures the ball. PENALTY! The Sharks are penalised for advancing before the line-out was over. Boshoff kicks the penalty into touch close to the Sharks' 22
  • 38
He makes no mistake with second kick of the match
  • 37
The Lions are immediately on the attack and Mnisi manages to get a few metres. PENALTY! The Sharks are penalised for not releasing the tackled player. Boshoff will have a shot at goal from about 30 metres
  • 35
Massive scrum by the Sharks sees them win possession. The ball is kicked up field and finds touch just inside the Lions' half
  • 34
The Loins forces a maul from the restart and the ball fails to emerge. Scrum to the Lions on the Sharks' 22
  • 33
He strikes it well once and again and splits the uprights this time to level the scores
  • 32
Pietersen probes the short side but is brought down just short. PENALTY! The Lions are penalised for having their hands in the ruck. Pietersen will have a shot at goal
  • 31
FREE-KICK to the Sharks after the Lions engaged early. Reinach tkes it quickly and the Sharks are 5 metres from the try line
  • 29
The Sharks are immediately on the attack after the Lions knock the ball on from the restart. Scrum feed to the Sharks just inside the Lions' 22
  • 28
He makes absolutely no mistake with the kick to put the first points of the game on the board
  • 27
PENALTY! The Sharks are penalised for an incorrect bind which collapsed the scrum. Boshoff will have a shot at goal from about 42 metres
  • 26
A solid scrum by the Lions on the halfway line line sees them launch an attack. The backline makes 10 metres before the Sharks look to have stolent he ball back. They knock the ball on though and the Lions maintain possession close to the Sharks' 10 metre line
  • 23
He strikes it well but it does not curl enough and the Lions will come away with a 22 drop out
  • 22
The Sharks secures the ball and makes a few metres. PENALTY! The Lions fail to roll away at the breakdown and Pietersen will have a shot at goal from about 48 metres
  • 20
The Lions opt for an attacking line-out on the Sharks' 5 metre line. STOLEN! Marco Wentzel wins the line-out for the Sharks and the visitors gets a PENALTY from the resulting breakdown. Pietersen finds touch close to the halfway line
  • 19
The Lions secures the ball and sets the maul that takes them to the 5 metre line. The ball is recycled and neat interplay between Mnisi and Boshoff sees the flyhalf get over the line but the pass is called forward and play is brought back for an infringement at the maul
  • 18
The Sharks are scrumming well and have maintained possession. They launch an attack that takes them just over the halfway line but the Lions scramble well. Mnisi wins a PENALTY. The ball is kicked into touch on the Sharks' 22
  • 16
The Lions win back possession and Ross Cronje goes on a sniping run. He is brought down in Sharks territory but the ball is quickly sent wide. It looks like a sure try but miscommunication sees two players trying to catch the ball and it's knocked on. Sharks scrum on their 5 metre line
  • 15
The Sharks secures the line-out but Reinach kicks possession away with a box kick. Once again the Lions kicks it back and finds touch on the halfway line
  • 14
The scrum is reset a few times but the Sharks manage to maintain possession. A kicking battle ensues and Ruan Combrinck wins the battle as his kick rolls into touch on the Sharks' 5 metre line
  • 11
The Lions are immediately on the front foot and a break through by Boshoff gets the home side close to the Sharks' 22. The ball is recycled and Mnisi puts in a clever grubber which Nicolaas Hanekom collects but he knocks the ball on in the tackle on the Sharks' 5 metre line. Scrum feed to the Sharks
  • 10
The Sharks have turned the ball over and launch a counter-attack. Neat interplay between Andre Esterhuizen and Wandile Mjekevu sees them enter the 22 but a poor decision to kick hands possession back to the Lions
  • 9
The Lions are back in possession and look to run the ball at the Sharks. In possession on the Sharks' 10 metre line
  • 7
Both sides have coughed up possession on a few occasions and look for the territorial gain, however, play remains in and around the halfway line with the Sharks in possession
  • 5
The Lions claim the line-out and look dangerous as they close in on the Sharks' 22 but they cough possession up and the Sharks are able to kick the ball back into the Lions' 22. Andries Coetzee mops up at the back and his clearance kick finds touch close to the halfway line
  • 3
Boshoff attempts a massive drop goal but it falls way short and Odwa Ndungane is able to boot the ball up field
  • 2
The Sharks have managed to keep the Lions inside their half for the opening exchanges but Kriel makes a break and gets the Lions onto the front foot. Up to the Sharks' 10 metre line they go
  • 0
KICK-OFF! Joe Pietersen gets the game underway!
  • -10
The Sharks have had a very inconsistent campaign thus far, having picked up three victories to go with three defeats to find themselves in fourth place overall. victory for them would put some daylight between themselves and the chasing pack
  • -20
The Lions have been absolutely dominant thus far and have claimed five bonus point victories from their six matches. Another victory today would see them stretch their lead to eight points if they fail to pick up another bonus point
  • -30
Welcome to the penultimate match of Round Seven which sees the log leaders, the Golden Lions, host the Sharks at Ellis Park
Mc lions graphic80x50
Golden Lions
Mc sharks graphic80x50
Sharks
START LINE UP
  • 15 Andries Coetzee
  • 14 Ruan Combrinck
  • 13 Nicolaas Hanekom
  • 12 Howard Mnisi
  • 11 Courtnall Skosan
  • 10 Marnitz Boshoff
  • 9 Ross Cronje
  • 8 Fabian Booysen
  • 7 Albertus Smith
  • 6 Jaco Kriel
  • 5 Franco Mostert
  • 4 Lourens Erasmus
  • 3 Julian Redelinghuys
  • 2 Malcolm Marx
  • 1 Ruan Dreyer
RESERVES
  • 22 Anthony Volmink
  • 21 Rohan Janse van Rensburg
  • 20 Jaco van der Walt
  • 19 Stephan De Wit
  • 18 Luvuyiso Lusaseni
  • 17 Jacques van Rooyen
  • 16 Robbie Coetzee
START LINE UP
  • 15 Odwa Ndungane
  • 14 Wandile Mjekevu
  • 12 Andre Esterhuizen
  • 11 Sibusiso Sithole
  • 10 Joe Pietersen
  • 9 Cobus Reinach
  • 8 Philip van der Walt
  • 7 Daniel du Preez
  • 6 Francois Kleinhans
  • 5 Marco Wentzel
  • 4 Etienne Oosthuizen
  • 3 Gerhard Engelbrecht
  • 2 Franco Marais
  • 1 Thomas Du Toit
  • 13 Paul Jordaan
RESERVES
  • 23 Garth April
  • 22 Heimar Williams
  • 21 Michael Claassens
  • 19 Daniel du Preez
  • 18 Dave McDuling
  • 17 Dale Chadwick
  • 16 Monde Hadebe
Mc article nic groom western province 800

Preview: Currie Cup, Round Seven

Fri, 18 Sep 2015 01:30

It is tough to imagine that the big north-south derby has become a sideshow, despite being a crucial match for both teams.

While the World Cup continues to hog the limelight, South Africa's Currie Cup competition is moving towards the home stretch - Round Seven of 10.

And the match of the weekend is between the two most successful Currie Cup teams, Western Province and the Blue Bulls, will resume their fierce rivalry in Cape Town on Friday.

They are second, the Bulls, and third, WP, on the standings.

With just three rounds remaining, Province can ill afford another defeat - while the Bulls will be equally desperate after having suffered their first loss last week.

In the other clash on Friday, the Eastern Province Kings will look to add to their first win of the season when they travel to Nelspruit for their showdown against the Pumas.

Only two points separate the teams on the standings and the Pumas will be looking to secure their third win of the campaign.

The tournament's pace-setters, the Golden Lions, will look to cement and possibly even grow their lead at the top of the standings when they host the Sharks in Johannesburg.

The Free State Cheetahs will also look to bounce back from their loss to the Kings last week when they host Griquas in Bloemfontein.

We look at all the Round Seven action!

Friday, September 18

Pumas v Eastern Province Kings
(Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit - Kick-off: 17.00; 15.00 GMT)

The Eastern Province Kings will look to build on last week's impressive win over the Free State Cheetahs when they travel to Nelspruit for their showdown against the Pumas.

Only two points separate the Pumas and Kings on the standings and the Pumas are desperate to end their three-match losing streak.

Kings coach Brent Janse van Rensburg admitted that they will have their work cut out against a desperate Pumas outfit.

"It is always difficult in Nelspruit," Janse van Rensburg said, adding that the Kings will have to operate as a unit.

"That win [against the Cheetahs] was very important for us, because it was reward for the hard work the players have put in and it will have helped our confidence," the coach said.

"But we know, while we need to be confident, we cannot be arrogant because we will still have to work hard for any win and nothing will just fall into our laps.

"It will be physical and we'll have to fight fire with fire."

He also spoke of his team's discipline - which saw them reduced to 14 men for most of the second half.

"We can be physical and get stuck in, but any other stuff is not acceptable.

"We need to ensure we have a clean record when it comes to discipline."

Pumas coach MJ Mentz did not hold back this week, accusing some of his players of lacking mental fortitude and the desire to succeed.

"We are still not out of the running, because of the past weekend's results," Mentz said.

"Our goal remains to secure a top four finish and play in the semifinals. However, from now on every game is like a final to us.

"We have been working hard on the mental aspect of the game. We certainly let ourselves down in the last few weeks.

"There has been a lot of honest discussions and from here on the players must take responsibility for their performances on the field."

Previous results:
2015: Pumas won 15-13, Port Elizabeth
2014: Eastern Province Kings won 26-25, Port Elizabeth

Prediction: Back home the Pumas are always tougher to crack and the Kings may come down to earth with a bang. The Pumas should sneak an arm-wrestle by five points.

Teams:

Pumas: 15 Hoffmann Maritz, 14 Jerome Pretorius, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Stefan Watermeyer (captain), 11 Rosco Spekman, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Francois de Klerk (captain), 8 Jason-Colin Fraser, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Frank Herne , 1 Corné Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Marné Coetzee, 18 Jannie Stander, 19 Uzair Cassiem, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Hennie Skorbinski, 22 Marcello Sampson.

Eastern Province Kings: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Siyanda Grey, 13 Phillipus du Plessis, 12 Tim Whitehead (captain), 11 Luther Obi,  10 Karlo Aspeling, 9 Enrico Acker, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Steven Sykes, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Cornel Hess, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Dwayne Kelly, 22 Elgar Watts.

Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Stephan Geldenhuys
TMO: Willie Vos

Western Province v Blue Bulls
(Newlands, Cape Town - Kick-off: 19.00; 17.00 GMT)

At any other time this game will be a top billing - the two most successful teams in the history of the Currie Cup competition.

Despite the shadow of the World Cup hanging over it, it doesn't mean this will not be as enthralling an encounter as so many of the previous north-south derbies.

Last month in Pretoria the Blue Bulls put their huge attacking potential on display in a 47-29 dismantling of the 2014 champions.

However, the Bulls are well aware that there will be an ambush awaiting them in Cape Town.

With three more pool rounds remaining after this weekend's action, the teams will have their eyes fixed firmly on the four available semifinal spots, which will be staged on October 17.

Province coach John Dobson admitted the Bulls beat his team at their own game in their previous encounter.

"It's always a challenge facing a form team like the Blue Bulls, but we have a bit of momentum back in our game ahead of such a big challenge against a form Bulls side," the WP coach said.

"It's always great being back at Newlands - especially for a North-South Derby - and we're looking forward to the challenge."

Bulls captain Pieter Labuschagne said it will take a mammoth team effort.

"For us to beat WP, we will have to play well as individuals as well as combinations," Labuschagne said.

"Defence will probably have to win this for us, as WP remains the most attacking team in the competition," Labuschagne added.

"We have some serious players on the bench as well, which will be important.

"This will take a 23-man effort to go down to Newlands and beat WP."

Recent results:
2015: Blue Bulls won 47-29, Pretoria
2014: Western Province won 23-18, Pretoria
2013: Western Province won 29-18, Pretoria
2013: Western Province and Blue Bulls drew 24-all, Cape Town
2012: Blue Bulls won 26-13, Pretoria
2012: Western Province won 42-6, Cape Town

Prediction: Sometimes, not often, these games are a blow-out. However, mostly they are brutal arm-wrestles. The Bulls, despite last week's loss to the Lions, showed they are serious contenders for the Currie Cup trophy and should win by about five points.

Teams:

Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Nic Groom (captain), 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Nizaam Carr , 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Demetri Catrakilis, 22 Kobus van Wyk.

Blue Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pieter Labuschagne (captain), 7 Roelof Smit, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Rudolph Snyman, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Jan Serfontein.

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Lourens van der Merwe
TMO: Marius Jonker

Saturday, September 19

Golden Lions v Sharks
(Ellis Park, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 14.30; 12.30 GMT)

The Lions have established themselves as the tournament favourites, but they have also showed periods of vulnerability.

A lack of discipline and shoddy line-out play were among the big concerns coach Johan Ackermann got after last week's great escape against the Blue Bulls.

The Lions mentor admitted they will not always be so fortunate and will require "concentration for 80 minutes" when they host a dangerous Sharks team this week.

"It is a quality side," Ackermann told a media briefing at the team's base in Johannesburg.

"People may disagree with me, because they will look at the standings," he said of a team sitting fourth - 16 points behind the Lions, with three wins and three defeats.

"We also haven't lost a game, but if you look at how many players with Super Rugby experience they have - Thomas du Toit, Marco Wentzel, Ettienne Oosthuizen, Joe Pietersen and Jaco Reinach - then you see there is a lot of quality in that side."

The Lions coach felt the Sharks were "unfortunate" in some of their previous games.

"We didn't play well against them down in Durban, we know they will come out firing and it is a massive challenge for us, as it will be a big thing for them to come and beat us up here."

As is always the case the Lions' powerful scrum will be an important factor.

Sharks tighthead prop Gerhard Engelbrecht revealed that the Sharks have focussed on their set-piece work this week.

"This weekend will need a collective team effort from us," the front row forward said.

"It's that, rather than a step up at scrum-time against a very good Lions pack.  

"It's not so much that we aren't performing, but we need to work together.

"We're making small individual errors; everyone makes the effort, but not always all at once.

"This Lions team has been together for 18 months now, they're a good solid unit while we've only been together for a couple of months; but we'll get there."

Recent results:
2015: Golden Lions won 31-16, Durban
2014: Golden Lions won 50-20, Johannesburg
2014: Sharks won 26-23, Durban
2013: Sharks won 31-25, Johannesburg
2013: Sharks won 33-25, Durban
2012: Sharks won 30-14, Durban
2012: Golden Lions won 28-22, Johannesburg

Prediction: It may sound like a cliche, and maybe it is, but the game is still won and lost up front. That is where the Lions will have the edge - which will see them win by about 12 points.

Teams:

Golden Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Nicolaas Hanekom, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9  Ross Cronje, 8 Fabian Booysen, 7 Albertus Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Lourens Erasmus, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Ruan Dreyer.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 19 Stephan de Witt, 20 Jaco van der Walt, 21 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 22 Antony Volmink.

Sharks: 15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Marco Wentzel (captain), 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Gerhard Engelbrecht, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Dave McDuling, 19 Daniel du Preez, 20 Michael Claassens, 21 Heimar Williams, 22 Garth April.

Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: Francois Pretorius, Jaco Kotze
TMO: Willie Vos

Free State Cheetahs v Griquas
(Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - Kick-off: 15.00; 13.00 GMT)

Griquas may have struggled this season, with their first win coming only last week in Round Six.

However, any game against their neighbours and Super Rugby franchise partners, the Free State Cheetahs, is like a red flag to a bull.

For the Cheetahs - in fifth place on the standings and one point behind the Sharks (in fourth) - victory is non-negotiable if they are to stay in the play-off race.

Not surprising then that Cheetahs coach Franco Smith was a touch apprehensive this week.

Not only will there be revenge on the Griquas minds (after the Cheetahs won 31-9 in Kimberley last month), but his own charges appear to have lost the momentum they had built up midway through the season.

Smith felt that his own team's unexpected loss to the EP Kings and Griquas' win over the Pumas last week will ensure the men from Kimberley have a lot more confidence.

"It takes a huge weight off when, after five successive defeats, a team wins," Smith said.

"No doubt they [Griquas] will be throwing everything but the kitchen sink at us.

"No doubt they will be riding the crest of the wave and we will have to be at our best."

Recent results:
2015: Free State Cheetahs won 31-9, Kimberley
2014: Free State Cheetahs won 34-27, Bloemfontein
2014: Free State Cheetahs won 36-25, Kimberley
2013: Free State Cheetahs won 40-20, Bloemfontein
2013: Free State Cheetahs won 52-21, Kimberley
2012: Free State Cheetahs won 35-20, Bloemfontein
2012: Free State Cheetahs won 29-16, Kimberley

Prediction: This could be a very entertaining game, a real try-feast - which the Cheetahs could win by about 10 points.

Teams:

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Burry Uys.
Replacements: 16 Theunis Nieuwoudt, 17 Neil Rautenbach, 18 Reniel Hugo, 19 Freddy Ngoza, 20 Zee Mkhabela, 21 Tertius Kruger, 22 Sias Ebersohn.

Griquas: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Ruhan Nel, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Jacquin Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer (captain), 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Jonathan Adendorf, 6 RJ Liebenberg, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jaco Nepgen, 3 Stephan Kotze, 2 Abraham le Roux, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, 19 Wendal Wehr, 20 Dylon Frylink, 21 Gouws Prinsloo, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa.

Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha, Stephan Geldenhuys

Compiled by Jan de Koning
@King365ed
@rugby365com

Mc article howard mnisi lions gestures 800

Lions scrape home Against Sharks

Sat, 19 Sep 2015 14:44

The Golden Lions scored two tries in the second half to secure a 26-18 win against the Sharks at Ellis Park.

The sunny conditions provided the perfect platform for attacking rugby, but both teams coughed up a plethora of opportunities in the first half.

The Lions stuck to the plan that has worked for them throughout the competition by retaining the ball to setup phase after phase of sniping runs.

The Sharks had to dig deep to keep the home team at bay.

Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff got the first points of the match in the 28th minute when he landed a penalty goal.

His Sharks counterpart, Joe Pietersen, kicked one of his own a few minutes later.

Boshoff was again on target with his boot to give the Lions a 6-3 halftime lead.

The second half started in the same fashion as the first with mistakes aplenty.

Boshoff kicked two more penalties while Pietersen was successful with his attempt at goal.

Lions lock and man of the match Lourens Erasmus had a barnstorming game in what was his starting debut - it was only fitting that he scored the opening try with 20 minutes left.

His try galvanised both teams as a further three tries were scored.

Lions wing Courtnall Skosan scored in the corner after a strong driving maul by his forwards.

Pietersen ran in a try for the Sharks which started deep in their own half.

The final minutes of the match belonged to the Sharks.

They were desperate to bag another win in what is turning out to be a disappointing season for them.

Some great interlinking play allowed loose forward Francois Kleinhans to score a try in the 78th minute.

Pietersen nailed the conversion to leave the final score at 26-18 to the Lions.

Man of the match: Phillip van der walt continued his good form and stood up to the non-stop attacks on his line. Odwa Ndungane and Paul Jordaan showed glimpses of what they are capable of.Howard Mnisi was a demon on defence. But Lourens Erasmus had a brilliant game with his devastating runs and he wins the accolade this week..

Scorers:
For Golden Lions:
Tries: Erasmus, Skosan
Con: Boshoff 2
Pens: Boshoff 4

For Sharks:
Try: Petersen, Kleinhans
Con: Petersen
Pens: Petersen 2

Teams:

Golden Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Nicolaas Hanekom, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9  Ross Cronje, 8 Fabian Booysen, 7 Albertus Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Lourens Erasmus, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Ruan Dreyer.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 19 Stephan de Witt, 20 Jaco van der Walt, 21 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 22 Antony Volmink.

Sharks: 15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Marco Wentzel (captain), 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Gerhard Engelbrecht, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Dave McDuling, 19 Daniel du Preez, 20 Michael Claassens, 21 Heimar Williams, 22 Garth April.

Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Referees: Francois Pretorius, Jaco Kotze
TMO: Willie Vos

Lourens Erasmus (60min) and Courtnall Skosan (65min)
TRIES
Joe Pietersen (76min) and Francois Kleinhans (78min)
Marnitz Boshoff (61min) and Marnitz Boshoff (65min)
CONVERSIONS
Joe Pietersen (79min)
Marnitz Boshoff (28min), Marnitz Boshoff (38min), Marnitz Boshoff (43min), and Marnitz Boshoff (52min)
PENALTIES
Joe Pietersen (33min) and Joe Pietersen (55min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
 
 
VENUE Ellis Park
REFEREE Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)