Griquas v Pumas - Teams and Prediction
CURRIE CUP FINAL PREVIEW: A new champion will be crowned on Saturday when the Grand Finale of South Africa’s premier domestic competition takes place.
In one of the most momentous Finals, Griquas will host the Pumas in Kimberley.
The two teams finished third and fourth in the standings at the end of the league phase of the competition.
Both travelled for their respective semifinal matches.
Griquas had to face the defending champion Bulls at Loftus Versfeld and Pumas had to take on the table-topping Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
The Kimberley side came up with a 30-19 win over the Bulls and Pumas recorded a narrow 38-35 victory over Cheetahs.
The two teams’ respective semifinal wins set up arguably one of the most interesting finals.
For the Pumas, this is their first-ever Currie Cup Final appearance, while the Griquas will contest in their first Final since 1970, which was also the last time they lifted the decorated trophy.
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Speaking ahead of the Grand Finale, Griquas coach Pieter Bergh had huge praise for his young charges and believes they will not be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the occasion.
“They truly believe that they can win anything on any day,” said Bergh.
“That is why I have full faith in them. I don’t believe they will be fazed by the moment of the occasion. They will pitch up.”
Bergh revealed that around 12 000 fans are expected for the Currie Cup final, making it one of the most highly attended matches in Kimberley in decades.
“I think tickets are already sold out,” said Bergh.
“The people of Kimberley have really reacted to this. It’s wonderful for the town and our supporters.
“I have met so many people over the last week who said they were at the 1970 Final and never thought they would attend a Currie Cup Final in Kimberley again.
“It’s wonderful for us.
“I think there will be seven guys from the 1970 team here for the game, which is very special.”
Reflecting on coaching the Pumas to their first Currie Cup Final, Jimmy Stonehouse said his team needs to use all their opportunities if they want to be successful
“I played a few finals in my life, especially in the First Division,” said Stonehouse, adding: “Then I coached the South African President XV in Georgia and won the Tbilisi Cup in 2013.
“But this is something different and all you have to take into this Final is to be calm, do what you got to do and don’t get nervous when the time is running out. Also, just be disciplined.
“Think the most important thing about Finals is to use your opportunities.”
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The last hoorah
Griquas will be captained by Sango Xamlashe after the regular skipper Niel Otto will miss the fixture due to a concussion.
Xamlashe led the University of Pretoria to the 2021 Varsity Cup title.
Experienced scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer returns to the starting XV. The No.9 will play his final game for the Griquas as he will join the Storrmers next season.
George Whitehead comes in at fullback in place of the injured Ashlon Davids.
The Pumas will be unchanged for the Final.
Captain Willie Engebreght will aslo bid farwell to the Nelspruit side.
The loose forward has also signed a contract with the Stormers and will join the Cape side next season.
— Carling Currie Cup (@TheCurrieCup) June 24, 2022
Recent Head to Head
2022: Griquas won 44–45
2022: Griquas won 41-20
2021: Griquas 13-13 Pumas
2021: Pumas won 26-22
2020: Pumas won 22-17
@rugby365com: Griquas by five points
Griquas: 15 George Whitehead, 14 Munier Hartzenberg, 13 Sango Xamlashe (Captain), 12 Rynhardt Jonker, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Alex-Zander du Plessis, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Sibabalo Qoma, 7 Hanru Sirgel, 6 Werner Gouws, 5 Derik Pretorius, 4 Cameron Lindsay, 3 Janu Botha, 2 Janco Uys, 1 Kudzwai Dube.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Eddie Davids, 18 Andries Schutte, 19 Johan Retief, 20 Michael Amiras, 21 Johan Mulder , 22 Theo Boshoff, 23 Christopher Hollis
Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Tapiwa Mafura, 13 Sebastian de Klerk, 12 Eddie Fouche, 11 Jade Stighling, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Andre Fouche, 7 Willie Engelbrecht (captain), 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Shane Kirkwood, 4 Deon Slabbert, 3 Ignatius Prinsloo, 2 Eduan Swart, 1 Corne Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Llewellyn Classen, 17 Dewald Maritz, 18 Simon Raw, 19 Kwanda Dimaza, 20 Francois Kleinhans, 21 Giovan Snyman, 22 Ali Mgijima, 23 Alwayno Visagie.
Date: Saturday, June 25
Venue: Griqua Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Expected weather conditions: Clouds and sunshine. A high of 17°C and a low of 4°C.
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Morné Ferreira, Griffin Colby
TMO: Quinton Immelman
The dangermen for both teams 😎
— Carling Currie Cup (@TheCurrieCup) June 23, 2022