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Team of the week: Stirring the pot

After a weekend in which our focus shifted constantly between Test matches and the Currie Cup, it was to be expected there could be a few strange calls.

And it is our weekly Currie Cup selection that is stirring the pot, so to speak.

The Golden Lions, bottom of the standings and winless, have produced the most members of our starting XV.

How can that be? Once the dust had settled, we asked ourselves the same question, but there was no going back.

The Lions have five members of our starting XV, while two of the winning teams – Western Province and the Sharks – have just three each.

The Blue Bulls, the other victorious team, have two starters, with Griquas and the Free State Cheetahs one each.

Our back-up squad gives a bot more reward to the Sharks (four members) and WP (three), while the Bulls also get three players bubbling under.

The Cheetahs (three), Lions and Griquas (one each) make up the numbers.

Three players return from last week – fullback Gio Aplon (Western Province), scrumhalf  Sarel Pretorius (Free State Cheetahs) and prop Lourens Adriaanse (Griquas).

Team of the week – Round Two:

15 – Gio Aplon (Western Province):

Even in those atrocious conditions he still managed to glide past defenders.

Bubbling under: Jurgen Visser (Blue Bulls)

14 – SP Marais (Sharks):

May be one of the best buys in some time by the Sharks.

Bubbling under: Riaan Smit (Free State Cheetahs)

13 – Ulrich Beyers (Blue Bulls):

He is so much more than just a brute, but power remains a key aspect in his game.

Bubbling under: Johann Sadie (Free State Cheetahs)

12 – Damian de Allende (Western Province):

Again showed why the wise heads in Cape Town feel he is the perfect replacement when Springbok captain Jean de Villiers hangs up his boots one day.

Bubbling under: Heimar Williams (Sharks)

11 – Anthony Volmink (Golden Lions):

It is not just his 95-metre try, although that was one of the tries of the season, but he cause plenty of problems for the Sharks' defence.

Bubbling under: Cheslin Kolbe (Western Province)

10 – Elton Jantjies (Golden Lions):

He is clearly relishing the freedom afforded to him in the Lions' free-running approach.

Bubbling under: Butch James (Sharks)

9 – Sarel Pretorius (Free State Cheetahs):

He remains a special player and will not look out of place in a Springbok team.

Bubbling under: Charl McLeod (Sharks)

8 – Willie Britz (Golden Lions):

Maybe it is that wild hairdo, but you just couldn't help notice him all over the field, involved in the thick of the action.

Bubbling under: Philip van der Walt (Free State Cheetahs)

7 – Jean Deysel (Sharks):

He is beginning to show the form that may just earn him a recall to the Springbok squad.

Bubbling under: Jacques du Plessis (Blue Bulls)

6 – Jaco Kriel (Golden Lions):

It was a rough call, but that chip-'n-collect was something very special.

Bubbling under: Deon Fourie (Western Province)

5 – Grant Hattingh (Blue Bulls):

In a game that produced little else, those forward exchanges were as brutal as anything we've seen this year.

Bubbling under: Hugo Kloppers (Golden Lions)

4 – Michael Rhodes (Western Province):

He added the grunt that Province were lacking up front the previous week.

Bubbling under: Paul Willemse (Blue Bulls)

3 – Lourens Adriaanse (Griquas):

The scrums were a mess, allround, but he showed that even among the rubble he stands out.

Bubbling under: Wiehahn Herbst (Sharks)

2 – Kyle Cooper (Sharks):

It was obviously the position that elicited the most debate, so we retired to the pub and flipped a coin … not really!

Bubbling under: Ryno Barnes (Griquas)

1 – CJ van der Linde (Golden Lions):

The impact he made on the scrums and general play after he came on showed why he is a Springbok. Maybe injuries have robbed him of game time and influenced his form, but at Currie Cup level is a cut above.

Bubbling under: Steven Kitshoff (Western Province)

Our individual selections:

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 SP Marais, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Butch James, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jacques Botes, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Quintin van Jaarsveld XV: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 SP Marais, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Anthony Volminck, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 CJ van der Linde.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 SP Marais, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 CJ van der Linde.

Previous selections:

Team of the week – Round One: 15 Gio Aplon (Western Province), 14 Nico Scheepers (Griquas), 13 Nicolaas Hanekom (Golden Lions), 12 Robert Ebersohn (Free State Cheetahs), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Marnitz Boshoff (Golden Lions), 9 Sarel Pretorius (Free State Cheetahs), 8 Philip van der Walt (Free State Cheetahs), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg (Golden Lions), 6 Johannes Prinsloo (Free State Cheetahs), 5 Hugo Kloppers (Golden Lions), 4 Lodewyk de Jager (Free State Cheetahs), 3 Lourens Adriaanse (Griquas), 2 Willie Wepener (Blue Bulls), 1 Morné Mellett (Blue Bulls).


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