Currie Cup, Round two - Teams and Predictions
MIDWEEK SHOWDOWN: Round two of the Currie Cup will see the Sharks open their campaign against the Griquas on Wednesday.
After enjoying a bye in Round One, the Durbanites face Griquas (at 17.45) in a replay of their Currie Cup semifinal from last year.
In the two other matches on Wednesday, the Pumas travel west on the N4 to take on the Lions in Johannesburg (15.30), while Western Province entertains the Bulls in Cape Town (20.00), also a repeat of one of the 2021 semifinals.
The Cheetahs have a bye in Round Two.
Following the Round One action, the Bulls have taken the early lead on the Currie Cup log. They are on five points, the same as WP, whose points’ difference is plus 12. The Cheetahs (four) and Lions (one) are next, while the Sharks, Griquas and Pumas are still to open their respective accounts on the standings.
In their quest for a positive start, Sharks coach Etienne Fynn has named a strong, experienced side to host Griquas.
The Durbanites are not taking the men from Kimberly lightly and with good reason.
Last season the Griquas recorded away wins against WP and the Sharks. While the Sharks narrowly beat them 28-24 in the semifinals.
“Griquas have a new coaching staff and they will certainly bring their own spin on things,” Fynn said.
“They are a good side and will be out to prove a point.”
Headlining the Sharks’ impressive team selection is the name Olajuown Noa. The 32-year-old, who will don the No.7 jersey, is one of six debutants.
When asked about Auckland-born Samoan international, Fynn labelled him as ‘a physical specimen’
The coach explained: ‘He can run all day. We certainly expect him to make a major impact.”
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) January 18, 2022
*On the back of a defeat to the WP, the Lions will be out to overturn their fortunes in their Round two clash against Pumas in Johannesburg.
The Lions coach Mziwakhe Nkosi made several changes to the side that suffered a 36-48 defeat in Cape Town.
The changes see a new midfield combo in the shape of Junior Springboks Tyler Bocks and Manuel Rass.
While Ginter Smuts starts in the No.9 jersey and faces his former teammates.
Despite the homeground advantage – given the 2000 spectators, following the amended Covid-19 regulations – the Lions face a very tough challenge.
The last time these two sides met Jimmy Stonehouse’s men walked away with a 36-33 victory at Ellis Park last season.
The Pumas opened their season with a defeat to the Bulls, however, Stonehouse believes it has given the much-needed boost for their Joburg trip.
“We have to get some points,” Stonehouse told rugby365com.
“We played against a strong Bulls side, so we believe we can pull off a win against the Lions.”
He added: “We have a good track record at Ellis Park,”
*Article continues below…
* The main attraction is certainly the big North-South derby between Bulls and Western Province.
Gert Smal takes a Bok-laden Bulls team to his old stomping ground.
He led the WP to two Currie Cup titles in 2000 and 2001 and later returned to take up the role as Director of Rugby in 2014.
“It’s funny because some of the players I contracted at the WP are currently at the Bulls,” Smal said, adding: “While some players I wanted to sign at WP are at the Bulls.
“Surely nice to see how the talent has grown.
“Nonetheless it’s a new game and it’s a big one for us.
“WP played really well over the weekend, so it’s important that we produced a game we are proud of.”
He added: “We are looking forward to a tough physical battle and some entertaining rugby which we have become accustomed to when these two sides face each other.”
The team’s latest recruit, Cyle Brink, will make his debut for the side on Wednesday.
While hooker Bismarck du Plessis, flank Marcell Coetzee, Morne Steyn and Lionel Mapoe will all feature in the starting XV.
Jerome Paarwater has opted for continuity as he kept his backline the same.
The coach made a couple of changes in the pack.
“It has been a very short turnaround between games,” Paarwater said, adding: ” But our combinations should be a little more settled, so hopefully we will see more cohesion.
“We have managed to keep some continuity in selection and the players are all keen to reward the fans who come out to support us with some good rugby,”
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) January 18, 2022
Wednesday, January 19
Lions v Pumas
(Ellis Park, Johannesburg – Kick-off: 15.30; 13.30 GMT)
@rugby365com: Lions by four points
Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Boldwin Hansen, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Tyler Bocks, 11 Zeilinga Strydom, 10 Vaughen Isaacs, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Jarod Cairns, 7 Sibusiso Sangweni, 6 Mark Snyman, 5 Lunga Ncube, 4 Peter-John Steenkamp, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye (captain), 2 Morne Brandon, 1 Banele Mthenjane.
Replacements: 16 Dameon Venter, 17 Heiko Pohlmann, 18 Sibusiso Shongwe, 19 Ruan Venter, 20 MJ Pelser, 21 Nico Steyn, 22 James Tedder, 23 James Mollentze.
Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Tapiwa Mafura, 13 Sebastian de Klerk, 12 Aliqhayiya Mgijima, 11 Lundi Msenge, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Lucky Dlepu, 8 Kwanda Dimaza, 7 Phumzile Maqondwana (captain), 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Darrien Landsberg, 4 Malembe Mpofu, 3 Ignatius Prinsloo, 2 Corne Fourie, 1 Ruan Kramer.
Replacements: 16 Llewellyn Classen, 17 Dewald Maritz, 18 Simon Raw, 19 Brandon Valentyne, 20 Khwezi Mafu, 21 Giovan Snyman, 22 Alwayno Visagie, 23 Andries Viljoen.
Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper, Local
TMO: AJ Jacobs
Sharks v Griquas
(Kings Park, Durban – Kick-off: 17.45; 15.45 GMT)
@rugby365com: Sharks by 12 points
Sharks: 15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Werner Kok, 12 Marius Louw (captain), 11 Eduan Keyter, 10 Jordan Chait, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Mpilo Gumede, 7 Olajuwon Noa, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Emile van Heerden, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Dan Jooste, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Replacements: 16 Jason Alexander, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Corne Rahl, 20 Josh Moon, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Murray Koster, 23 Marnus Potgieter.
Griquas: 15 Ashlon Davids, 14 Munier Hartzenberg, 13 Christopher Hollis, 12 Rynhardt Jonker, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Zander du Plessis, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Ruan Steenkamp (captain), 7 Siba Qoma, 6 Niel Otto, 5 Derik Pretorius, 4 Mzwanele Zito, 3 Janu Botha, 2 Alandre van Rooyen, 1 Eddie Davids.
Replacements: 16 Janco Uys, 17 Kudzwai Dube, 18 Justin Forwood, 19 Johan Retief, 20 Michael Amiras, 21 Raegan Oranje, 22 Theo Boshoff, 23 Sango Xamlashe.
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Paul Mente, Yanga Sotshangane
TMO: Quinton Immelman
Western Province v Bulls
(Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town – Kick-off: 20.00; 18.00 GMT)
@rugby365com: Bulls by three points
Western Province: 15 Tristan Leyds, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Leolin Zas, 12 Cornel Smit, 11 Paschal Ekeji, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Thomas Bursey, 8 Keke Morabe, 7 Marcel Theunissen, 6 Nama Xaba (captain), 5 Simon Miller, 4 Connor Evans, 3 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Kwenzo Blose.
Replacements: 16 Jacques Goosen, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Corne Weilbach, 19 Jarrod Taylor, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Chris Schreuder, 23 Mnombo Zwelendaba.
Bulls: 15 James Verity-Amm, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Sibongile Novuka, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 8 Muller Uys, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 Janko Swanepoel, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Robert Hunt, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 18 Sebastian Lombard, 19 Reinardt Ludwig, 20 WJ Steenkamp, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Frederik du Plessis, 23 Stedman Gans.
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Local
TMO: Marius Jonker