PREVIEW: Western Province v Blue Bulls
CURRIE CUP SEMIFINAL: In Cape Town, defending champions Western Province will have their sights set on earning their first home final since 2014 when they face the Blue Bulls in their semifinal at Newlands.
The Capetonians powered their way to a comprehensive 34-7 victory in the first half last week, which proved to be the final score after the match was cut short due to heavy rain and lighting.
However, they will be wary of writing off the Blue Bulls, who had to dig deep to earn a semifinal berth and who will have a point to prove after their disappointing display last week.
Western Province have been dominant against their Pretoria rivals in the last four seasons, with nine victories in 12 outings, and although anything can happen in a semifinal, the Pretorians will have their work cut out to create an upset as the hosts have been the best side on attack and defence this season.
Dillyn Leyds and Juarno Augustus have recovered from injury and will start for Western Province, while Dan Kriel and Bongi Mbonambi are back from a rest. Kriel will partner up with Ruhan Nel in the midfield, while Damian Willemse has been named at flyhalf.
The Blue Bulls moved Trevor Nyakane to the loosehead position and named Dayan van der Westhuizen as tighthead in changes up front. In the backs, Dylan Sage will make a first start for his new team and Duncan Matthews was named at wing.
After last week’s result, Western Province captain Chris van Zyl is expecting a fired-up Bulls team on Saturday.
“I think they are going to come very hard at us and that is what we have been speaking about this week,” he said.
“We want to fight fire with fire and go hard at them from the beginning as well
“They are going to come with everything they got, and they are going to throw it at us.”
The Vodacom Blue Bulls team vs DHL Western Province Press Conference #BullsFamily #WPvsVBB
Posted by Blue Bulls on Thursday, 18 October 2018
Meanwhile, Blue Bulls head coach Pote Human said his team will be keen to turn-around their fortunes, following the good drubbing received from the Cape side last weekend.
“We had to take a good, hard look at ourselves and the efforts we dished up last weekend.
“That performance was not who we want to be as a team. We get the ideal opportunity to rectify that effort a week later and although it is in Cape Town this time around, it creates a great opportunity for us to show what we really capable of.
“We have not won the Currie Cup in a while and there is no doubt that we have the ability in this squad to do so this year,” said Human.
2018: Western Province won 34-7, Pretoria
2017: Western Province won 46-45, Pretoria
2017: Western Province won 45-34, Cape Town
2016: Blue Bulls won 36-30, Pretoria (semifinal)
2016: Blue Bulls won 45-26, Pretoria
Prediction: We can’t see the Blue Bulls surprising Western Province at Newlands. Province will win by 20 points.
Western Province: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Sarel Marais, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 John Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Josh Stander, 23 Johannes Engelbrecht.
Blue Bulls: 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Dylan Sage, 12 Johnny Kotze, 11 Jade Stighling, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (captain), 7 Marco van Staden, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Hendre Stassen, 3 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Frans van Wyk, 18 Conrad de Beer, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Nic de Jager, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Tinus de Beer, 23 Franco Naude.
Date: Saturday, October 20
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Paul Mente
TMO: Willie Vos
𝗢𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝗜𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝘂𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗲 𝗖𝘂𝗽 – 𝗘𝗽 𝟭𝟮 : 𝗡𝗮𝗮𝘀 𝗕𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗮 𝘃𝘀 𝗗𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗪𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗺𝘀𝗲"The role of the fly half is to win a game his team is losing." – Naas Botha𝗦𝘄𝗲𝗲𝘁 𝟭𝟵 – The legendary Naas Botha and Damian Willemse have a lot in common. Both won the coveted Currie Cup at the tender age of 19 yrs old and both played alongside their brothers in the professional era.In this exciting episode of Only in the Currie Cup, Naas Botha shares some memorable stories and interesting nuggets with a player he rates as one of the best in world rugby. The 127th season of the Currie Cup is brought to you by Nashua and DirectAxis. The #CurrieCup is #WhereLegendsRise
Posted by Springboks on Tuesday, 11 September 2018