Western Province v Sharks - teams and prediction
CAPE OF STORMS: The cold front that hit Cape Town this week will play a significant role in this Currie Cup Round Three fixture – scheduled as a midweek game to fit it in on the congested calendar planned around the British and Irish Lions tour.
There will be no relief for the Western Cape capital – which has been lashed by rain for the last few days.
The forecast for Wednesday is mild in the morning and then deteriorates drastically – to ‘windy, with heavy rain’ and the temperature dropping to well below 10°C by the time the game kicks off at 17.00.
Both teams spoke of the need to be flexible and adjust to the conditions for a game between two of the early favourites in South Africa’s premier domestic competition.
Sharks coach Sean Everitt felt his team does possess the ability to play both an expansive game (in dry conditions) and the kicking game (in wet weather).
His WP counterpart, John Dobson, readily admitted that the expected conditions will make the Sharks’ aerial threat all that more dangerous.
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“We know how much they kick and with Curwin Bosch the high contestable kicks are coming,”Dobson told a virtual media briefing.
“They feed off opposition mistakes, so we will have to be good in the air.
“I don’t see them making any significant changes from the last game, three weeks ago.”
Everitt also suggested they might see WP employing the boot a bit more, even though they got some reward by keeping the ball in hand in the last 10 minutes against the Lions a week ago.
“In the first game [of the season] they were a little bit more adventurous,” Everitt said in his pre-match analysis.
“However, the weather in Cape Town isn’t favourable, so I expect them to kick a bot more than they normally do.
“They don’t play much rugby in their own half.
“From turnovers, they kick long, which does give you counter-attacking opportunities.
“The key is to get the balance right on when to run the ball in those conditions and when to kick it back.”
The final word belongs to Province captain Ernst van Rhyn, who admitted they have played a lot of rugby in ‘summer’ conditions, but said that most of the Province guys grew up playing in the harsh Cape Town winters.
“We want to try and embrace that mess,” he said of the monsoon-like conditions they are expecting on Wednesday.
He added that the set pieces will be “massively important” – an aspect of their game they target to improve on, following their Round Two loss top the Lions in Johannesburg.
“We need to ensure our set pieces are good and solid,” the WP captain said, adding: “Most importantly, in the wet conditions, we want to be playing in the right areas.
“The Sharks are good at taking their opportunities.
“We need to ensure we play at our pace and in the right areas.”
@rugby365com: Western Province by nine points
Western Province: 15 Sergeal Petersen, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Cornel Smit, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Marcel Theunissen, 5 David Meihuizen, 4 Ernst van Rhyn (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements – from: 16 Jason Alexander, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Justin Basson, 20 Johan du Toit, 21 Juarno Augustus, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Abner van Reenen, 24 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 25 Lyle Hendricks.
Sharks: 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Jeremy Ward (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Mpilo Gumede, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Reniel Hugo, 21 Dylan Richardson, 22 Grant Williams, 23 Boeta Chamberlain.
Date: Wednesday, June 30
Venue: Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Aimee Barrett-Theron
* Picture credit: @callsignvector