Herewith the two teams for this weekend’s Currie Cup Premier Division Final at Mr Price Kings Park, Durban.
DHL Western Province:
DHL Western Province head coach Allister Coetzee has named his team for Saturday’s 2012 Absa Currie Cup Final against the Sharks at Mr Price Kings Park in Durban (17:00 SA Time).
Coetzee has made just one change to the starting line-up that beat the Golden Lions 21-16 in last Saturday’s dramatic semifinal, with Damian de Allende and Marcel Brache trading places – De Allende starting in the No.12 jersey and Brache dropping to the bench for the final.
“They have got a powerful team and I think Marcel (Brache) will do a job off the bench and we will probably be needing his experience in the last couple of minutes of the game,” explained Coetzee.
“We have got to front up physically and I think Damien (de Allende) is the right choice.
“He is quite a good ball-carrier, he has got explosive pace, he is quite big and tall and he has got good core skills as well.”
Flank Deon Fourie will captain the team, with six Under-21 players in the matchday 22 and six Test Springboks and one Canadian international in the squad.
Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Don Armand, 6 Deon Fourie (Captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Deon Carstens, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Marcel Brache, 22 Joe Pietersen.
The Sharks’ match day 22 to take on Western Province in the Absa Currie Cup Final on Saturday at Mr Price KINGS PARK features a mix of those who have done duty all season as well as returning Springboks.
In all, coach John Plumtree has selected eight current and recent Springboks in the starting line-up (add Craig Burden to that list as an unused member of the Springbok squad) with a further four named on the bench in a show of force from the Durban side.
It was a point of interest just how the returning Springboks would be reintegrated back into the competition at the conclusion of the Castle Rugby Championship, with the likes of Western Province and the Blue Bulls throwing all of theirs straight back into duty as they faced more pressure in the final rounds, while The Sharks had the luxury of being picky whilst rewarding the players who had taken The Sharks this far.
“The squad is all together now, we have been for a couple weeks, so there were fewer selection headaches for me,” Plumtree explains. “We do feel for the players that are left out, that makes it hard on those who went through the whole campaign. And might not be involved.”
He adds that there have been lessons learned from the past, although their situation did ease the pressure to play the Springboks where they might have been better coming back into the side slowly.
“Definitely, it was something we focussed on and made easier by the position we were in,” he points out. “With the format as it is, with six teams and relegation involved, the pressure was on those sides in that relegation zone to play their bigger names.”
For this match, Plumtree has retained the same backline from last week’s semi-final with rotational changes amongst the forwards. Willem Alberts starts with Jean Deysel replacing him on the bench while Steven Sykes returns for a start after his recovery from injury (which had him playing off the bench last week).
In the front row, Craig Burden switches with Kyle Cooper with Dale Chadwick the unfortunate one to miss out. Odwa Ndungane will add further experience off the bench after returning from injury.
With home ground advantage, The Sharks have been instilled as favourites, with Western Province themselves happy to take the underdog tag. “It’s a way of deflecting pressure away from themselves for them to call us the favourites,” Plumtree says. “They’ll have their own expectations and they will be coming here to win, I am not buying into that.
“They are good enough to be here at this point, we respect that and we will go full out at them and they will be doing the same with us.”
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (Captain), 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Odwa Ndungane.
Date: Saturday 27 October
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 17:00 SA Time (15:00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Christie du Preez, Stefan Breytenbach
TMO: Johann Meuwesen