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Currie Cup

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ABSA Currie CupIt was a weekend of bonus-point victories in the ABSA Currie Cup as all the winning sides, except for the Vodacom Blue Bulls, bagged 5 Log points from their matches to maintain comfortable log positions with an eye on the playoff stages.

In Friday’s matches DHL Western Province defeated the Steval Pumas 37-23 in Nelspruit and the Vodacom Blue Bulls beat the Toyota Free State Cheetahs 31-22 in Bloemfontein. On Saturday the Cell C Sharks thumped the EP Kings 53-24 in Durban and the Xerox Golden Lions registered a convincing 46-8 victory against GWK Griquas in Kimberley.

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Currie CupCape Town – Pay-channel SuperSport has responded after Western Province and Lions fans were upset that their teams’ Currie Cup games will not be shown live this weekend.

Scheduling of games in the premier all-domestic competition has been affected by the clash on Saturday with the Rugby Championship Test between the Springbok and Wallabies at Newlands (17:05 kickoff), meaning that two Currie Cup games are down for Friday and another pair on Saturday.

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SuperBruLet me start off this week’s SuperBru thread by saying “Thanks for nothing, Sharks!”

Typical of the Cell C Sharks, play like plonkers for most of the Currie Cup, but then turn it on just in time to mess up everyone’s GSP.

After losses to the Steval Pumas and then at home to the GWK Griquas, not many gave them a chance at Loftus. Well done to the Sharks though, but it must be added that the Blue Bulls looked like plonkers on Saturday.

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Steval PumasThe Pumas are looking to take down one more “big” team in their quest to obtain a playoff spot which will, ultimately, make for a successful season.

The Mbombela Stadium has become a fortress for the Nelspruit side as they are yet to be beaten at the venue in the campaign and coach Jimmy Stonehouse is hoping to keep it that way.

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Khaya Majola

Khaya Majola

Khaya Majola will start at flank for the Sharks when they host the EP Kings in a Currie Cup clash at Kings Park on Saturday.

Majola, a former SA Under-20 player, takes over the openside role from Jacques Botes, who was ruled out with a SC joint injury. It will be Majola’s first Currie Cup start.

Forwards coach Paul Anthony says they expect a tough game.

“We have to play well and have a good game, we have to man up defensively and we just have to keep winning,” Anthony said via a statement released to the media.

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Seabelo Senatla

The good news for DHL Western Province fans is that explosive winger Seabelo Senatla, who has been missed by the Cape side during his injury enforced absence, will be back for the play-off rounds of the Absa Currie Cup.

Senatla has linked up with the Springboks during their build-up to Saturday’s test match against Australia at Newlands for the purpose of picking up experience that could come in useful later in his career.

He has been unable to train, but according to Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts he is being monitored by the Bok Sevens medical team. He is in the final stages of rehabilitation from his ankle injury and will soon be back on the field.

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DHL WPDHL WP, the 2012 Absa Currie Cup winners and 2013 finalists, will take on the Steval Pumas at the Mbombela Stadium with vice-captain Pat Cilliers back at tighthead prop and Brok Harris moving down to the bench.

Scrumhalf Nic Groom and utility back Michael van der Spuy will join Harris on the bench this week, with coach Coetzee once again reverting to a more traditional four / three split (forwards / backs) amongst his replacements.

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Marnitz Boshoff

Marnitz Boshoff

Xerox Golden Lions:

Golden Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has named his 22-man side to take on Griquas in a Currie Cup match in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon.

In the forwards, prop Jacques van Rooyen and flank Warwick Tecklenburg will both start the match after moving up from the bench.

Meanwhile, in the backline, Ross Cronje will start at scrumhalf and Howard Mnisi will come in at inside centre.

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Frans Ludeke

On the right track, Frans Ludeke

Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke says they will keep backing their processes in order to get their game plan right.

The Bulls suffered another disappointing loss at the weekend when the Sharks beat them 26-15 at Loftus Versfeld.

Ludeke said they have no excuses for the loss and have to learn to handle the pressure situations better.

“It was especially our decision making which cost us. There were times when we needed to play tactically, but then carried the ball and lost it at the breakdowns instead,” Ludeke said.

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Currie CupEastern Province Kings:

The captaincy curse has struck the winless Eastern Province Kings again, with another skipper sidelined.

Steven Sykes will join Luke Watson in the sickbay and will not be on duty the against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday, according to the Kings medical team.

Sykes will be missing the upcoming game due to a knee injury that he sustained during the loss to the Free State Cheetahs last Saturday.

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Lizo Gqoboka

Lizo Gqoboka is one of three young, up and coming players that have been selected to attend the Springbok Training Camp ahead of their final two matches in the Rugby Championship.

Gqoboka, along with Nizaam Carr, Seabelo Senatla, will join the camp this week.

“They are three promising young players we’ve identified and we’d like to expose them to the Springbok ethos while also having a look at what they can do in training,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

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ABSA Currie CupAs anticipated, DHL Western Province and the Xerox Golden Lions confirmed their positions at the top of the Absa Currie Cup log with bonus point home wins over the weekend, but they may have reason now to be looking nervously over their shoulders.

The Cell C Sharks have looked woeful for most of the season and until the second half against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs 10 days again, they just weren’t converting their line breaks or stringing phases together.

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Nick Mallett

Nick Mallett

This is what Nick Mallett had to say after yesterday’s Currie Cup matches:

I was surprised, because the Sharks have gone through a couple of difficult weeks, where they lost two and drew one. Going into the game it looked like the Blue Bulls had a bit of momentum. It was a really good performance by the Sharks, it’s never easy to win at Loftus.

It was not just a win, but a good win.

The Blue Bulls are going to really battle to make the semis now.

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DHL WPGWK GriquasWP (24) 36 / 12 (0) Griquas (Final Score)

DHL Western Province and GWK Griquas did battle in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division at

Newlands, Cape Town at 15:00 SA Time (13:00 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

(Take Note: There will be no LIVE GAME ARTICLE for the EP Kings / Toyota Free State Cheetahs match, as it also takes place at the same time as this game)

*******************

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SuperBruOnly 4 points separated the All Blacks from the Bokke in Wellington, but, as expected, New Zealand were the victors.

Australia managed a 7 point win against the Pumas so there were no surprises for Round 4 of the Rugby Championship.

There we many positives to be taken out of the game from a South African perspective, the biggest being the form of Handré Pollard playing in his first real big Test.

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Jono Ross

Jono Ross: Replaces the suspended Deon Stegmann

Jono Ross will lead the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the absence of suspended skipper Deon Stegmann when they play the Cell C Sharks in Pretoria on Saturday. Ross was the regular skipper in 2013 and will lead a team that include four new faces in Wiaan Liebenberg, Callie Visagie, Sampie Mastriet and Rudy Paige from the starting line-up that beat EP Kings last weekend.

Liebenberg comes in for Stegmann, a fit-again Visagie replaces Bongi Mbonambi and Mastriet comes in for Akona Ndungane on the wing. Paige moves up from the bench swopping places with Piet van Zyl.

Mbonambi edges out Bandise Maku.

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DHL WPLoose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe and utility back Justin Geduld will make their first Absa Currie Cup starts for DHL Western Province in Saturday’s home fixture against Griquas (kick-off 15h00).

Notshe will wear the No.6 jersey at DHL Newlands in the absence of injured loose forward colleague Siya Kolisi, whilst SA Sevens star Geduld will start on the left-wing as part of the five changes to the DHL WP team this week.

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Lwazi Mvovo

Lwazi Mvovo

The loss of Odwa Ndungane last week is off-set by returning Springbok Lwazi Mvovo who has been released from the Springbok squad for the Cell C Sharks’ Currie Cup clash against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday (17:05 kick-off).

According to Sharks website editor, Michael Marnewick, he is one of a handful of changes in the backline, where a re-jigged back three and midfield change see plenty of pace introduced.

Paul Jordaan returns after a week’s rest and will partner last week’s debutant Andre Esterhuizen (and a try-scorer on debut) in a potentially very dangerous centre partnership that marries brute strength with pace and acceleration to burn.

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Sarel Pretorius

Sarel Pretorius

Free State Cheetahs scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius is set to play his 100th Currie Cup match when his side tackle the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

According to Volksblad, the 30-year-old played 18 Currie Cup games for the Falcons between 2006 and 2007. He then represented Griquas in 53 Cup games until 2011 before joining Free State, for who he has played 28 games.

The attacking minded scrumhalf also boasts 37 tries in his 99 career Currie Cup games.

The only other scrumhalf in South Africa to play more than 100 Currie Cup games is Tewis de Bruyn, who played 118 Cup games, representing the Leopards, SWD, Boland, Free State and Griffons.

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Cell C SharksWhile the result wasn’t exactly what the Cell C Sharks would have liked, or what they worked so hard to achieve, the Currie Cup draw with Free State was certainly an improved performance, according to Sharks’ website editor Michael Marnewick.

“Our play improved quite a lot from the previous week, we certainly created more opportunities to score which means we are playing better rugby,” explains assistant coach Sean Everitt.

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Deon Stegmann

Deon Stegmann has received a 1 week ban for foul play.

Blue Bulls captain and flank Deon Stegmann was suspended for 1 week on Wednesday for striking a player with his elbow in their Currie Cup Premier Division clash against the EP Kings last Friday.

His Blue Bulls team mate, hooker Bongi Mbonambi, meanwhile, was cleared of further sanction after receiving a Yellow Card in the match for charging into a ruck without using his arms.

Stegmann and Mbonambi both appeared before a SARU judicial committee in Pretoria on Tuesday after being sent to the sin-bin in their clash in Port Elizabeth.

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Carlos Spencer & Jared McCracken - 2012

IN THE RING: Carlos Spencer swings at rugby league star Jared McCracken at Fight for Life 2012.

Former All Blacks star Carlos Spencer says time is against him pursuing a long professional boxing career, but admits he couldn’t resist the challenge of taking on Monty Betham in the money ranks.

After a handful of corporate fights, the 38-year-old Spencer will make his pro debut as the main undercard bout on December’s Fight For Life card in Hamilton.

Gone were the days of three two-minute rounds where Spencer’s victories included beating rugby league stars Awen Guttenbeil and Jarrod McCracken.

It was four three-minute rounds against Betham, the former Warriors hard man who came from a boxing family and had six pro fights to his name for five wins (three by knockout) with his only loss being a points decision to Shane Cameron in his last fight, three years ago.

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Lwazi Mvovo

Lwazi Mvovo

Following an agreement between the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and the provincial unions, wing Lwazi Mvovo has been released to play in the Currie Cup for the Cell C Sharks this weekend.

Mvovo will train with the Sharks this week and join the Springbok squad in Cape Town on Sunday evening.

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Tera Mtembu

Tera Mtembu: Wants better finishing

Sharks’ captain Tera Mtembu admits that the defending Currie Cup champions have slumped into a “desperate” position in their bid to defend the title.

The Durban-based side drew 30-30 with the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last Saturday and must now win all of their four remaining games if they want to have any chance of reaching the semi-finals.

“I think the word we can use is desperate,” said Mtembu said on Tuesday.

“We’ve slipped into a position now that we have to win every game.

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Jono Ross

Jono Ross

Blue Bulls loose forward Jono Ross is embracing life on and off the field.

While the Blue Bulls have struggled for consistency in the Currie Cup in recent seasons, they have developed some impressive talent during this time. One notable player is Jono Ross, who has made major strides through the ranks at the union.

Originally from Johannesburg, where he attended St Stithians and played age-group rugby for the Golden Lions, Ross made the switch to the Bulls in 2010. He’s played senior rugby in the Vodacom Cup since 2011, before making his Super Rugby and Currie Cup debuts in 2013.

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Xerox Golden LionsXerox Golden Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has named his 22-man side to front the Steval Pumas at Ellis Park on Friday.

Ackermann has opted for consistency, making just one change to his starting side. In the forwards, Martin Muller will start at lock in place of the injured MB Lusaseni.

On the bench, Derick Minnie will return from injury to provide cover. Malcolm Marx will need to pass a fitness test later in the week in order to be included on the wood.

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DHL WPWestern Province will need to ‘change their attitude’ or face more Currie Cup heartache in the coming weeks.

This is the view of WP coach Allister Coetzee, following his team’s first defeat of the season – when they went down 33-35 to the Golden Lions in Johannesburg last Saturday.

Province, who conceded just eight tries in the first five weeks of the revamped Currie Cup competition, leaked five five-pointers against the Lions at Ellis Park.

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Siya Kolisi

Siya Kolisi

Springbok flank Siya Kolisi will be out for at least four weeks after hurting both of his knees in Western Province’s 35-33 Currie Cup loss to the Golden Lions in Johannesburg at the weekend.

The defeat, which included a losing bonus point, was WP’s first loss of the 2014 Currie Cup season, but it has come at a cost for the 2012 champions.

According to WP’s official website, Kolisi suffered a torn Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) in both of his knees and is now in a race against the clock to be back for the Currie Cup playoffs.

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Jonathan Kaplan

Jonathan Kaplan

What a difference a week makes…

 

The Rugby Championship:

We saw 2 very good test matches, particularly the All Blacks vs Springboks game, played in the Cake Tin.

It was played at tempo for the duration of the match and was superbly refereed by Jerome Garces. Chalk and cheese between what we saw last week.

He seemed to be able to make his decisions with ease, without pressure, and for the most part they were well timed, and accurate. He added huge value to a compelling test match which was deservedly won by the All Blacks.

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Deon Stegmann

Deon Stegmann is to appear in front of a judiciary.

Vodacom Blue Bulls captain and flank, Deon Stegmann, and hooker Bongi Mbonambi will face SARU disciplinary hearings on Tuesday after being cited following the team’s Currie Cup Premier Division clash against the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

Stegmann, received a Red Card for striking a player with his elbow at a ruck in the 69th minute, which was in breach of Law 10.4 (a), while Mbonambi received a Yellow Card in the 12th minute for charging into a ruck dangerously, which contravened Law 10.4 (h).

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Jimmy Stonehouse

Unhappy camper: Jimmy Stonehouse

Steval Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse has blasted his team after their 31-27 loss to GWK Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.

The supersport.com website reports, Stonehouse didn’t hold back as he said his team’s performance was nowhere near their normal standards and that he expected an improvement this weekend as they head to Ellis Park to face the Xerox Golden Lions in their next Absa Currie Cup match.

“I think it was the worst performance we have given in the history of Puma rugby,” Stonehouse said.

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Cell C SharksA top Cell C Sharks executive has been suspended amid reports of maladministration at the union after a forensic investigation of its financial affairs.

According to The Mercury, internal procedures are under way between the Sharks and the official, who has been with the franchise for more than 21 years.

News of maladministration at the Sharks surfaced earlier this year when auditing company KPMG was called upon to investigate matters.

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Recent Comments

  • MacroBok 1 Oct 2014, 22:40 SAST - bad luck strauss he has really been at the center of the resurgence since the argie games... but bismarck is...
  • charlesm 1 Oct 2014, 21:38 SAST - @ IAAS: I just had a look at the WP U/21 side that played against the Bulls in the finals...
  • IAAS 1 Oct 2014, 21:02 SAST - @ charlesm: Exactly. Like Mvovo. And let Lood go to the Cheetahs. Particularly as we're at the business end of...
  • charlesm 1 Oct 2014, 20:43 SAST - IAAS yes I don't know why Damian hasn't been released. He can do with some game time as well !!
  • charlesm 1 Oct 2014, 20:41 SAST - @ nortierd: As far as I know he has been signed by Province. He had to complete his club commitments...
  • nortierd 1 Oct 2014, 20:38 SAST - @ IAAS: Agreed


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