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Western Province

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WP RugbyHead coach Allister Coetzee has named an unchanged line-up for Saturday’s top-of-the-log Absa Currie Cup clash between DHL Western Province and the Xerox Golden Lions at DHL Newlands (kick-off 17:05 SA Time).

Hookers Tiaan Liebenberg (back) and Scarra Ntubeni (calf muscle) remain sidelined, meaning Stephan Coetzee continues in the No 2 jersey with Neil Rautenbach again warming the bench.

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Derrick Minnie

Derrick Minnie has been entrusted to take over the Lion’s captaincy from Warren Whiteley

Derrick Minnie will reclaim the Golden Lions’ captaincy armband when they head to Cape Town for a top-of-the-table Currie Cup clash with Western Province.

The Lions, who top the table on points difference ahead of WP, will head to Newlands without regular skipper Warren Whitely – who was called up to the Springbok squad in place of the injured loose forward Willem Albert, for the Test against Argentina in Salta on Saturday.

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WP RugbyWestern Province, for the first time in almost two seasons, came away from a match without an injury following their 41-17 win over the Blue Bulls in their Currie Cup match at Newlands, in Cape Town, on Saturday.

Province coach Allister Coetzee said the entire match-day squad over the weekend had indeed emerged injury-free.

Province, and their Super Rugby side, the Stormers, had been picking up a variety of injuries almost without fail in the past two seasons.

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WP RugbyWhen the Springboks finished off their 2013 campaign with a victory over France in Paris, coach Heyneke Meyer spoke about the need for South African rugby to undergo revolutionary change in order to close the gap that the All Blacks enjoyed when it came to conditioning and mental strength.

At the start of the 2014 Castle Lager Rugby Championship, he continued the theme of revolution, this time talking about the need to bring greater intensity and tempo to the Bok game, to be able to out-think opponents now that the days of bludgeoning opposition with physicality are in the past.

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WP jou lekker dingIt was a case of mission accomplished for DHL Western Province on Saturday, as they picked up an impressive 41-17 Absa Currie Cup win over the Vodacom Blue Bulls – their second successive bonus-point victory of 2014.

“It’s a good start for us at home – it’s mission accomplished,” DHL Western Province coach Allister Coetzee told www.wprugby.com at DHL Newlands on Saturday night.

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Currie CupThis past weekend saw Round 2 of the ABSA Currie Cup of 2014.

As usual 4 games were played, with the Cell C Sharks beating Steal Pumas 34 / 17, DHL Western Province demolishing the Vodacom Blue Bulls by 41 / 17, Xerox Goldenlions hammering EP Kings by 60 / 19 and the Toyota Free State Cheetahs beating GWK Griquas 34 / 27.

 

WP demolish Blue Bulls

DHL Western Province scored three tries either side of halftime as they demolished the Vodacom Blue Bulls 41-17 (halftime 19-6) in a scintillating Absa Currie Cup encounter at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.

Province ran in six tries through Pat Cilliers, Michael Rhodes, Nizaam Carr, Juan de Jongh and a brace from Seabelo Senatla while replacement hooker Bongi Mbonambi nabbed one for the visitors.

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Jaco Coetzee

Jaco Coetzee

Glenwood’s Jaco Coetzee has been selected to captain the SA Schools team for 2014 against France, Wales and England.

Their first match is against France at the City Park Stadium in Cape Town on 15 August, followed by Wales at Outeniqua Park in George on 19 August, and England at the Paul Roos Markötter grounds in Stellenbosch on 23 August.

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Scarra Ntubeni

Scarra Ntubeni

DHL Western Province has been rocked by the loss of hooker Scarra Ntubeni ahead of their first home Absa Currie Cup match of the season against the Vodacom Blue Bulls on Saturday.

Ntubeni was set to replace Tiaan Liebenberg, who is out with a back injury, in the team that beat the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth last week. However, according to coach Allister Coetzee, Ntubeni injured a calf in training and has been forced to withdraw from the team at the 11th hour.

“Unfortunately Scarra picked up a calf injury at training on Tuesday and it has subsequently been confirmed that he will be out for a minimum of 14 days,” said Coetzee.

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DHL WPDHL Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has made just one change to his starting line-up for Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup meeting with the Vodacom Blue Bulls at DHL Newlands (kick-off 14:05 SA Time).

The only change to the DHL WP line-up sees Stephan Coetzee named in the No.2 jersey, in his first start at this level, with the injured Tiaan Liebenberg (back) dropping out this week.

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Frans Ludeke

Coach under siege: Frans Ludeke

Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke named fit-again flank Jacques du Plessis in his starting line-up to face DHL Western Province at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

This round two match in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division will see two new faces in the Blue Bulls starting pack that lost their season opener against the Xerox Golden Lions in Johannesburg last weekend.

Du Plessis comes in at flank after recovering from a broken jaw sustained in a pre-season match, with Jono Ross moving to no 8 and replacing Jacques Engelbrecht, who moves to the bench with Wiaan Liebenberg dropping out of the match 22.

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WP RugbyTiaan Liebenberg’s back problem has flared up again but that blow to DHL Western Province’s build-up to Saturday’s north/south Absa Currie Cup showdown with the Vodacom Blue Bulls has been offset by the news that as many as six top players will be returning to action this week.

Scarra Ntubeni is among those that will be assessed on Monday, and he will be an obvious replacement for Liebenberg at hooker should he be declared fit. Liebenberg is to undergo a scan to assess the severity of his injury but he will definitely miss the Bulls game.

The other players coming back into the system are Rynhardt Elstadt, who has been out since the early stages of Super Rugby, Brok Harris, Kurt Coleman, Jaco Taute and Ruan Botha. The latter should come in at No 5 lock, with Manuel Carizza moving to the front of the lineout as Eben Etzebeth will be the with the Boks this week.

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EP KingsDHL WPEP Kings (11) 16 / 35 (10) WP (Final Score)

The Eastern Province Kings and DHL Western Province did battle in the Currie Cup Premier Division at

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

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WP RugbyThere has been a late change to the DHL Western Province team for Friday night’s Absa Currie Cup clash against the EP Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (kick-off 19:10 SA Time).

At lock, Springbok squad member Eben Etzebeth will start on the bench, with youngster Jean Kleyn making his Absa Currie Cup debut in the No 4 jersey.

“We have monitored Eben’s workload at Springbok training this week, so we thought it would be prudent to start with him amongst the replacements on Friday,” explained DHL WP coach Allister Coetzee.

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WP RugbyJuan de JonghA new-look DHL Western Province team will head to Port Elizabeth to open their 2014 ABSA Currie Cup campaign against the Eastern Province Kings on Friday night (kick-off 19:10 SA Time).

Centre Juan de Jongh, in his first senior match as captain of DHL WP, will skipper a squad with eight ABSA Currie Cup debutants, but the 22-man group includes Springbok squad members Frans Malherbe and Eben Etzebeth.

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Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth

Frans Malherbe

Frans Malherbe

Two members of the Springboks’ Castle Lager Rugby Championship squad, Eben Etzebeth and Frans Malherbe, have been released to play in the opening round of the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division for DHL Western Province on Friday evening.

Both players are returning from long-term injuries and will be allowed some game time for WP to ease them back into the game.

Etzebeth’s last game was in November 2013, for the Springboks against France in Paris, where he picked up a foot injury. Malherbe has been out for more than three months with concussion.

“Following medical assessments and consultation between our medical team and those of the various provinces, it was decided to release Eben and Frans for this weekend,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

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EP KingsEastern Province Kings coach Carlos Spencer’s main focus is to keep his team relaxed this week as the team makes a return to the top echelon of Currie Cup rugby after many years in the wilderness.

On Tuesday, Spencer named Luke Watson as the captain ahead of Friday’s clash with Western Province at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

“We know that it is a big challenge, but this week has been about getting the players to enjoy the preparations and to plan for the game without putting too much pressure on them,” Spencer said.

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Jaco Taute

Jaco Taute

Jaco Taute has been ear marked as a potential centre option for Western Province should newly appointed captain Juan de Jongh get called up to the Springboks.

Taute, who usually finds himself in the No 15 jumper, is set to play a major role in Allister Coetzee’s Currie Cup squad with the coach also having a look into the Springbok as a potential captaincy replacement.

It would not be an unfamiliar role for the fullback having played in the centres at the highest level.

Taute made his international debut against the Wallabies in 2012 as a late inclusion into the squad, playing centre after Frans Steyn was ruled out with injury.

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Brok Harris

Juan ‘Brok’ Harris

Stormers and Western Province prop Brok Harris’s departure to Newport Gwent Dragons has been confirmed.

The Welsh club confirmed on their official website that the 29-year-old has penned a 3-year deal.

The experienced front row forward has made over 90 appearances for the Stormers since making his debut in 2007 and boasts more than 100 appearances for Western Province.

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Kick-off for 2014′s Currie Cup is almost upon us with a full set of fixtures scheduled for 9 August.

Sportingbet have come to the party by pricing up a market for the overall winner of this tournament.

With that in mind, here’s our take on who has a major shot at the trophy and which sides may struggle to keep up with the pace.

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DHL WP RugbyWestern Province’s preparations for their opening 2014 Currie Cup game have been hamstrung by the timing of the Springbok squad announcement which will be made in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Several Province players are expected to be named in the national squad which will play in the Rugby Championship next month and that will rule them out for Currie Cup duty.

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Vincent Jobo

Vincent “The Animal” Jobo

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs have picked up promising former Western Province Under 21 and UCT loose forward, Vincent Jobo, for their Absa Currie Cup campaign and a good showing may even lead to a Vodacom Super Rugby stint for the player nicknamed “The Animal.”

Jobo had an impressive Varsity Cup last year and is one of the rising stars of Cape Rugby. The decision to move to Bloemfontein for the Currie Cup is an excellent one for him as the former King Edward VII schoolboy has fought his way through the ranks and is now being rewarded for his form.

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Thelo Wakefield and Gert Smal

WPRU President, Thelo Wakefield and Director of Rugby, Gert Smal

Western Province Rugby Union president Thelo Wakefield says winning the 2014 Currie Cup is “non-negotiable” for the Capetonians.

Wakefield was left upset after the Stormers finished the Super Rugby season in a lowly 11th position – their worst effort since finishing 10th in 2009.

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Schalk Burger

Schalk Burger still has unfinished business with the Stormers and Boks

He didn’t get what he wanted from the last game of the Vodacom Super Rugby season, which was for his DHL Stormers team to buck the trend of failure in marquee matches, but typically that did not place a massive dent in Schalk Burger’s good humour afterwards.

“I’m not going to see you guys for a while. It would be nice to have you staying over with us in Japan sometime. Get an excuse to come and write about the South Africans playing in Japan and we will be happy to host you,” was the Stormers captain’s grinning parting statement as he left the Newlands boardroom following the post-match press conference after the defeat to the Sharks.

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Mitchell Carstens

Mitchell Carstens slips past two KwaZulu-Natal defenders

Rugby, or particularly junior rugby, is alive and well in the Western Cape. It is no surprise that they rule the roost in the under age groups, it’s a phenomena that we have come to expect and sometimes take for granted.

The challenge for the men in the board rooms of WP Rugby Union is how to hang onto all the talent. They are lambasted on an annual basis for those that they “let slip away” and credit for those they managed to secure is few and far between. Are we, as supporters, always fair in our criticism of our respective unions? How can anybody be 100% sure that a player will make the step up.

Tim Swiel is a good case in point, when news broke that he signed at the Sharks social network went into overdrive with unhappy Western Province supporters taking shots at Allister Coetzee, Rob Wagner and Thelo Wakefield. This was a kid who showed immense talent while playing for Bishops and then went on to help Western Province win the Under 21 Currie Cup.

Yet, hardly 6 months later he is being lambasted on rugby sites by Shark supporters who blame him for their loss against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein a week ago. Jake White, after losing Pat Lambie to injury in March, placed his faith in young Swiel, but that seems to also now be misplaced. Swiel has been dropped from the match 23 a week after he was the starting fly half.

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