It’s North vs South on Friday evening in Kimberley when Griquas take on Western Province in the 15th Vodacom Cup final. Fitting, given that these are the two sides which came out tops in the two pools.
WP have not lost a game this season, while Griquas were edged out just once – by the Lions.
Not only have these two sides collected the most log points, but they’ve also scored the most tries in the competition (Griquas with 40), but they’ve also conceded the least (WP with 16).
History suggests that the team from the Northern Cape are the favourites as not only are they playing in their seventh final, but are hosting their fourth and aiming for their fifth title. And of the three finals they have hosted in Kimberley, in 1998, 2005 and 2007, Griquas have never lost.
On the contrary, WP will be playing in their first-ever final. But this Capetonian team know how to win – in the last two seasons under coach John Dobson, they’ve only lost once, in last year’s quarter-finals.
Vodacom Cup Final
Griquas v Western Province
Date: Friday, May 18 2012
Venue: GWK Park, Kimberley
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge and Pieter Janse van Vuuren
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee
My prediction: WP by 5
Griquas: Francois Brummer, Rocco Jansen, PJ Vermeulen, Matthew Rosslee, Wilmaure Louw, Marnitz Boshoff, Jacques Coetzee; Leon Karemaker, Jonathan Adendorf, Jaco Nepgen, Ligtoring Landman, Edwin Hewitt, Lourens Adriaanse, Ryno Barnes (captain), Janro van Niekerk.
Bench: Simon Westraadt, Steph Roberts, Ivann Espag, Chase Minnaar, Marnus Hugo, Jean Stemmet, Rudi Vogt.
Western Province: Kurt Coleman, Danie Poolman, JP du Plessis, Marcel Brache, Ederies Arendse, Demetri Catrakilis, Nic Groom (vice-captain); Nick Fenton-Wells (captain), Tyrone Holmes, Rohan Kitshoff, Quinn Roux, Hilton Lobberts, Tom Botha, Sidney Tobias, Schalk Ferreira.
Bench (from): Rob Herring, Deon Carstens, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Reuben Johannes, Rick Schroeder, Mike van der Spuy, Berton Klaasen, Damian de Allende, Gerbrandt Grobler.
Road to the Final:
10 March: beat Boland 51-22 in Cape Town
17 March: beat the Sharks XV 17-15 in Durban
24 March: beat EP 30-25 in Cape Town
31 March: beat Border 31-7 in East London
14 April: beat Pampas XV 20-16 in Stellenbosch
21 April: beat SWD 29-14 in Oudtshoorn
28 April: beat Free State 42-31 in Durbanville
5 May: beat Golden Lions 58-34 in Cape Town (quarter-final)
12 May: beat Pumas 33-20 in Cape Town (semi-final)
10 March: beat Blue Bulls 36-17 in Pretoria
17 March: beat Griffons 55-10 in Kimberley
31 March: beat Pumas 21-20 in Witbank
14 April: lost to Golden Lions 35-30 in Kimberley
21 April: beat Leopards 42-40 in Potchefstroom
26 April: beat Valke 83-3 in Kimberley
4 May: beat Pampas XV 26-18 in Kimberley (quarter-final)
11 May: beat Blue Bulls 30-17 in Kimberley (semi-final)
Vodacom Cup Finals:
1998: Griquas beat Golden Lions 57-0
1999: Golden Lions beat Griquas 73-7
2000: Free State XV beat Griquas 44-24
2001: Blue Bulls beat Boland 42-24
2002: Golden Lions beat Blue Bulls 54-38
2003: Golden Lions beat Blue Bulls 26-17
2004: Golden Lions beat Blue Bulls 35-16
2005: Griquas beat Leopards 27-25
2006: Valke beat Sharks 25-17
2007: Griquas beat Blue Bulls 33-29
2008: Blue Bulls beat Free State 25-21
2009: Griquas beat Blue Bulls 28-19
2010: Blue Bulls beat Free State 31-29
2011: Pampas XV beat Blue Bulls 14-9