Boks vs Buddies

It’s the “Boks vs Buddies” at Coke Park on Saturday evening … The Sharks will start with 13 internationals – scrumhalf Conrad Hoffman and lock Ross Skeate are the exceptions – including 7 Rugby World Cup Springboks. Along with 3 more former Boks on the bench.

On de udder hand Darren, the Lions have the younger but perhaps more settled squad with only 3 of them having donned the Green and Gold. CJ van der Linde and benchman Butch James were with the Boks at the RWC in New Zealand while flank come lock Wikus van Heerden is a former Bok.

So who will it be – the star studded banana boys, or the boytjies from Boksburg who have not seen that Currie Cup since 1999?

The Golden Lions named an unchanged match 22 from the team that beat Western Province. The only possible change is on the bench, where Jacobie Adriaanse has been bracketed with JC Janse van Rensburg as reserve prop.

The Sharks’ starting 15 is also unchanged from their win against the Cheetahs last weekend. On the bench, Alistair Hargreaves comes in for veteran loose forward Jacques Botes.

Amazing as it may seem, the last time the Golden Lions won an Absa Currie Cup Final at their home ground, was 61 years ago, when they were still called Transvaal and they beat Western Province by 22-11.

Since then the Johannesburg-based union have won finals in Wellington (beat Boland by 11-9 in 1952), Springs (beat the Valke by 25-19), Durban (beat The Sharks by 21-15 in 1993 and by 32-9 in 1999) and Bloemfontein (beat Free State by 56-33 in 1994).

The Sharks have a much better recent record having beaten the Blue Bulls 14-9 in 2008 and WP 30-10 last year. And further bad news for the Vaalies is that in four previous Currie Cup Finals between these two sides, the hosts have lost every single time.

Head to Head this year:

Lions 28-19 Sharks in Johannesburg
Lions 9-53 Sharks in Durban
Total: Played 15, Lions won 5, Sharks won 10

Head to Head in Currie Cup Finals:

Played 4, Lions won 2, Sharks won 2

On paper, and based on the above, the Sharks should edge this one, but in front of a packed Coke Park (which will be amazing – I was in the crowd for the 1995 RWC final) this band of brothers that John Mitchell has forged might just want it a little more. As is now the norm in modern day rugby, it will be the breakdown (including how it is officiated by Mark Lawrence – aka “The real Lawrence”) that will decide the match, and it is the way the Lions back 5 (locks and loosies) hammered WP last week in this department that is making me lean toward a Lions win.

The beer inducing match ups:

Lambie vs Taute
Jantjies vs Michalak
Kankowski vs Strauss
Van der Linde vs Du Plessis

Golden Lions v Sharks, Johannesburg 17:30

Referee: Mark Lawrence
Reserve referee: Marius Jonker
Assistant referees: Stefan Breytenbach and Christi du Preez
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen

My Prediction: Lions by 3

Golden Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Doppies la Grange, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7. Michael Rhodes, 6. Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 CJ van der Linde.

Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse/JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Warren Whiteley, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 20 Butch James, 21 Dylan Des Fountain, 22 James Kamana.

The Sharks: 15 Patrick Lambie, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Stefan Terblanche, 12 Marius Joubert, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Conrad Hoffmann, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Jean Deysel, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Eugene van Staden, 18 Alistair Hargreaves, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Adrian Jacobs, 22 Lwazi Mvovo.


Age Group Rugby

The finals of the Under-19 and Absa Under-21 Divisions also take place at Coke Park on Saturday …

 12h30 – Golden Lions U19 vs Blue Bulls U19

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Tiaan Jonker and Reuben Rossouw
Television match official: JC Fortuin

Golden Lions U19: 15 Marais Schmidt, 14 Tiaan Putter, 13 Jaco Viljoen, 12 JP du Plessis, 11 Errol Jaggers, 10 Duncan Campbell, 9 Vian van der Watt, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Stephan de Wit, 6 Stephan Nel, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Pieter Stemmet, 2 Mark Pretorius (captain), 1 Henri Boshoff.

Replacements: 16 Rikus van Niekerk, 17 Gideon Muller, 18 Johan Rautenbach, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Fabian Booysen, 21 Louis Nel, 22 Ruan Barnard, 23 Luqmaan Ismail.

Blue Bulls U19: 15 Juan Nel, 14 Richard Dean Gorrah, 13 William Small-Smith (captain), 12 Christopher Bosch, 11 Travis Ismaiel, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Nardus van der Walt, 7 Wiaan Liebenberg, 6 Shaun Adendorff, 5 Marvin Orrie, 4 Schalk van Heerden, 3 Hencus van Wyk, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Du Toit Genis.

Replacements: 16 Jason Thomas, 17 Christoph Gouws, 18 Herman Groenwald, 19 Cloete Wessels, 20 Abrie Griesel, 21 Andile Jho, 22 Stefan Willemse, 23 Nico van Vuuren.


14h30 – Blue Bulls U21 vs Sharks U21

Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge and Cobus Wessels
Television match official: Gerrie Coetzee

Blue Bulls U21: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Lohan Jacobs, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Jono Ross (captain), 6 Arno Botha, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Gerno Eksteen, 3 Gerhard Engelbrecht, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Juan Schoeman.

Replacements: 16 Jacques Momberg, 17 Basil Short, 18 JJ Breet, 19 Dalton Davis,20  Xander Redelinghuys, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Adri Jacobs.

Sharks U21: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Jaco van Tonder, 13 Piet Lindeque, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Sbura Sithole, 10 Paul Jordaan, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Brynard Stander, 6 Siseko Jafta, 5 Peet Marais, 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Monde Hadebe (captain), 1 Danie Mienie.

Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton, 17 Njabulo Mkize, 18 Mike Williams, 19 Chris Cloete, 20 Francois Kleinhans, 21 Fred Zeilinga, 22 Jared Meyer.

One Comment

Comments are closed.