The Currie Cup draws to a conclusion this weekend, with Western Province hosting the Sharks at Newlands in the final on Saturday afternoon. Province went through the round robin undefeated, but were a tad lucky to edge the plucky Blue Bulls in their home semifinal. They however had to play 100 minutes against Pote Human’s side, and those extra 20 minutes of rugby may count against some of their players in the latter stages of this final. The Sharks were in control for most of their semifinal against the Lions, but managed to overcome a second half comeback from the men from Transvaal.
Province beat the Sharks in Round-Robin, but Currie Cup finals between these two sides in recent years have shown an unusual trend- the visitor tends to the victor. However the bookies clearly seem to favour Province, whose coach John Dobson has chosen to play Damian Willemse at inside centre. This is therefor a WP squad with Josh Stander at 10, Willemse at 12, goal kicker SP Marais on the wing, and Dillyn Leyds at 15. Somewhat surprisingly, there is no place for Juarno Augustus in the Match Day 23. However Trokkie’s fellow JWC 2017 stars– the likes of Bosch, Van Rhyn, Willemse and Moerat, will all feature in this final.
The Sharks have opted mostly for continuity, but have restored Jean-Luc du Preez to the starting XV, meaning Jacques Vermeulen drops to the bench. Aphelele Fassi plays at wing in place of the concussed Lwazi Mvovo.
Odds on Sharks beating WP in the Currie Cup final: 21/10
Odds on WP beating Sharks in 2018 CC final: 1/2
Western Province Currie Cup team final 2018:
Backs (15-9): Dillyn Leyds, Sergeal Petersen, Ruhan Nel, Damian Willemse, SP Marais, Josh Stander, Jano Vermaak
Forwards (8-1🙂 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Ernst van Rhyn, Kobus van Dyk, JD Schickerling, Chris van Zyl (c), Wilco Louw, Bongi Mbonambi, Alistair Vermaak
Bench (16-23): Scarra Ntubeni, Caylib Oosthuizen, Michael Kumbirai, Salmaan Moerat, Jaco Coetzee, Herschel Jantjies, Dan Kriel, JJ Engelbrecht
Sharks Currie Cup Final Team 2018
Backs (15-9:) Curwin Bosch,S’bu Nkosi, Jeremy Ward, Marius Louw, Aphelele Fassi, Robert du Preez, Louis Schreuder (c)
Forwards (8-1:) Daniel du Preez, Jean-Luc du Preez, Tyler Paul, Hyron Andrews, Gideon Koegelenberg,Thomas du Toit, Akker van der Merwe, Juan Schoeman
Bench (16-23:) Chiliboy Ralepelle, Mzamo Majola, Coenie Oosthuizen, Jacques Vermeulen, Luke Stringer, Cameron Wright, Kobus van Wyk, Leolin Zas.