Planet Rugby

Currie Cup preview: Sharks v Griquas

11th October 2012 10:00

Share:

Keegan Daniel Sharks v Griquas CC 2012

Sharks v Griquas: Must-win match for the men from Kimberley

The Currie Cup's final round of league matches takes place this weekend with only two teams assured of a play-off berth.

The South African Rugby Union has to be commended for their decision to decrease the number of teams in the Premier Division from eight to six as it has certainly made the standard of play better.

There were much less one-sided encounters this year - something which was becoming a frequent occurrence when the tournament's stronger unions played against their less-fancied counterparts in previous seasons.

The return of the Springboks from Rugby Championship duty to their various unions is another factor which will raise the standard of play during this last round of fixtures.

The weekend's action kicks off on Friday when the table-topping Sharks host this season's surprise package, fourth-placed Griquas, at Kings Park in Durban.

Saturday sees Western Province hosting the Free State Cheetahs at Newlands in Cape Town and on the same day the Blue Bulls face their neighbours, the Lions, at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg.

Currie Cup betting odds...

Fixtures:

Friday, 12 October
Sharks v Griquas
Saturday, 13 October
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs
Golden Lions v Blue Bulls

Standings:
1. Sharks 30
2. Golden Lions 28
3. Western Province 20
4. Griquas 20
5. Free State Cheetahs 18
6. Blue Bulls 18


Sharks v Griquas
Kings Park Stadium, Durban

The Sharks will be grateful for the favour that Griquas did for them by beating the Golden Lions in Kimberley last week.

Griquas' 37-21 triumph over the champions meant that the Sharks moved to the top of the standings after their 37-30 victory over the Cheetahs and secures them a home final if they should win their semi-final which will also be in Durban.

John Plumtree's charges will, however, be out for revenge as they suffered a similar fate to the Lions when they lost the 22-15 to the tournament's underdogs in the corresponding fixture in Kimberley last month.

The hosts will thus be going all out to turn the tables on Pote Human's side and ensuring an easier path to a potential home final.

"We've put ourselves in a nice position, but we know how tough Griquas are," Plumtree said.

"They've knocked off almost everyone this year, so it's going to be a tough match.

"We've got a lot of respect for them. In the past we haven't had too much trouble with them, especially here in Durban, but we think this side's got a little bit more to them."

All eyes will be on Sharks pivot Patrick Lambie who after spending the Springboks' entire Rugby Championship campaign on the replacements bench finally makes a start in a competitive match.

Human's troops also have plenty at stake in this clash and a victory will secure them a place in the semi-finals.

Griquas enjoy running from all areas of the field and have two of the competition's most devastating counter-attackers in full-back Willie le Roux and left wing Rocco Jansen.

Prediction: Although the Sharks are not starting with all their returning Boks Plumtree's trump card could be his replacements bench which contains several experienced campaigners. If things don't go according to plan he will surely introduce them to the fray and this will prove the difference between the sides. Sharks to win by 12 points.

The teams:

Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Jandre Marais, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18 Peet Marais, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Lwazi Mvovo.

Griquas: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Jean Stemmet, 12 Walter Venter, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Leon Karemaker, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Ligtoring Landman, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes (c), 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Matt Dobson, 17 Ivann Espag, 18 Edwin Hewitt, 19 Wesley Wilkins, 20 Jacques Coetzee, 21 Marnitz Boshoff, 22 Richard Lawson.

Kick-off:19:10 (18:10 BST, 17:10 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Preview
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Glasgow vs UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Preview
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs BluesHurricanes vs Blues Preview
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954