Preview: Western Province v Griquas

Date published: September 4 2015

Western Province will be keen to return to the victory trail when they host Griquas in Cape Town on Saturday.

The defending champions are back at fortress Newlands and know anything less than a convincing victory will not satisfy their fervent home supporters, who are desperate for a victory.

This after WP suffered back-to-back away defeats against the Blue Bulls and the Free State Cheetahs in their two previous fixtures.

Province coach John Dobson and his troops are keen to right he wrongs from their two previous fixtures.

“It’s always great to be back home at Newlands," he said.

"Yes, it’s been a tough two weeks, nobody likes losing, but we are not about to panic. Instead, we remain determined to turn things around in front of the faithful on Saturday.”

WP have been boosted by the return of Springbok squad members Scarra Ntubeni (hooker) and Steven Kitshoff (prop) who return to Currie Cup action after they failed to make the Bok squad for the Rugby World Cup in England and Wales.

“Scarra and Kitsie will provide experience and energy up front and both are deserving of their starts, despite Kitsie joining us this week only," added Dobson.

Another player who has plenty to prove is their captain and number eight Nizaam Carr. The 24-year-old represented South Africa on their end-of-year tour to Europe in 2014 but is yet to deliver the form which made him a Bok last year.

If WP are determined to gain victory then Griquas must be desperate. The men from Kimberley are winless after four matches in the competition and languishing at the bottom of the table with just one point.

The Kimberley-based side's coach Hawies Fourie has rung the changes after last weekend's 46-32 defeat at home against the Blue Bulls. 

Amongst the backs, there are two changes. Jonathan Francke replaces Michael van der Spuy at outside centre while Ruhan Nel takes over from Ntabeni Dukisa on the left wing.

And up front, ex-Springbok Hilton Lobberts replaces Johan Wessels on the side of the scrum while Carel Greeff replaces RJ Liebenberg at number eight. Liebenberg shifts to the other flank where he replaces Jonathan Adendorf.

The final changes are in the front row where Stephan Kotze (tighthead prop) and Martin Bezuidenhout (hooker) come in for Ewald Van Der Westhuizen and AJ Le Roux respectively.

Prediction: The home side should take this one quite easily as Griquas are battling. WP to win by 15 points!

The teams:

Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr (c), 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Godlen Masimla, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Dillyn Leyds.

Griquas: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Sandile Ngcobo, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Ruhan Nel, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer (c), 8 Carel Greeff, 7 RJ Liebenberg, 6 Hilton Lobberts, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jaco Nepgen, 3 Stephan Kotze, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Steph Roberts. 
Replacements: 16 AJ Le Roux, 17  Danie Mienie, 18 Ewald Van Der Westhuizen, 19 Jonathan Adendorf, 20 Leon Karemaker, 21 Gouws Prinsloo,  22 Jacquin Jansen

Date: Saturday, September 5
Kick-off: 17:05 local (15:05 GMT)
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: Rodney Boneparte, Archie Sehlako
Television match official: Johan Greeff