Currie Cup Team Of The Week

Currie Cup Team of the Week

Multi-skilled Reniel Hugo headlines our Shark-infested Currie Cup Team of the Week, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld. 

The second-rower is one of five Sharks players in our side following the Durbanites’ 45-31 bonus-point win over the Lions at Ellis Park, which shot them to the top of the table. 

Saturday’s other fixture also saw victory for the visiting team as the Cheetahs came away from Nelspruit with a 28-17 win over the Pumas. 

Griquas, however, made the most of home ground advantage when they pipped Western Province 22-20 to kick-off the fourth round on Friday night.

The Cheetahs, Griquas and Western Province all have three representatives in our team, which is rounded out by a promising Lions greenhorn.

15: Quan Horn (Lions)

A solid all-round performance from the Lions rookie, who has a world of potential. Used his big left boot to good effect and created Divan Rossouw’s try with a great chicken wing offload.

14: Sergeal Petersen (Western Province)

Showed off both sides of his attacking game. Was the most elusive man in Kimberley, beating several defenders with his dancing shoes, and demonstrated his power when he bumped off Luther Obi.

13: Jeremy Ward (Sharks)

A leader in the Currie Cup set-up and that shone through. He’s the enforcer of the backline and made that known early on with a hard hit on Emmanuel Tshituka. Ran some great lines and showed the subtlety to his game with a clever delayed pass to Marnus Potgieter to score. 

12: Frans Steyn (Cheetahs)

Cornel Smit and Murray Koster both made strong cases with all-round efforts. Steyn made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes but carved out both of the Cheetahs’ first-half tries, the first with a monster penalty kick to set up a driving maul and the second with a deft grubber off the left boot. Struck a late long-range penalty goal as well.

11: Lionel Zas (Western Province)

The danger man for Western Province on the day. Worked hard and bagged a brace for his efforts. The first was an opportunistic try from a ruck, from where he nearly struck again in the final play of the first half. Spun out of tackles and dotted down late to give his side a sniff. 

10: Theo Boshoff (Griquas)

A mature performance that belies his age and experience. Tactically intelligent and accurate but also produced a few dynamic plays such as a ripping turnover and a breakaway to pick up the Man of the Match award.

9: Ruan Pienaar (Cheetahs)

Marshalled the Cheetahs with aplomb. A composed commander, an invaluable communicator and contributed 10 points off the tee. Stefan Ungerer had a similar influence for Griquas while Cameron Wright had an edge to him and scored down the blindside but conceded a yellow card. 

8: Mpilo Gumede (Sharks)

Had an excellent back-and-forth battle with Emmanuel Tshituka. Put his body on the line and showed some impressive soccer skills to dribble a rolling ball ahead and dive onto it for a try. Also produced a vital lineout steal in his 22 in the 33rd minute.

7: Thembelani Bholi (Sharks)

A busy bully. Looked like a man against boys as he smashed over the gain line every single time. That power and productivity saw him muscle over for a five-pointer and win a maul turnover. Vincent Tshituka was terrific as well.

6: Neil Otto (Griquas)

A perfect performance to establish himself as captain in the injury-enforced absence of Ruan Steenkamp. Led from the front in every facet, seized a textbook jackal in the 29th minute, made a try-saving stop on Nama Xaba and was prominent in the maul try.

5: Reniel Hugo (Sharks) – Player of the Week

Stood head and shoulders above the rest. Uncompromising on both sides of the ball, ruled the lineouts – not only as the banker option to structure driving mauls around but also disrupting the Lions’ ball – and executed a chip any flyhalf would be proud of, which led to Gumede’s try. 

4: Aidon Davis (Cheetahs)

The V8 engine of the Cheetahs on the day. His tireless motor and horsepower in the collisions were immense. All over the place, including being a menace at the breakdown, and full value for the Man of the Match award.

3: Andries Schutte (Griquas)

A titan off the bench. Perhaps not as electrifying as a backline super-sub, but make no mistake, Schutte was a game-changer. His show of force at scrum time saw Griquas twice push Province off their own ball and reaped a few penalties. Crashed over for a try to cap a colossal cameo.

2: Fez Mbatha (Sharks)

Provided one of the highlights of the weekend when he hooked a brilliant, rarely-seen tighthead that led to a try for Wright. Flawless with his lineout throwing and made a burly carry down the right touchline. 

1: Ali Vermaak (Western Province)

Gave Western Province an all-important leg-up in the scrums and won two penalties. It was once he signed off in the 46th minute that the pendulum swung so drastically.

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Author: editor

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