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Currie Cup, WP, Sharks, MyPlayers
Currie Cup, WP, Sharks, MyPlayers

Exciting Currie Cup final expected in Durban

The Currie Cup Premier Division will reach an epic conclusion at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban on Saturday when the Cell C Sharks host DHL Western Province in their seventh Currie Cup Final since 1984.

The clash will cap off a memorable weekend of top rugby action, which kicks off on Friday at 18h30 in Kimberley where the Tafel Lager Griquas will host Currie Cup First Division champions, the Down Touch Griffons, in a promotion-relegation match for a place in the Currie Cup Premier Division next season.

The action continues in Durban on Saturday where the SA Rugby 19 Championship Final between the Vodacom Blue Bulls and DHL Western Province and the SA Rugby U21 Championship Final between the Xerox Golden Lions and Toyota Free State Cheetahs will be played as curtain-raisers to the Currie Cup Final at off at 11h00 at 13h00 respectively.

And in Cape Town, DirectAxis False Bay will host Go Nutz College Rovers in the Gold Cup Final at the Phillip Herbstein Field at 14h30.

While DHL Western Province won nine of their 13 matches this season, the Cell C Sharks have lost only two matches – one of which was a 31-20 defeat against the Capetonians in their final pool match in Durban two weeks ago. The other was a 47-12 defeat against defending champions, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, in the opening round.

The KwaZulu-Natalians, however, pipped DHL Western Province 21-20 in Cape Town in the first half of the competition in August.
Looking back at the recent history of Currie Cup encounters between these two coastal rivals, the biggest winning margin between the sides in their last 11 Currie Cup matches is 17 points, and in their last two Currie Cup Finals 14 points.

Cell C Sharks coach Robert du Preez made only one injury-enforced change to his team with veteran winger Odwa Ndungane replacing Sbu Nkosi who has been ruled out with a dislocated elbow. This resulted in Rhyno Smith being included among the replacements.

Du Preez was delighted hosting the Final in Durban and said: “Playing a final in front of your home crowd is the ultimate honour, and our players are excited to run out on Saturday in front of a passionate home crowd and to give it their all.

“This is what we’ve played for throughout this campaign and a home final means everything to us. This is our final 80 minutes of rugby for the season and nothing but our best will be good enough. Sticking to what has worked for us, our game management and backing our systems is key.”

DHL Western Province coach John Dobson made three personnel changes and two positional switches to his starting team with Damian Willemse returning to the run-on side at fullback, while Dillyn Leyds moves to the wing and Ruhan Nel to the midfield as replacement for the injured EW Viljoen.

In the two changes to the loose trio, flankers Cobus Wiese and Sikhumbuzo Notshe take over from Kobus van Dyk and Jaco Coetzee respectively. Van Dyk has been named on the bench while Coetzee has been ruled out due to concussion.
Dobson said: “It is a privilege for us to be involved in a Currie Cup Final and the players are determined to do our union and our faithful supporters proud on Saturday.

“We have grown so much as a team this season and we have a chance to end it by lifting the Currie Cup trophy, so we want to make the most of every minute at Growthpoint Kings Park.”

In a special treat for fans at Growthpoint Kings Park, competition partners DirectAxis will again capture supporters at on the FANCAM, which will enable them to find and tag themselves on an interactive 360o image and share it on their social media accounts. Fans who register on before the game will be notified when the image goes live.

Currie Cup Fixtures (Saturday, 28 October):

Currie Cup Final – Cell C Sharks v DHL Western Province

Cell C Sharks – Garth April, Kobus van Wyk, Lukhanyo Am, Marius Louw, Odwa Ndungane, Curwin Bosch, Louis Schreuder, Daniel du Preez, Jean-Luc du Preez, Keegan Daniel, Ruan Botha (captain), Tyler Paul, Ross Geldenhuys, Franco Marais, Thomas du Toit. Replacements: Akker van der Merwe, Juan Schoeman, John-Hubert Meyer, Jean Droste, Jacques Vermeulen, Michael Claassens, Tristan Blewett.

DHL Western Province – Damian Willemse, Seabelo Senatla, Ruhan Nel, Huw Jones, Dillyn Leyds, Robert du Preez, Dewaldt Duvenage, Nizaam Carr, Cobus Wiese, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, JD Schickerling, Chris van Zyl (capt), Wilco Louw, Bongi Mbonambi, JC Janse van Rensburg. Replacements: Ramone Samuels, Ali Vermaak, Frans van Wyk, Jan de Klerk, Kobus van Dyk, Jano Vermaak, Werner Kok, Dan Kriel.

Venue: Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 16h00
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: Egon Seconds & AJ Jacobs
TMO: Marius Jonker

SA Rugby U21 Championship Final – Vodacom Blue Bulls v DHL Western Province
Venue: Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 13h00
Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys
Assistant Referees: Archie Sehlako & Ruhan Meiring
TMO: Christie du Preez

SA Rugby U19 Championship Final – Xerox Golden Lions v Toyota Free State Cheetahs
Venue: Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 11h00
Referee: Vusi Msibi
Assistant Referees: Archie Sehlako & Ruhan Meiring
TMO: Willie Vos

Currie Cup Promotion-Relegation match – Tafel Lager Griquas v Down Touch Griffons (Friday, 27 October)
Venue: Tafel Lager Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 18h30
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: Rasta Rasivhenge & Ben Crouse
TMO: Pro Legoete

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