Western Province lock Andries Bekker must prove on Saturday that he truly belongs with the best locks in the world if the Blue Bulls are to be stopped from reaching their second consecutive ABSA Currie Cup final.
The Western Province Springbok, although contributing hugely in general play, looked well short of his best in the lineouts in the last two WP matches against the Lions and the Boland Cavaliers. They were Bekker’s first full matches in a while following a long injury layoff which preceded the Springbok international season.
But if the Bulls think that Bekker’s average showing in the lineouts in those games was a reason for optimism, they could be in for a surprise. While WP coach Allister Coetzee stopped short of describing the system used by WP in the last two games as a ruse, he left little to the imagination when asked about it this week.
“Let’s just say that there were reasons for that and it is related to Saturday’s game but I don’t want to talk about it,” said Coetzee.
Xerox Lions hooker Hans van Dyk has been cited for allegedly biting Vodacom Western Province flanker Francois Louw on the forearm during the first half of an Absa Currie Cup Premier Division match in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Van Dyk was cited by commissioner, Attorney Mr Andy Prior of Durban, after reviewing video and other evidence.
Van Dyk is currently on leave and out of the country. A date for the hearing will be set on his return.
The Cheetahs again had the Leopards‘ number when they ran in a convincing 60-17 victory over their North Western neighbours in their Currie Cup match in a wet Bloemfontein on Friday night. The Leopards started and finished with a bang, but the fireworks were delivered by a slick Cheetahs side who ran the Leopards ragged in difficult conditions.
Western Province secured a 2009 Currie Cup home semifinal berth in superb fashion with an emphatic 50-7 win over neighbours the Boland Kavaliers in the Absa Currie Cup derby at a sun-drenched Newlands on Saturday afternoon. Admittedly, the Boland side never at any stage looked like posing a threat to the vastly superior Province side, but they provided the ‘soft’ sort of opposition that was ideal preparation for the Newlands-based outfit ahead of the semifinal in a fortnight’s time. Province served notice at the outset that they were there to play open rugby, and conditions at Newlands were ideal. At the end of it all, Province matched the sizzling hot weather with seven well-taken tries, against one from Boland.
The Blue Bulls moved to third place on the Currie Cup log when they beat Griquas 61-27 at Loftus on Saturday, and with the win dented their opposition’s hopes of playing in the semifinals. The Blue Bulls ran in eight tries to Griquas’ four, and were in complete control from just after midway through the first half, with Griquas getting little possession. The reality, however, is that the Blue Bulls did not look like possible Currie Cup champions except in spurts, when they were really impressive.
The hearing, which started on Monday, was adjourned on Tuesday after no conclusion had been reached.
“In reference to the arbitration between Jaque Fourie and the Golden Lions Rugby Union, no finality has been reached at this stage.
“As such, the hearing has been adjourned to reconvene on Monday, 12 October 2009,” read a brief statement by the GLRU.
Western Province stormed into the Currie Cup play-offs with a rousing 43-3 win over Griquas in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division match at Newlands on Saturday afternoon. Province crowned their victory with a bonus point after they managed five tries against a side that scored a shock victory over them in first-round competition. A heavy downpour and a soggy pitch greeted the teams as they ran out. As a result of the heavy underfoot conditions play was frequently punctuated by knock-ons, dropped passes and spilt
The Sharks beat the lowly Leopards 34-20 in their match in Durban on Friday night and also added a bonus point to their log tally, but the Leopards would have been the happier of the two teams at full-time. Without six of their regulars, who were either injured or rested, the North West side – second from last with only one win from 11 matches before the game – tackled their hearts out and really took it to the Sharks, who had a number of their Tri-Nations Springboks back on the field.
The Blue Bulls started off at a tremendous tempo and obviously intent on getting a bonus point fifer, but in the end they had to pull out all the stops to prevent the Free State Cheetahs from scoring the winning try at Loftus on Saturday. Both sides scored three tries in the Blue Bulls’ 30-27 Currie Cup win.
Source + Pic: sarugby.com
Chavhanga was not at Western Province training on Monday as his wife was expecting his first child, but it has been confirmed that the wing has been in talks with the Johannesburg union and his agent, Neil Minnaar, told a Cape newspaper that Chavhanga has signed a two-year contract.
It is understood that Chavhanga was unhappy when he heard that Province have lured Springbok Bryan Habana to the Cape from the Bulls, and was less than pleased at the prospect of having to battle Habana, Sireli Naqelevuki and Nick Koster for a place in the Stormers starting team in the Super 14 season.
Potchefstroom’s main road through town on the way to Cape Town could aptly be renamed Luke Watson Drive after the Western Province captain set up his team’s 37-3 Currie Cup victory over the Leopards on Friday night. Watson scored two vital tries in the second half, tailing behind the Western Province drives, and set up a third in similar fashion for centre Juan de Jongh. Province scored five tries, three as a result of their forward drives and two by their quick backs Joe Pietersen and Gio Aplon, but the Leopards deserve much more credit than their single penalty goal might indicate.
Griquas came from behind in a hard-fought match on Saturday to beat the Lions 36-31 and keep their Currie Cup playoff hopes alive with flyhalf Naas Olivier contributing 26 points in a faultless display of goal kicking. It was a tough encounter on the hard field of Hoërskool Diamantveld where the match had to be moved because of the GWK Stadium being used for a soccer fixture. Although the commitment of the two sides cannot be faulted, too many handling mistakes and some poor options distracted from making it an outstanding match.
The Blue Bulls ran the Boland Kavaliers off their feet on Saturday, beating the home team 72-16 after leading 22-16 at halftime. The Bulls, who took total control in the second half, scored 10 tries to one and got their bonus point try in the 49th minute when replacement flanker Derick Kuun dotted down his first of three tries. With a well-deserved victory and an easy five points the Bulls are firmly in contention for a place in the play-offs. The Bulls scored 50 unanswered points in the last 40 minutes and destroyed the Boland defence.
The Sharks returned to the top of the Currie Cup log when they beat the Free State Cheetahs 24-13 in a fast-moving match in Durban on Saturday, also bringing an end to the Cheetahs’ six-match winning streak.