George Germishuys
7 minute read
8 Sep 2014
2:20 pm

The Currie Cup Best XV – Week Five

George Germishuys

Western Province, Bulls, Griquas and Pumas all emerged victorious from their Currie Cup clashes last weekend, and as a result The Citizen's weekly XV is dominated by players from these unions.

FILE PICTURE: Corne Fourie of the Steval Pumas during the Absa Currie Cup match between Cell C Sharks and Steval Pumas. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Bias seems to be a contentious issue in selecting such teams, but few can argue that WP and the Pumas have been the form sides and as a result have the most number of form players.

Griquas and Pumas also showed that there is no such thing as a minnow union with their victories, and the Peacock Blues were especially good value in their win over the Sharks.

This week’s team contains four Province players, four Pumas, three Griquas, two Cheetahs, one Bull and one Lion.

15 – Cheslin Kolbe (Western Province):

FILE PICTURE: Cheslin Kolbe of the Stormers during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Cell C Sharks. Picture: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images.

FILE PICTURE: Cheslin Kolbe of the Stormers during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Cell C Sharks. Picture: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images.

The pocket rocket is well on his way to establishing himself as one of the globe’s most exciting players. He gave a polished tactical performance against the Kings, but capped it with a brutal display of pace and elusive running to dot down for Province.

Understudy: Andries Coetzee (Lions)

14 – Jerome Pretorius (Pumas):

FILE PICTURE: Jerome Pretorius of the Steval Pumas during the Absa Currie Cup match between Steval Pumas and Toyota Free State Cheetahs. Picture: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Jerome Pretorius of the Steval Pumas during the Absa Currie Cup match between Steval Pumas and Toyota Free State Cheetahs. Picture: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

Pretorius has proven himself to be a hearty, strong runner with ball in hand. His performance against the Cheetahs proved this once again. He will torment many defenders in games to come.

Understudy: Kobus van Wyk (Western Province)

13 – Juan de Jongh (Western Province):

FILE PICTURE:  Juan de Jongh during the DHL Western Province training session. Photo by Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Juan de Jongh during the DHL Western Province training session. Photo by Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

The Province skipper has not put a foot wrong in the Currie Cup thus far. His overall game was once again on point against the Kings last weekend. His solid running, defensive and distributional performance included no less than two tries. A true captain’s innings. One hopes that the Springbok powers that be cast a slight gander on Province’s play to see what they could have had in midfield.

Understudy: Paul Jordaan (Sharks)

12 – Francois Venter (Cheetahs):

FILE PICTURE: Francois Venter of the Free State Cheetahs during the Absa Currie Cup match between Steval Pumas and Toyota Free State Cheetahs. Picture: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Francois Venter of the Free State Cheetahs during the Absa Currie Cup match between Steval Pumas and Toyota Free State Cheetahs. Picture: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

The hefty skipper once again put in a valiant effort in a losing cause against the Pumas last weekend. Venter, one of the most consistent midfielders in South Africa, threw caution to the wind when attacking the gainline and tackled with aplomb.

Understudy: Heimar Williams (Sharks)

11 – Ruan Combrinck (Lions):

FILE PICTURE: Ruan Combrinck during the Lions training session. Picture: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Ruan Combrinck during the Lions training session. Picture: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images

The versatile back seems to have found his niche on the wing. The spot gives him freedom to display his considerable range of wares, and he did just that against the Bulls last weekend. He rounded out his all-round solid display with a superb goal kicking effort.

Understudy: Rosko Specman (Pumas)

10 – Francois Brummer (Griquas):

FILE PICTURE: Francois Brummer of the Griquas during the Absa Currie Cup match between Steval Pumas and GWK Griquas. Picture: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Francois Brummer of the Griquas during the Absa Currie Cup match between Steval Pumas and GWK Griquas. Picture: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

Brummer proved pivotal to the Griquas’ cause in their victory over the Sharks, as he was moved back into his preferred No 10 jersey. The added pressure of the captain’s armband seemed to work wonders as Brummer was instrumental on all fronts for the Peacock Blues. He also displayed his BMT with a last minute dropgoal to seal the deal for his side.

Understudy: Justin van Staden (Pumas)

9 – Sarel Pretorius (Cheetahs):

 

FILE PICTURE: Sarel Pretorius of the Toyota Cheetahs during the Super Rugby match between Cell C Sharks and Toyota Cheetahs. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Sarel Pretorius of the Toyota Cheetahs during the Super Rugby match between Cell C Sharks and Toyota Cheetahs. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

The wily veteran proved that he hasn’t lost a yard of pace or his eye for a gap against the Pumas. Despite playing behind a retreating pack, Pretorius proved not only his attacking worth, but also his tactical acumen in a losing cause.

Understudy: Tiaan Meyer (Griquas)

8 – Renaldo Bothma (Pumas):

FILE PICTURE: Renaldo Bothma of the Steval Pumas during the Absa Currie Cup match between Steval Pumas and Cell C Sharks. Picture: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Renaldo Bothma of the Steval Pumas during the Absa Currie Cup match between Steval Pumas and Cell C Sharks. Picture: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

 

The standout player in the Currie Cup thus far, Bothma was once again at his bruising best against the Cheetahs in his 50th game. Bothma ticks all the boxes of modern loose forward play every time he steps onto the pitch – ruthless carries, cruel hits, deft distribution and a high work rate.

Understudy: Nizaam Carr (Western Province)

7 – Carel Greeff (Griquas):

FILE PICTURE: Carel Greeff (Griquas Debut) during the Absa Currie Cup match between The Sharks and GWK Griquas. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Carel Greeff (Griquas Debut) during the Absa Currie Cup match between The Sharks and GWK Griquas. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Greeff was at his boisterous best against the Sharks with his uncompromising running lines. The Griquas gained their momentum from his strong carries.

Understudy: Jacques du Plessis (Bulls)

6 – Siya Kolisi (Western Province):

FILE PICTURE: Siya Kolisi during the DHL Western Province training session. Picture: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Siya Kolisi during the DHL Western Province training session. Picture: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

 

Kolisi reacted to his Springbok snub in the grandest of manners by rediscovering his strengths and his form for the Streeptruie. Kolisi gave a powerful performance in all facets against the Kings.

Understudy: Marnus Schoeman (Griquas)

5 – Ruan Botha (Western Province):

FILE PICTURE: Ruan Botha of Western Province during the Absa U21 final match between DHL Western Province and Vodacom Blue Bulls. Picture: Petri Oeschger/Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Ruan Botha of Western Province during the match between DHL Western Province and Vodacom Blue Bulls. Picture: Petri Oeschger/Gallo Images

 

The ludicrously large second rower was supreme in his Currie Cup debut for Western Province. Not only was he the boss of the lineout and the physical confrontation, Botha also proved that there is some sizzle to his steak with a variety of flair laden running lines and off loads. Add to that an astronomical work rate, and you may just have the ingredients of a star player.

Understudy: Franco Mostert (Lions)

4 – Hilton Lobberts (Griquas):

FILE PICTURE: Hilton Lobberts of Griquas during the Absa Currie Cup match between Vodacom Blue Bulls and Griquas. Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Hilton Lobberts of Griquas during the Absa Currie Cup match between Vodacom Blue Bulls and Griquas. Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

 

Lobberts seems to be playing some of his best rugby since he moved to Kimberley. The tough customer was brutal in his physicality and he helped to light the spark that eventually resulted in a Griquas victory.

Understudy: Paul Willemse (Bulls)

3 – Vincent Koch (Pumas):

FILE PICTURE: Vincent Koch during the Absa Currie Cup promotion and relegation match between Steval Pumas and GWK Griquas. Picture: Manus van Dyk/Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Vincent Koch during the Absa Currie Cup promotion and relegation match between Steval Pumas and GWK Griquas. Picture: Manus van Dyk/Gallo Images

 

Koch seems to be one of the most consistent scrummagers in the Currie Cup. The Pumas prop has yet to find his match at scrum time.

Understudy: Werner Kruger (Bulls)

2 – Bongi Mbonambi (Bulls):

FILE PICTURE: Bongi Mbonambi of the Blue Bulls. Picture: Steve Haag / Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Bongi Mbonambi of the Blue Bulls. Picture: Steve Haag / Gallo Images

 

Mbonambi is relishing the chance of finally getting some game time at the Bulls, and his bullish mood seems to be resulting in some quality displays in the hooker berth. Mbonambi is an all-round quality player that rarely commits an error.

Understudy: Frankie Herne (Pumas)

1 – Corne Fourie (Pumas):

FILE PICTURE: Corne Fourie of the Steval Pumas during the Absa Currie Cup match between Cell C Sharks and Steval Pumas. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Corne Fourie of the Steval Pumas during the Absa Currie Cup match between Cell C Sharks and Steval Pumas. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

 

Together with Koch he forms an imposing scrum unit. Add to that his overall work-rate and tackle count and you get the form loosehead of the Currie Cup.

Understudy: Dean Greyling (Bulls)