The front-row battle will go a long way to deciding the destination of the famous Currie Cup trophy this weekend and scrum connoisseurs are looking forward to the clash between Sharks loosehead prop Thomas du Toit and Western Province tighthead Wilco Louw, both of whom are surely going to have long Springbok careers, at Kings Park on Saturday.
But Du Toit says he is just looking forward to locking horns with someone he considers to be a friend.
“Playing against Wilco is something I’ve done a few times and it’s nice to have a friend to scrum against. We became close playing for the SA U20s and the only thing I’d want to get back at him for would be snoring in the bedroom! We also competed in athletics against each other – shot-put, discus, hammer throw and javelin – and we’re part of the cauliflower brotherhood, we’re good friends.
“I think Wilco definitely thinks he has the edge in our contests, but Western Province have a very good pack and Wilco is their anchor. He’s one of the best scrummagers in South Africa at the moment and you have to give credit where it’s due,” Du Toit said.
The Sharks players are buzzing around like bees at Kings Park in anticipation of their first Currie Cup final at home since 2012, also against Western Province, which the visitors won 25-18. The following year, though, the Sharks travelled to Newlands and beat the hosts 33-19, for their most recent title.
“There’s a lot of nervous excitement, it’s always very special playing against Western Province, it doesn’t matter if it’s not even a semi-final or final, it’s always a cracker. Last week was only my second semi-final and I was actually much more nervous before that, it was a big relief to get that over with.
“Now this is the most important game of my life this weekend, that’s our mentality in preparing for it. It’s not necessarily a grudge match after they beat us two weeks ago, but it’s definitely about personal pride and that’s how I will get my mind ready,” Du Toit said.