The Pumas also continued their fall from grace with a thrashing at the hands of the Bulls and Griquas smashed the EP Kings.
This week’s team includes four Western Province players, three Griquas, three Bulls, two Cheetahs, two Lions and a single Shark.
15 Clayton Blommetjies (Cheetahs):
The hot-stepping fullback seems to improve with every outing for the Cheetahs. He was once again at his elusive best in a losing cause against Western Province last weekend. The Cheetahs will be able to call on a few excitement machines in Super Rugby as they also have the services of Springbok Willie le Roux and Pumas playmaker Coenie van Wyk next season.
Understudy: Marnitz Boshoff (Lions)
14 Kobus van Wyk (Western Province):
Scored a winner in the dying stages against the Cheetahs. The speedy giant adds heaps of dimension to Province’s attack with his variety of skills.
Understudy: Ruan Combrinck (Lions)
13 Juan de Jongh (Western Province):
Captain fantastic was once again instrumental in his team’s cause against the Cheetahs. He scored twice and his vision resulted in Van Wyk’s winner. The best centre in the country at the moment.
Understudy: Francois Venter (Cheetahs)
12 Andre Esterhuizen (Sharks):
The beefy midfielder was at his bruising best against the Lions. With his immense physicality he plays very much like a loose forward for the Durbanites – he gives momentum with ball in hand, and halts it on defence. His try – where he busted past a number of defenders – illustrated exactly how dangerous he can be.
Understudy: Burger Odendaal (Bulls)
11 Sampie Mastriet (Bulls):
Yet another solid outing for the rangy sprinter. His speed and special awareness adds dimension to the Bulls that they may have been lacking in the past.
Understudy: Pat Howard (Western Province)
10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter (Bulls):
Potgieter has been the source of much of the Bulls’ success in recent weeks with his solid kicking, distribution and decision making. A true team man with a penchant for collecting points. It should be interesting to see what happens to him now that Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard is back in the Bulls mix.
Understudy: Demetri Catrakilis (Western Province)
9 Sarel Pretorius (Cheetahs):
The snappy scrumhalf has shown this season that he isn’t a mere ball runner. His distribution, vision and kicking game is on par with his devastating breaks. His influential play aided the Cheetahs in almost getting one over Province.
Understudy: Nic Groom (Western Province)
8 Nizaam Carr (Western Province):
What is there left to say about this immense player? He seems to tick all the boxes and then some on a weekly basis. He jumps, tackles, pilfers, runs, steps and scores. Carr is a true proverbial footballer.
Understudy: Tera Mtembu (Sharks)
7 Jaco Kriel (Lions):
Kriel, along with Carr, has been the most consistent loose forward in the Currie Cup this season. Kriel adds energy and aggression to the Lions on attack and defence.
Understudy: Jacques du Plessis (Bulls)
6 Marnus Schoeman (Griquas):
Schoeman’s season seemed to taper off slightly after a scintillating start, but the fetcher seemed to return to form against the EP Kings. He scored twice and was at his tormenting best at the breakdown.
Understudy: Deon Stegmann (Bulls)
5 Grant Hattingh (Bulls):
Hattingh is quickly establishing himself as one of the most consistent and dynamic second rowers in the country. He compliments his towering lineout play with dynamic running and a high work rate.
Understudy: Jaco Nepgen (Griquas)
4 Hugo Kloppers (Griquas):
The willing second rower was at his bustling best against the Kings. He jumped, tackled, rucked and scored – twice. Former Matie Kloppers isn’t the biggest lock going around, but he makes up for it with his lion-hearted approach and a wide range of skills.
Understudy: Paul Willemse (Bulls)
3 Pat Cilliers (Western Province):
Cilliers once again put in a strong shift at scrum time for Province. Complement this with dynamic play and an all-round presence on the park and you end up with a damn fine prop forward.
Understudy: Vincent Koch (Pumas)
2 Martin Bezuidenhout (Griquas):
The abrasive hooker was at the forefront of his side’s humiliation of the Kings with his amazing physical presence. His performance included a vital try.
Understudy: Scarra Ntubeni (Western Province)
1 Schalk van der Merwe (Lions):
The man nicknamed “Hond” has yet to find his match in the scrum this season. His scrumming will be vital in the latter stages of the competition.
Understudy: Thomas du Toit (Sharks)