NEWS ARTICLES
Currie Cup set for thrilling finale in Cape Town
October 25, 2018
The Currie Cup will reach a thrilling conclusion in Cape Town on Saturday when the unbeaten DHL Western Province will set their sights on a fairy-tale finish to the season against a Cell C Sharks side determined to avenge defeat in last year’s final.

The match, which marks the ninth time the sides battle it out for the title since 1984, will be the last of three finals played at DHL Newlands on Saturday. Kick-off in the final of the Currie Cup Premier Division – sponsored by Nashua and DirectAxis Financial Services – is at 16h00.

The day’s action will kick off at 11h00 with the SA Rugby U19 Championship final between the Vodacom Blue Bulls and Cell C Sharks, which will be followed by the SA Rugby U21 Championship final between the Vodacom Blue Bulls and Xerox Golden Lions at 13h00.

DHL Western Province, who will be hunting back-to-back titles, will enter the match on a seven-match winning streak, although their 100-minute extravaganza in the semi-final against the Vodacom Blue Bulls will undoubtedly serve as a stark reminder that anything can happen in finals rugby.

The Cell C Sharks, meanwhile, have suffered only one defeat this season, and that was a 50-28 loss against DHL Western Province in the Mother City.

This, combined with the fresh memories of their home defeat in last year’s Currie Cup final, in which they allowed a 21-15 halftime lead to slip out of their hands, will fuel the Durbanites’ determination to topple the hosts this weekend.

The teams have met in three Currie Cup finals at DHL Newlands since 1984, and the hosts won two of those, although they went down 33-19 in the last one in 2013.

The Capetonians have been superior on attack and defence this season, but only marginally, with 40 tries scored and 145 points conceded to 32 tries scored and 157 points conceded by the Cell C Sharks, which will set the scene for an entertaining clash.

The Springbok duo of Sikhumbuzo Notshe (No 8) and Jano Vermaak (scrumhalf) will both return from injury for the final and will start the match for DHL WP.

The only other change sees Josh Stander come into the starting XV at flyhalf, with Damian Willemse shifting to inside centre. Dan Kriel will join Hersel Jantjies on the bench, while Juarno Augustus and Paul de Wet drop out of the match-23.

The Cell C Sharks team show just two changes to the team that defeated the Xerox Golden Lions last week. Tyler Paul shifts into Jacques Vermeulen’s position on the side of the scum, allowing an opening for Jean-Luc du Preez to gain his first start for the Cell C Sharks in this year’s competition. In the other change, Aphelele Fassi replaces Lwazi Mvovo, who was concussed in last week’s match.

The battle between the place-kickers, DHL Western Province wing SP Marais, and Cell C Sharks flyhalf Robert du Preez, is expected to be decisive. Marais is the top points’ scorer in the competition with 121 points, which includes 15 penalty goals and 28 conversions, but Du Preez has also been effective with the boot kicking six penalty goals and 20 conversions for a total of 58 points.

From the eight previous finals between these two coastal giants, DHL WP have won five (1984, 2000, 2001, 2012 and 2017), while the Cell C Sharks three (1995, 2010, 2013).

In a special treat for fans at DHL Newlands, competition partners DirectAxis Financial Services, 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 www.directaxis.fancam.com before the game will be notified when the image goes live.

Finals fixtures (Saturday, 27 October at DHL Newlands, Cape Town):

Currie Cup Final – DHL Western Province v Cell C Sharks
Kick-off: 16h00
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: AJ Jacobs and Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Shaun Veldsman
TV: SS1

Teams:

DHL Western Province: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 SP Marais, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak. Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Dan Kriel, 23 JJ Engelbrecht.

Cell C Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Tyler Paul, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Juan Schoeman. Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Jacques Vermeulen, 20 Luke Stringer, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Kobus van Wyk, 23 Leolin Zas.

SA Rugby U21 Championship Final – Vodacom Blue Bulls v Xerox Golden Lions
Kick-off: 13h00
Referee: Ben Crouse
Assistant Referees: Divan Uys and Sindile Ngcese
TMO: Pro Legoete
TV: SS1

SA Rugby U19 Championship Final – Vodacom Blue Bulls v Cell C Sharks
Kick-off: 11h00
Referee: Griffin Colby
Assistant Referees: Divan Uys and Sindile Ngcese
TMO: Pro Legoete
TV: SS1

Should any of the finals end in a draw after 80 minutes, the following shall apply:

U19 Championship:
• The team that scored the most tries in the match, and if still level;
• The team with the highest log position after the pool matches.

Currie Cup Premier Division & U21 Championship:
• The team scoring the most points within a twenty (20) minute extra time (ten (10) minutes each way with a one (1) minute break), and if still level;
• The team with the highest log position after the pool matches in that competition during the current season shall be the winner.

MATCH CENTRE
FIXTURES
     
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Castle Lager Outgoing Tour
Saturday, November 17 2018
19:20 - Scotland vs South Africa
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Saturday, November 24 2018
19:20 - Wales vs South Africa
Principality Stadium, Cardiff

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