Top of the Table Clash

It’s team one on the log hosting team two as Western Province and the Cell C Sharks go head-to-head at Newlands Stadium in our penultimate Currie Cup clash of the pool stages on Saturday.

Both teams are unbeaten and have accrued maximum log points from four previous fixtures heading into this huge coastal derby. The winner of this match is likely (but not assured) of finishing on top and therefore, in a best case scenario, enjoying home ground advantage in the semis and final.

Formidable prop Coenie Oosthuizen who made his return to action last weekend in the win over the Golden Lions after an agonisingly long, 10 month injury layoff, can be expected to throw himself into this game with even more energy and fervour.

But he warns that it’s going to be no easy feat if the Cell C Sharks are to come away victorious against the log leaders (on points differential only).

“They’re a phenomenal team, also unbeaten, and we know there is plenty of pressure on us for this game, even if we’re also unbeaten,” he explains.

“Although we have won all the games so far and it is easier when you’re winning rather than losing, the job doesn’t change. It doesn’t matter how good you were the last game, the next game is the most important thing.

“So there’s pressure to perform and pressure to be your best and always pressure for the team to bring their best. You’re only as good as your last game and we’re not resting on our past victories, we do our preparation 100% and respect every opposition. Western Province deserve every bit of respect they have earned.

“We’re feeling the pressure on us to win, but each and every one of us is up for the challenge, we want to win this game, we want to remain unbeaten in the tournament.”

Head coach Robert du Preez has made just two changes to his matchday 22, Jacques Vermeulen returns to the starting line-up after returning to action and playing off the bench, swapping jerseys with Luke Stringer.

The second change is on the bench, with Leolin Zas coming in for Sbu Nkosi who is on Bok duty.

The match, taking place at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday, kicks off at 2pm.

The Cell C Sharks

  1. Juan Schoeman
  2. Chiliboy Ralepelle (C)
  3. Thomas du Toit
  4. Gideon Koegelenberg
  5. Hyron Andrews
  6. Jacques Vermeulen
  7. Tyler Paul
  8. Daniel du Preez
  9. Louis Schreuder
  10. Robert du Preez
  11. Lwazi Mvovo
  12. Marius Louw
  13. Jeremy Ward
  14. Kobus van Wyk
  15. Curwin Bosch

Replacements

  1. Akker van der Merwe
  2. Coenie Oosthuizen
  3. Ruben van Heerden
  4. Luke Stringer
  5. Cameron Wright
  6. Leolin Zas
  7. Aphelele Fassi