September 26, 2012 in Uncategorized
The match up at Newlands between WP and the Golden Lions could prove to be the match of the weekend. With WP, combining a solid defence with attacking flair that was sadly missing in the Stormers, facing a Lions side capable of scoring tries, also sadly missing during Super Rugby, from anywhere we are in for some finger licking good rugby.
It was way back in 2004 that the Lions last won at Newlands in the Currie Cup and they will have their work cut out, not only to contain WP but also to break through their defences. WP’s youngsters have stepped up to challenge and a weak defence gets severely punished, just ask the Blue Bulls (42-6) and Griquas (45-21).
On de udder hand Darren, the Lions are quite capable to break down defences while their defence of their own tryline is not too bad and with Lionel Mapoe and Andries Coetzee, amongst others, in top form the WP defence will be tested .
The battle up front will be one of youth versus experience, with WP front row still eligible for u/21 honours. The WP youngsters will have to be better than their best to front up to the form pack of the season but the Lions will have to improve their possession stats in order to have a fair chance at attack. In the last two game they had to make substantially more tackles than their opponents – Cheetahs (70) vs Lions (208), Lions (173) vs Sharks (130) – and against a strong defence like that of WP this could cost them the game as the margin for error will be small.
At the back the Lions have lost Elton Jantjies and Jaco Taute to the Boks and while that will make a difference they have more than capable replacements in Butch James and Dylan Des Fountain, players with vast experience and who can put pressure on their opposite numbers, while Mapoe has been a livewire on the field and the matchup between him and JP du Plessis could be one of the contests of the match.
While the Lions, in theory, should be the favourites to win this match the WP youngsters have stood their ground well and only a fool would not give them a more than even chance to win at home.
Well, let me be the fool then and go with the Lions to win by 6.
Griquas by 7
Sharks by 9
South Africa by 9
New Zealand by 15
15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 JP du Plessis, 12. Marcel Brache, 11 Damian de Allende, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Jebb Sinclair, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Don Armand, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Deon Carstens, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 19 Helmut Lehmann, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Berton Klaasen, 22 Patrick Howard
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Dylan des Fountain, 11 Ruan Combrinck, 10 Butch James, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (c).
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Etienne Oosthuizen, 19 Willie Britz, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Deon van Rensburg, 22 James Kamana