Currie Cup - Round 6 Preview
Flying Griquas face tough Bulls test
August 13, 2009
Dewald Potgieter returns for the Blue Bulls this weekend © Getty Images
Competition for semi-final places in this season's Currie Cup is fierce, with the Griquas currently leading the way following their sensational unbeaten start to the tournament. The men from Kimberley are five points clear heading in to round six, where they face a stern test in the Blue Bulls.
First up however is Naka Drotske's Cheetahs' trip to face the Leopards in Rustenberg. Drotske originally made only one change to the squad that defeated the Bulls last weekend, Sevens specialist Philip Snyman slotting on to the bench in place of JW Jonker.
Illness has forced further changes however, Corne Uys replaced in the centre by Jonker and Izak van der Westhuizen replacing David de Villiers in the second-row. Waltie Vermeulen joins the bench.
Jacques-Louis Potgieter continues at fly-half, with last weekend's try-scorers WP Nel, Frans Viljoen and Adriaan Strauss all starting. The Leopards go in to the game shorn of four regulars, with skipper Wilhelm Koch, winger Jan van Zyl, scrum-half Michael Bondesio and hooker Pellow van der Westhuizen all missing out through injury.
Veteran flanker André Swanepoel skippers the side, with Theo van Wyk replacing Bondesio at scrum-half. Danie Dames will make his starting debut in place of van Zyl.
Western Province visit Boland on Saturday, and have chosen not to include Springboks Andries Bekker and Ricky Januarie in their squad. Dewaldt Duvenhage continues at scrum-half, while Chris Jack has a new second-row partner in Adriaan Fondse.
Peter Grant continues at fly-half in the absence of Willem de Waal, with Luke Watson again leading the side from No.8.
The Cavaliers are without experienced centre Dewey Swartbooi and skipper Conrad Burke for the derby fixture. Clemen Lewis skippers Boland from hooker with Hein Myburgh replacing Swartbooi.
The Blue Bulls will take a powerful squad to face the Griquas in Kimberley. Dewald Potgieter starts at No.8 after recovering from a wrist injury, replacing Pedrie Wannenburg.
Gurthro Steenkamp starts in the front-row after being called in to the Springbok squad for the away leg of the Tri-Nations. On the bench, released Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle is joined by Zane Kirchner, who has completed his rehab on a fractured cheekbone.
The home side have been ravaged by illness following their win over Western Province, with Albertus Buckle, Rayno Barnes, Andries Kruger, Barry Geel, Jacques Lombaard, Bjorn Basson and metronomic fly-half Naas Olivier all having been hit by the flu or colds.
The Sharks travel to Ellis Park to face the Golden Lions in the final game of the round, but will do so without new Puma fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez. Hernandez has been ruled out by an ankle injury and is replaced by Monty Dumond, but there is good news as Springboks Odwa Ndungane, Jannie du Plessis and Ryan Kankowski have all been made available.
Ndungane starts on the wing and Kankowski at No.8, while du Plessis makes do with a place on the bench.
The home side show three changes after their close 19-13 win over Boland last week, with fly-half Herkie Kruger fit to return to the starting line-up in place of Ruan Boshoff. On the wing, Dusty Noble replaces Shandre Frolick and the final change comes in the second-row, where Willem Stoltz replaces Johan Snyman.