Fidelity ADT Lions In Desperate Fight At The Athlone Stadium

 

The battle for Currie Cup Premier Division semi-final spots reaches a key stage this weekend, and by the end of the 12th round, the playoff picture will be a lot clearer. The second match of the weekend will take place at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town where the DHL Western Province will host the desperate Fidelity ADT Lions at 17h00.

DHL WP beat the Northern Free Staters and the Airlink Pumas recently and will go into their next fixture against the Fidelity ADT Lions on Friday with confidence and momentum. Nevertheless, they are under pressure to maintain their winning streak.

Currently in fourth position, the Capetonians may be overtaken if they lose to the team from Johannesburg, and if Windhoek Draught Griquas and the Vodacom Bulls win their respective matches.

If the Fidelity ADT Fail in their mission to win they will no longer form part of the race for the semi-final playoff spots.

DHL Western Province has called on the experience of Scarra Ntubeni and Juan de Jongh for the Currie Cup encounter with Fidelity ADT Lions at Athlone Stadium on Friday.

There is one other change to the forward pack that did duty in the win against the defending champion Airlink Pumas last week, with flank Junior Pokomela returning from injury to take his place on the side of the scrum.

De Jongh forms a midfield partnership with Cornel Smit, while Luke Brger shifts to fullback and Mnombo Zwelendaba comes in on the wing.

DHL Western Province Head Coach John Dobson said that it will require another big effort to get the win in Athlone on Friday.

“We were pleased with the character the team showed last week to fight back and get the win, but there are a few technical areas that can improve.

“It has been a challenging week for this group with all of the focus and hype around the Vodacom URC Grand Final and they have sacrificed a lot to help the DHL Stormers’ cause. It shows their dedication that they were happy to do so, while also putting in extra work to ensure that they are well prepared for this game.

“Athlone Stadium was a great venue last week and we are all looking forward to getting out there in front of the local community once again,” he said.

The Fidelity ADT Lions made several changes to their starting line-up.

At the back, Marius Louw returns as captain to the starting XV at inside centre alongside Rynhardt Jonker with Manny Rass, a late exclusion due to illness. Tyler Bocks takes drops to the bench.

Ruan Venter returns to his familiar number 7 jumper in joining JC Pretorius and Francke Horn in the loose trio while Darrien-Lane Landsberg takes his place at lock. Hooker PJ Botha gets his first start of the campaign with regular thrower and skipper Jaco Visagie being rested. Joining PJ Botha in the front row is Ruan Dreyer who replaces Rhynardt Rijnsburger at loosehead.

Teams:

DHL Western Province: 15 Luke Burger, 14 Mnombo Zwelendaba, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Cornel Smit, 11 Tom Nel, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis (c), 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Louw Nel, 7 Jarrod Taylor, 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Connor Evans, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Kwenzo Blose. Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Corne Weilbach, 19 George van der Westhuizen, 20 Chad Solomon, 21 Thomas Bursey, 22 Jurie Matthee, 23 Lloyd Koster.

Fidelity ADT Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Boldwin Hansen, 13 Rynardt Jonker, 12 Marius Louw (c), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Ruan Venter, 6 JC Pretorius, 5 Darrien-Lane Landsberg, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 PJ Botha, 1 Ruan Dreyer. Replacements: 16 Morne Brandon, 17 Rhynardt Rijnsburger, 18 Ruan Smith 19 Raynard Roets, 20 Ruhan Straeuli, 21 Morne van der Bergh 22 Andries Coetzee, 23. Tyler Bocks.