Windhoek Draught Griquas Must Beat DHL Western Province In Kimberley


Seven teams remain in playoff contention as the Currie Cup Premier Division reaches the penultimate round. The first match of the weekend is in Kimberley on Friday at 15h00 when Windhoek Draught Griquas host DHL Western Province.

Windhoek Draught Griquas need to beat DHL WP in Kimberley on Friday to keep their playoff hopes alive. They have reason to feel confident, given their previous success against the Capetonians, and the fact that DHL WP are coming off a 20-point loss in Round 12.

That said, DHL WP may be harder to beat now that the Vodacom United Rugby Championship has concluded, and the union’s focus has shifted to the Currie Cup. The Capetonians sit in fourth place, and are ahead of the Fidelity ADT Lions and the Vodacom Bulls thanks to their superior points difference, but will drop down the standings if they lose this Friday.

Windhoek Draught Griquas were forced to make one injury-forced change to their team. Prop Janu Botha was injured last weekend against Toyota Cheetahs.

Tighthead prop Neethling Fouche will captain DHL Western Province. With regular skipper Jean-Luc du Plessis still undergoing concussion protocols, Fouche takes the reins.

The skipper will be alongside Ali Vermaak and Scarra Ntubeni in the front row, with an all-new loose trio of Marcel Theunissen, Ben-Jason Dixon and Hacjivah Dayimani starting behind the lock pairing of Connor Evans and Adre Smith. Ruben van Heerden and Willie Engelbrecht are the new faces among the replacements.

Jurie Matthee makes his first start at flyhalf in place of Du Plessis and will have Paul de Wet as his halfback partner, with the experienced Juan de Jongh outside him in midfield.

Ruhan Nel, Leolin Zas, Angelo Davids and Clayton Blommetjies all come in to form a new outside back division.

DHL Western Province Head Coach John Dobson said that his team understands the challenge that awaits them in Kimberley.

“It has never been easy to win in Kimberley and that is exactly what we need to do to stay in the play-off race, so it will take a big effort.

“We have a bit more experience available this week and it was fantastic to see the attitude of the DHL Stormers players who want to play in this match.

“We also have players who have already given a lot in this campaign and looking forward to seeing another committed performance in a crucial game,” he said.


Windhoek Draught Griquas: 15 George Whitehead, 14 Rosko Specman, 13 Jay-Cee Nel, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Lubabalo Dobela, 9 Johan Mulder, 8 Carl Els, 7 Hanru Sirgel (c), 6 Thabo Ndimande, 5 Derik Pretorius, 4 Dylan Sjöblom, 3 Justin Forwood, 2 Janco Uys, 1 Kudzwai Dube. Replacements: 16 Eddie Davids, 17 Cebo Dlamini, 18 Johan Retief, 19 Johan Retief, 20 Stephan Smit, 21 Reagan Oranje, 22 Eddie Fouche, 23 Sango Xamlashe.

DHL Western Province: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jurie Matthee, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Marcel Theunissen, 5 Connor Evans, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Neethling Fouche (c), 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Ali Vermaak. Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Willie Engelbrecht, 21 Louw Nel, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Cornel Smit.