Sunday, June 22, 2008

CURRIE CUP 2008: Round 1

A almost surreal weekend of rugby!

The Bulls are scoring outside tries!


Congrats to John Mametsa- 100 games on the wing for the Tswanepoele and 3 tries to bOOt!

Great stuFF!

Cheetahs stuck out against the OutbackOnyons- and glady so, retaining the interOutback braGGing rights and the O FM Cup,

photo by Servaas De Kock for OFM Sport

and Province nearly got a draw in Deben.

Match commentaries to be posted as "posts" under this thread!


Mametsa hat-trick secures Bulls win
Sat, 21 Jun 2008 20:18

John Mametsa celebrated his 100th game for the Blue Bulls by scoring a hat-trick to set up a 21-7 win for his team against the Lions in their Round One Currie Cup encounter at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

It was not a game that will be remembered as a classic, especially not the very dreary first half, but for the veteran wing, Mametsa, it was a special occasion celebrated in fine style.

The Bulls, despite being without a host of Springboks, still had far too much muscle for a Lions team that had almost their entire Super 14 team on display.

In the end the three tries to one victory tells the story.

The Bulls were simply more clinical than their hosts and took the opportunities that came their way.

The Lions, despite lost of endeavour, had a shocking day at the office - none more so than Earl Rose.

How Rose ever got near the Springbok training squad this year only Peter de Villiers and the national selectors will know. Rose followed up his shocking Super 14 season with another sub-standard match in the opening round of the Currie Cup.

His blunder-filled performance was certainly on of the major contributing factors to the Lions' ordinary showing at home. Rose's kicking was not just aimless, it was shockingly poor - not to mention his poor options which cost the Lions a couple of certain tries.

But onto the positive stuff.

The dour first half - which produced no points for the first half-an-hour - saw the Bulls take a 6-0 lead into the break - courtesy of a Morné Steyn penalty and a JP Joubert drop-goal.

Those were the only bright lights in an otherwise very dull 40 minutes.

The second half was much better.

In fact the Lions even came alive after the break and showed some sublime skills - with Jano Vermaak's try in the 53rd minute a real gem of interplay between forwards and backs.

The home team finally put on display their full array of skills - with forwards like prop Heinke van der Merwe running around like centres.

However, the Bulls were determined to give Mametsa a day to remember and within a minute of Rose having converted Vermaak's try, Mametsa scored the first of his three tries.

The Bulls now also showed great hands, but their passing was more conventional - moving it down the backline, rather than the often over-elaborate passing the Lions employed.

The difference was there for all to see.

The Bulls kept on scoring, two more tries by Mametsa.

The Lions looked flash, but their productivity was zero.

The Bulls failed to gain a bonus point, but an away win is the perfect start to the season.

The Lions lost one home game last season en-route to the Currie Cup final and this loss could have a significant effect on their campaign.

The Bulls' Springbok flank Pedrie Wannenburg had a huge game and had a hand in Mametsa's third try and often breached the Lions defence.

His opposite number Franco van der Merwe was the best Lion on display.

The scorers:

For the Lions:
Tries: Vermaak
Cons: Rose

For the Blue Bulls:
Tries: Mametsa 3
Pen: Steyn
DG: Joubert

Yellow card: Gerhard Mostert (Lions, 40 - repeated infringements, in at the side of a ruck)


Lions: 15 Earl Rose, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Walter Venter, 11 Ryno Benjamin, 10 Jaco van Schalkwyk, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Franco van der Merwe, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar (captain), 5 Gerhard Mostert, 4 Dewald Senekal, 3 JC Janse van Rensburg, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Gert Muller, 18 Justin Wheeler, 19 Wilhelm Koch, 20 Chris Jonck, 21 Jannie Boshoff, 22 Dusty Noble.

Blue Bulls: 15 Tiger Mangweni, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Marius Delport, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 John Mametsa, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 JP Joubert, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Wikus van Heerden (captain), 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Francois van Schouwenburg, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Derick Kuün, 1 Jaco Engels.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Rayno Gerber, 18 Fudge Mabeta, 19 Hilton Lobberts, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Dewald Potgieter.

Referee: Craig Joubert
Touch judges: Gareth Lloyd-Jones, Peter de Bruin
This comment has been removed by the author.

Champion Cheetahs edge Griquas
Fri, 20 Jun 2008 18:01

The Free State Cheetahs started the defence of their Currie Cup title with a narrow 20-16 win over neighbours Griquas in Kimberley on Friday.

With South African Sevens star Schalk van der Merwe in sublime form, the Cheetahs outscored Griquas by two tries to one.

There was no score until the 12th minute when Cheetahs fullback Bevin Fortuin put up a high up and under, which bounced off a Griqua player's chest and was snapped up by JW Jonker, who scored under the posts. Jacques-Louis Potgieter added the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

Three minutes later, Griquas were awarded a penalty 30 meters out and in front of the posts and Conrad Barnard made no mistake.

Five minutes before half-time, poor defence from Griquas gave Cheetahs eighthman Schalk van der Merwe a try on a plate - which was converted by Potgieter, taking the half-time score to 14-3.

Nine minutes into the second half Griquas were awarded a penalty for offside, which Barnard had no problem with and seven minutes later they were once again awarded a penalty for a scrum infringement. Barnard duly converted for a 9-14 deficit.

In the 64th and 66th minutes new recruit Chris Rossouw - on for Potgieter - kicked two penalties for the Cheetahs, to stretch the Cheetahs' lead to 20-9. The first penalty was for pulling down in the line-out and the second for a loose scrum infringement.

With five minutes left on the clock Griquas' Stephan Gerber broke through the Cheetahs defence to score under the posts, which was easily converted by Barnard taking the final score to 20-16.

This win gives the Cheetahs the OFM Cup and the Man of the Match was Cheetahs' Schalk van der Merwe.

The scorers:

For Griquas:
Try: Gerber
Con: Barnard
Pens: Barnard 3

For the Free State Cheetahs:
Tries: Jonker, Van der Merwe
Cons: Potgieter 2
Pens: Rossouw 2


Griquas: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Gavin Passens, 13 Lafras Uys, 12 Herkie Kruger (captain), 11 MJ Mentz, 10 Conrad Barnard, 9 Tobie Botes, 8 Heinrich Stride, 7 Stephan Gerber, 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 Jacques Lombaard, 4 Wayne van Heerden, 3 Bees Roux, 2 Hans van Dyk, 1 Steph Robberts.
Replacements: 16 Dean Hopp, 17 Albertus Buckle, 18 Cilliers Coetzer, 19 Gareth Krause, 20 Dougie Helmuth, 21 Jaco Bekker, 22 Egon Seconds.

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Bevin Fortuin, 14 Eddie Fredericks, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Hendrik Meyer, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Neil Powell, 8 Schalk van der Merwe, 7 Hendro Scholtz (captain), 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Barend Pieterse, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Kobus Calldo, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Jaco du Toit, 17 Ronnie Uys, 18 David de Villiers, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Jandré Blom, 21 Chris Rossouw, 22 Hennie Daniller.

Referee: JC Fortuin
Touch judges: Chris Healey, M Mdashe

Kockott kicks Sharks to victory
Fri, 20 Jun 2008 21:12

Scrumhalf Rory Kockott landed a 79th minute penalty from 40 metres out to secure a nail-biting 28-25 Currie Cup victory for the Sharks over Western Province in Durban on Friday.

Twice coming from behind the Sharks outscored Province by two tries to one, with Kockott's late penalty sealing the win.

The scrumhalf's contribution on the night was 23 points - six penalties, including the winning kick, and the opening try of the match when he sniped around the edge of a scrum in the 14th minute.

The Sharks raced into an early 11-3 lead, but by half-time Province had edged clear 19-11. That lead was stretched to 25-16 in favour of Province with 15 minutes remaining and it looked like the visitors from Cape Town - with a very vocal former Sharks captain AJ Venter playing at No.8 for WP - would cause an early-season upset.

However, the heavens opened and the torrential rain was even accompanied by the occasional bolt of lightning as the Sharks found their spark and Kockott kicked four penalties (including the 79th minute winner) to secure victory for his team.

Willem de Waal, having followed his former Cheetahs coach Rassie Erasmus to Cape Town after a brief stint in France, kept the visitors in the hunt for a win when he landed seven out of seven with the boot - six penalties and a conversion.

But the night belonged to Kockott, who had his final shot at goal courtesy of a new law that has expanded the powers of the Television Mach Official (TMO) to rule on foul play in general play.

It was a call from the MO, after a flagging by a touch judge that referred the call to the TMO, which saw a penalty being awarded to the Sharks.

After being up against it for the majority of the match, the Sharks needed a hero and the man who stepped up to the kicking plate, so to speak, was none other than Man of the Match, Kockott.

With both sides fielding relatively new-look sides and playing their first top flight match for weeks, there was always going to be an element of rustiness in their play.

However, the truly dour first half showing by the Sharks would have had new coach John Plumtree warming up his vocal cords to give his charges a half-time tongue lashing.

Conceding four penalties and a soft try they headed into the interval with a shock 11-19 half-time deficit that silenced the 17,000 fans who turned up to see the Sharks in action.

The Sharks at last found their feet in the 50th minute when No.8 Keegan Daniel found himself on the wing and once again showed his pace as he went over in the corner to reduce the deficit to six.

They held the supremacy for the next 10 minutes, but ultimately continued to be the architects of their own demise as handling errors cost them at crucial times as they were headed for the red zone.

Kockott eventually managed to cut the deficit to 25-22 with two well-taken penalties, setting things up perfectly for a tense final 10 minutes that was played out in driving rain, adding further drama to proceedings. Kockott then slotted his third penalty within minutes to draw the scores level, before nailing the winner.

In a penalty riddled opening 10 minutes Kockott missed one and slotted two penalties, while Western Province flyhalf De Waal nailed his first from right in front.

And the Sharks' lead was extended to 11-3 when Kockott, who had an absolutely storming outing, sniped around the blindside from the base of a scrum on the Province 22 to dive over in the corner for the opening try.

From that point forward things progressively unravelled for the Sharks as error after error and penalty after penalty saw them under the cosh for the final quarter of the half.

And almost inevitably it was an error in the 31st minute that cost them seven points as they lost the ball on attack, allowing WP to capitalise as they quickly sent it out to veteran wing Wylie Human - who sprinted nearly 50 metres to go over untouched.

And when kicking metronome De Waal added another penalty from 53 metres out after the half-time hooter had sounded, it aptly summed up the Sharks half.

The men from the Cape continued their onslaught early in the second stanza as De Waal made the Sharks pay for conceding another penalty as he slotted his fifth kick in succession.

However, Daniel and Kockott produced their magic to turn things around for the Sharks.

Playing against his former teammates, new Western Province recruit AJ Venter received some expected jeers from the crowd, but performed solidly without shining.

The scorers:

For the Sharks:
Tries: Kockott, Daniel
Pens: Kockott 6

For Western Province:
Try: Human
Con: De Waal
Pens: De Waal 6


Sharks: 15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Henno Mentz, 10 Bradley Barritt, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Steven Sykes, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Johann Muller (captain), 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Deon Carstens.
Replacements: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 Robbie Harris, 18 Albert van den Berg, 19 Skholiwe Ndlovu, 20 Scott Mathie, 21 Lwazi Mvovo, 22 Andrew Borgen.

Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Wylie Human, 13 Dylan des Fountain, 12 PJ Vermeulen, 11 Joe Pietersen, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Alastair Siegelaar, 8 AJ Venter, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Pieter Myburgh, 5 Ross Skeate (captain), 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Ruaan du Preez, 19 Francois van der Merwe, 20 Justin Melck, 21 Paul Delport, 22 Zhahier Ryland.

Referee: Christie du Preez
Touch judges: Cobus Wessels, Reuben Rossouw
TMO: Michael Cupido
Again- from

Burke blitz clips Falcons' wings
Fri, 20 Jun 2008 22:13

Boland captain Conrad Burke scored a last minute intercept try to secure a 48-42 victory over the Falcons in their First Round Currie Cup match at Bosman Stadium in Brakpan on Friday.

It was a case of dejavu when Burke intercepted a loose pass from a Falcons player close to the half-way line. A year ago tighthead prop Andries Human scored a similar try to set up a Boland victory at the same venue. Burke sprinted 40 metres for the winning try.

The Falcons only have themselves to blame after leading 36-17 at the break with some scintillating running rugby.

But they committed rugby suicide in the second half as they tried to run every ball - even
from their own tryline - to their own demise.

Veteran Boland wing John Daniels has lost a lot of his pace, but the Currie Cup try-scoring record holder scored another hat-trick in a game that produced 11 tries.

The Boland led 10-3 after Daniels set up a try for Justin Peach early in the match.

Peach finished the game with 23 points to his tally. He converted all six tries - some with precision kicking from the sideline - and he kicked two penalties.

The Falcons played some sublime rugby in the first half and looked certain to score their first Currie Cup victory in two seasons after the first 40 minutes.

With flyhalf Riaan Smit running the show with his precision passing, the Falcons easily ran in five tries and looked like certain winners.

Left wing Luvo Sogidashe, outside centre Rowan Cloete, scrumhalf Gerrie Odendaal and veteran No.8 Sean Plaatjies all shared in the try feast.

With a 19 point lead it is still hard to understand how they squandered this game.

The scorers:

For the Falcons:
Tries: Sogidashe 2, Cloete, Odendaal, Plaatjies
Cons: Smit 4
Pens: Smit 3

For the Boland Cavaliers:
Tries: Daniels 3, Peach, Hugo, Burke
Cons: Peach 6
Pens: Peach 2


Falcons: 15 Jacques Schutte, 14 Ernie Kruger, 13 Rouan Cloete, 12 Hanno Coetzee (captain), 11 Luvo Sogidashe, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Gerrie Odendaal, 8 Sean Plaatjies, 7 Emile Verster, 6 Uwe Sauer, 5 Wouter Moore, 4 Marius Coetzer, 3 Nico Pretorius, 2 Rayno Barnes, 1 Gavin Whittingham.
Replacements: 16 Rassie van Vuuren, 17 Frik Venter, 18 Reg Perkins, 19 Reg Muller, 20 Poerie van Rooyen, 21 Len Olivier, 22 Showan Smith.

Boland: 15 Justin Peach, 14 John Daniels, 13 Piet van Zyl, 12 Lionel Cornelius, 11 Alvin Hugo, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Dries van Schalkwyk, 7 Whalied Heyns, 6 Frankie Horne, 5 Coenie Basson, 4 Cecil Kemp, 3 Andries Human, 2 Conrad Burke (captain), 1 Jean Botha.
Replacements: 16 Clemen Lewis, 17 WP Nel, 18 Frikkie Spies, 19 Mpho Mbiyozo, 20 Ricardo Jones, 21 Deon Scholtz, 22 Stefan Basson.

Referee: Jaco Peyper
Touch judges: Gareth Lloyd-Jones, Peet Badenhorst
Hendrik Cronje from O FM sport reports that CJ Van der Linde have signed a lucrative contract with a French Club. he will move to Europe after the 2008 CC season. Darron Nell is also Europe bound and other news is that Boela Du PlOOy is retiring.

It seems that Frans Steyn is also gatvol for being a $hark-coz he gets mos lotsa DebendoLLars- and is contemplating a move to europe in the summer as well.
This is how you take on your management when they disappoint you.

RobD from is on a mi$$ion!

Nowhere near good enough, Sharks
22.06.08 18:43:16 by robdylan | Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks | 4 Comments

The Sharks lost Friday night’s game everywhere but on the scoreboard and for this amateur enthusiast, the time has come to say, “enough is enough”.

I’ve fallen into bad habits. Maybe it’s a case of wanting to believe the hype, despite my better judgments. Perhaps, it’s because I try to be a positive person in the hope that others will follow suit. The fact is, though, that I’m now tired of my team winning ugly when it doesn’t matter and not winning at all when it does. No longer will I accept the meaningless platitudes of “well, if we can play that badly and still win, there must be something very special about this team.” It’s utter bollocks and it ain’t gonna wash no more. Good teams play good rugby all the time. What’s more, good teams win trophies.

The team that Western Province put onto the park shouldn’t have come within 20 points of the Sharks – at least on paper. That, I fear, is the biggest problem and the reason we had to depend on a last-gasp (and potentially dubious) penalty to avoid an embarrassing draw or loss. We have too many players that are heroes in name only, living off an undeserved reputation when, in fact, they have achieved exactly nothing. We have become a paper team, obsessed with the names and glamour associated with our players. The time has come for those whom we worship to stand up and take accountability for their repeated poor performances.

I’m afraid nobody is going to escape this rant, because I feel that the blame needs to be apportioned equally and indiscriminately. Deon Carstens has been around for years now. Where is the on-field leadership from one of the senior guys in the team? Craig Burden needs to get his lineout work sorted out before he’s fit to wear that famous jersey, which the likes of John Allen and John Smit made famous. It doesn’t matter how good he is in the loose if he can’t get the basics right. Jannie du Plessis has three Currie Cup winner’s medals, for goodness sake. Why does he seem incapable of doing anything other than scrumming? Skipper Badenhorst is just useless. He has no hands whatsoever. I can’t really blame him as much as I blame those who continue to pay him to masquerade as a professional rugby player.

Johann Muller may be a grafter and well respected by his peers, but why doesn’t he pull the team through when it counts? As a captain, he has actually achieved nothing of note and he needs to make a personal commitment to change that. Alistair Hargreaves has been hanging around the fringes for ages now, living on past glories of an under-19 tournament that nobody else can remember anymore. We keep hoping, praying and believing that he’s going to take the step up. When will he? Albert van den Berg remains as useful in a tight game as a battleship in the middle of the Sahara. Another who has been around for almost a decade, yet doesn’t bring the benefit of his experience to bear on the game. It seems he just never learns anything.

Jacques Botes disappears in tight games and is only effective when paired with two really big loose forwards. Steven Sykes is not a flank and needs to realise that. Keegan Daniel is just plain not a forward – certainly not unless he is the only lighter man in the loose trio. Again, the fans have known for years now that we have a soft underbelly in the loose forwards. Botes and Kankowski need a good foil to operate on the blindside. Knowing this, why was AJ Venter allowed to leave without any thought to procuring a replacement? Sure, nobody could have predicted Jean Deysel’s injury, but if he was such a big part of the plans, why the Epi Taione disaster? In fact, is there any planning whatsoever going into player procurement at the Sharks? It doesn’t look like it from where I stand. The Cheetahs have no shortage of loose forwards, yet they were the ones quick enough to snap up the services of Bioplus van der Merwe to plug a short-term hole. Our plan is to pick a lock and two lightweights and just hope for the best.

Brad Barritt needs to find a kicking game if he has any serious intentions of playing flyhalf. He’s a bright guy with good skills and a great brain, but he’s too predictable as a flyhalf and needs to vary his game. Andries Strauss is actually looking quite good, but those outside him were all shocking. Waylon Murray is playing like 103kg of nothing much. All that he is these days, is big. He doesn’t look quick, he doesn’t look dangerous, in fact, all he looks like is a slightly confused flanker trying to operate in the backline. JP Pietersen and Henno Mentz have seemingly lost the ability to score tries and seem to have no answer but to run headlong into contact on the rare occasions that they receive the ball. They create nothing, they don’t threaten on defense; they’re not fit to be mentioned in the same paragraph as the likes of Tony Watson, James Small, or even Cabous van der Westhuizen. Oh shit, I just did.

Stefan Terblanche deserves a paragraph all on his own. I can’t quite fathom what it is that the commentators (or the Sharks management) see in his performance that warrants praise. Sure, he is safe under the high ball, but it’s what he does with the ball after the catch that matters; to my mind, he has been poor ever since the second round of the Super 14. His boot is nowhere near as educated as one would expect it to be, given his long and varied career. He catches and he kicks back, over and over. He never finds touch, he never finds space, he never provides a good target for the wings to chase. All he does is catch and kick, catch and kick, rinse and repeat. In fact, he’s another guy who seems to be living on reputation and being picked based on experience, yet this experience never comes to the aid of his teammates when the chips are down.

The backs are not the real targets of this week’s scorn, though; that dubious honour belongs to the pack. The way that they were collectively bullied off their own ball to the tune of 12 turnovers during the course of the game is a pretty sad indictment on one of the supposed strengths of Natal rugby. It doesn’t matter how good the tight five thinks they are if they don’t commit to the rucks. It doesn’t matter how many yards Craig Burden makes with ball in hand, or how quick and skilful Al Hargreaves is if we’re not securing primary possession at the breakdown or in the lineout. It doesn’t matter how many impressive winger tries Keegan Daniel scores if he doesn’t make life difficult for the opposition at the point of contact. The fact is, the pack, as a whole, were taught a rugby lesson by a bunch of no-namers from Western Province. And it’s only going to get worse when we play against the real big boys of this competition, the Blue Bulls and the Cheetahs.

John Plumtree has inherited a bit of a disaster from Dick Muir; a team chock-full of “flair” but lacking in structure and poor in the execution of the basics. The flair isn’t there this season, though and the deficiencies are becoming glaring. His first hit-out as coach was not a total disaster thanks to Rory Kockott. We, as fans, deserve better and will grow more vocal in the coming months should the new coach fail to deliver real improvements and real results.

And right now, we don’t care about the Super 14; we won’t accept that excuse again. The Currie Cup IS important to us, because we haven’t won ANYTHING in 12 years. Win the Currie Cup this year, Sharks and then we’ll talk about 2009. We’ve stuck by you guys. It’s time to give something back.


Now I have to add no more!
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