this is a top preview on currie cup final read it please
October 29, 2010 1 Comment
This is a top preview regarding the Currie cup final by Mike Greenaway and I will be discussing this in detail with my great mate Egon Seconds on Saturday morning on Heart 104.9fm on our show called on the couch from 8 -9am. Egon in fact played in the last final WP appeared in in 2001,so tune in on Sat morning and listen to Tapfuma, Martin and Flapper with guest Egon Seconds as we discuss the final.
pic credit WP rugby
Forget about any Test match fever we might have had this year, the 2010 Currie Cup final anticipation and “bring it on!” excitement has been off the scale. Maybe it is because the Bulls have been favourites to win eight of the last nine finals (they missed out in 2007 when the Cheetahs hosted the Lions) and now that there are refreshingly new protagonists on the stage, nobody in the audience quite knows how the drama is going to unfold.
Two years ago, the Sharks won the Currie Cup for the first time in 12 years; this year Western Province are in their first final in nine years. Can it really be possible that neon light figures such as Schalk Burger, Ricky Januarie and Jean De Villiers are playing in their first ever Currie Cup final?!
Amazing but true, and if they were doing so at Newlands tomorrow there are not too many that would have bet against WP winning their third Currie Cup final in a row against the Sharks – just after the turn of the Millennium the Sharks-WP rivalry was getting deliciously ugly in the 2000 and 2001 finals, with Mark Andrews and Corne Krige often trading juicy insults. They were good days indeed, with the Sharks being accused of streetwise cheating at ruck and maul time and the Mountain Goats instead being referred to as show ponies by the derisive Natalians.
Then Heyneke Meyer grabbed the Bulls by their snouts, and the Cheetahs found their nubile feet, and those two teams have mostly occupied the Currie Cup crease this last decade.
But the Bulls were upset in an almighty semi-final in Durban two weeks ago and the Cheetahs were introduced to their backsides at Newlands in a one-sided semi-final.
On that note it was interesting to note Sharks coach John Plumtree’s reflection on the run-in to the final for the two teams.
“We are pretty happy with how it has worked out for us. We had the best dress rehearsal you could hope for in the Bulls match. That was a Test match in terms of intensity, and our match before that was a heavy defeat to WP in Cape Town, and that obviously has been a focal point in our preparation. The boys have not forgotten what happened, make no mistake …”
Province by comparison have not worked up too much of a sweat in their last two games in comfortably beating the Sharks and the Cheetahs.
“Are our contrasting build-ups relevant?” Plumtree smiled earlier this week. “I will tell you after the final whistle. Speaking from our side, we learned that we can win a tight match by more than one means (by attacking in the first against the Bulls and then defending in the second), and our recent defeat to this same WP team is a case of forewarned is forearmed.”
So who the heck is going to win tomorrow?
We have a Sharks tight five that won’t let themselves get beaten like they were three weeks ago by sthe ame opponents – the Sharks could shade this department; the loose forward battle coudl well be won by the WP combination of Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen and Francois Louw, although Ryan Kankowski, Keegan Daniel and Willem Alberts will beg to differ.
The half back struggle is a fascinating one. Willem Alberts and Ricky Janurie have all the experience in the world and done fine service to the Currie Cup over the years, but compared to shiny new pins in Patrick Lambie and Charl Mcleod, they are aging donkeys (although they can kick like mules) and this is where the Sharks will win the match. You read it here first.
The rest of the backline comparisons don’t matter.
The Sharks will win because they are at home, because they have got their selections right, have energy and zip at halfback and because they are playing a brand of rugby they believe in. Game over, case closed.