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Sport24.co.za | Lions out to maintain 100% record



Cape
Town – The Golden Lions will be aiming for a perfect end to their Currie Cup
season when they host defending champions Western Province in the final at
Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday (13:45 kick-off).

Rasta
Rasivhenge will be in charge of the match in what will be his first Currie Cup
final.

Coached
by former Springbok lock Johan Ackermann, the Golden Lions have so far this
season swept aside every challenge in front of them. They were unbeaten in
their league fixtures, and last week managed to hold off a stirring challenge
from the Free State Cheetahs in the semi-finals.

Lions
supporters will be hoping that their team will be able to maintain their
impressive form, and in doing so, turn the tables on WP, who beat them in a
tense final in Cape Town last year.

The men
from Johannesburg have momentum and home ground advantage in their favour.

However,
WP will point to their undoubted cup-winning pedigree. On Saturday, the
Capetonians will be making their fourth consecutive final appearance.

Furthermore,
WP also have history on their side as they are the most successful team in the
popular competition.

WP
have won the coveted gold cup a record 33 times, while the Lions are ranked
third on the list of competition winners.

The
Lions won the trophy 10 times and their most recent success was in 2011, when
they beat the Sharks in Johannesburg. 

The Currie
Cup finals have always produced memorable team and individual performances, and
there will be more to come on Saturday.

Judging
by their performances throughout the season, and especially last weekend, the
two key men in this final will be Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff and WP fullback
Cheslin Kolbe.

Boshoff
has a laser boot, and this season he has rediscovered his superb kicking form.
He is also a good distributer and has an appetite for attacking the gain-line.

Apart
from Boshoff, the Lions will be looking to their high-tempo game and also their
industrious work-rate at the breakdown area to punch through WP’s defence.

Kolbe,
an outstanding Springbok Sevens player, has the X-factor and the skills to
create scoring opportunities from nothing. He aptly demonstrated this in WP’s
playoff win over the Blue Bulls in Pretoria last weekend when he initiated one
try with a quick throw-in and then displayed superb reflexes to catch an
awkward bouncing ball to score the winning try.

The
WP Under-21s will also be involved in a final on Saturday, emulating their
senior team’s achievement of four consecutive final appearances. They take on
the Free State Cheetahs Under-21 in the main curtain-raiser at 11:15.

In
the first match of the day, the EP Under-19’s will battle it out with their
Blue Bulls counterparts for the Absa Under-19 A-Division crown. Former
Springbok Sevens star Mzwandile Stick is charge of the EP youngsters.

Teams:

Golden
Lions:

15.
Andries Coetzee, 14. Courtnall Skosan, 13. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12. Howard
Mnisi, 11. Anthony Volmink, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Warren
Whiteley, 7. Kwagga Smith, 6. Jaco Kriel (captain), 5. Franco Mostert, 4.
Lourens Erasmus, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Jacques van
Rooyen

Substitutes:
16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Ruan Dreyer, 18. Fabian Booysen, 19. Stephan de Witt, 20.
Jaco van der Walt, 21. Stokkies Hanekom, 22. Sampie Mastriet

Western
Province:

15.
Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Dillyn Leyds, 13. Johnny Kotze, 12. Juan de Jongh (captain),
11. Seabelo Senatla, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7.
Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6. Rynhardt Elstadt, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Wilco
Louw, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 1. Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes:
16. Michael Willemse, 17. Oli Kebble, 18. Chris van Zyl, 19. Jurie van Vuuren,
20. Jano Vermaak, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Huw Jones

 

 



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