DYLAN JACK identifies the standout South African players based on performances in the second round of the Currie Cup.
In round two of the Currie Cup the Pumas came out on top in their bottom-of-the-table scrap against Griquas in Nelspruit, while the Lions scored a penalty after the hooter to snatch a 22-19 victory over Western Province in Johannesburg.
Meanwhile, the Vodacom Bulls continued to march on with a clinical second-half performance against the Cheetahs having them claim a 40-13 win and extend their lead at the top of the Currie Cup table to 11 points.
The Bulls have 10 representatives in this week’s team, including halfback pair Morne Steyn and Embrose Papier. Steyn did not have his best outing as far as open play goes, but still importantly kicked 16 points. There is also a place for Marco van Staden, who capped an excellent performance with a brace of tries, as well as lock pair Walt Steenkamp and Sintu Manjezi, while tighthead prop Trevor Nyakane is also in the team after coming off the bench in the 30th minute to solidify the scrum.
Away from the Bulls, Lions fullback Tiaan Swanepoel makes it in after he kicked two long-range penalties and the winning penalty against Western Province. The Cape side also has one representative in Ruhan Nel, who marked his return to the starting lineup with a try assist and a defensively solid performance, which included winning a penalty on his own tryline.
The Cheetahs, Griquas and Pumas all also have one representative each. Cheetahs loosehead prop Boan Venter was dominant at the scrum, forcing Bulls coach Jake White to substitute Marcel van der Merwe on the half-hour mark. Eduan Keyter scored a brace for Griquas to keep them in the contest, while flank Daniel Maartens had a solid impact off the bench, which included scoring what turned out to be the winning try for the Pumas.
CURRIE CUP TEAM OF THE WEEK (Round 2)
15 Tiaan Swanepoel (Lions)
14 David Kriel (Bulls)
13 Ruhan Nel (Western Province)
12 Cornal Hendricks (Bulls)
11 Eduan Keyter (Griquas)
10 Morne Steyn (Bulls)
9 Embrose Papier (Bulls)
8 Duane Vermeulen (Bulls)
7 Daniel Maartens (Pumas)
6 Marco van Staden (Bulls)
5 Walt Steenkamp (Bulls)
4 Sintu Manjezi (Bulls)
3 Trevor Nyakane (Bulls)
2 Johan Grobbelaar (Bulls)
1 Boan Venter (Cheetahs)
*Note: The Sharks had a bye in the second round of the Currie Cup
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images