DYLAN JACK identifies the standout South African players based on performances in the third round of the Currie Cup.
In round three of the Currie Cup, Western Province were made to work hard to get a bonus-point win over the Pumas to keep their hopes alive of hosting a playoff, while the Lions were simply too strong for an ill-disciplined Cheetahs team in a 39-23 win in Bloemfontein.
In the outstanding result of the weekend, however, the Sharks held on to get a thrilling 32-29 win over the Vodacom Bulls, who saw their lead at the top of the Currie Cup standings shrink to five points.
The Sharks’ performance in Durban this past Saturday has seven of their players included in this week’s team, with five of those in the backline. This includes flyhalf Curwin Bosch, who had the decisive touches in the game with five penalties, a conversion and a try assist with a cross-field kick to Yaw Penxe for the winning try. Dylan Richardson and Hyron Andrews both make it among the forwards after they both made excellent contributions to disrupt the Bulls’ set piece and breakdown.
The Lions are next best represented, with four players in the team, including scrumhalf Andre Warner, who scored a brace of tries against the Cheetahs. Tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis had arguably his most effective performance for the Lions to date, which included a powerhouse performance at the scrum and a rare try for the veteran. Vincent Tshituka and Willem Alberts both also make it in after the duo caused havoc when asked to carry the ball forward in Bloemfontein.
Steven Kitshoff is the only representative from a Province team that struggled against the Pumas, with the loosehead prop again scrumming very well and scoring the vital bonus-point try for the Cape side.
Despite narrowly losing in Durban, the Bulls still have two representatives in the team in centre Cornal Hendricks and No 8 Duane Vermeulen.
CURRIE CUP TEAM OF THE WEEK (Round 3)
15 Manie Libbok (Sharks)
14 Sbu Nkosi (Sharks)
13 Lukhanyo Am (Sharks)
12 Cornal Hendricks (Bulls)
11 Yaw Penxe (Sharks)
10 Curwin Bosch (Sharks)
9 Andre Warner (Lions)
8 Duane Vermeulen (Bulls)
7 Vincent Tshituka (Lions)
6 Dylan Richardson (Sharks)
5 Hyron Andrews (Sharks)
4 Willem Alberts (Lions)
3 Jannie du Plessis (Lions)
2 Johan Grobbelaar (Bulls)
1 Steven Kitshoff (Western Province)
*Note: Griquas had a bye in the third round of the Currie Cup