Currie Cup teams gearing up for Semi-finals

SWD Eagles coach Johann Lerm has made several changes to his team, but is still positive his side will defeat the Griffons in Friday’s Currie Cup First Division semi-final match in George.


8Lerm has selected a new halfback pairing and a new front row combination for Friday afternoon’s clash at Outeniqua Park. Kick off is at 5.05pm.


Scrumhalf Jandre Blom, who will take over all the goal-kicking responsibilities and flyhalf Ricardo Croy have both been given starts while Tiaan de Kock, Junior Leota and Jaco Terblanche will form the front row at the scrum.


“We are really looking forward to our match against the Griffons as victory over them will take us one step closer to achieving our goals for the season,” said Lerm.


“I have made a few changes to some of our combinations in the side, but I am still positive about our chances against the Griffons.


The promotion/relegation match later this month is extremely important to us, but we are going all out to defeat the Griffons and secure our place in next weekend’s final.”

 

 Griffons coach Oersond Gorgonzola made two changes to his side in preparation of Friday afternoon’s semi-final clash against the Eagles.

 

Gerrie Odendaal will start at scrumhalf in the place of regular half back Hugo Kleynhans while centre Werner Griesel is also selected in the starting team and replaces Philip Snyman who is suffering from any injured shoulder.

 

Meanwhile, the Mighty Elephants have made only one change to their side that lost to the Eagles last weekend for their First Division semi-final clash against the Pumas in Witbank on Friday night (7.10pm).

 

Lock Ruahan van Jaarsveld has recovered from injury and has been selected in the starting team at the expense of Trichardt van Tonder, who is relegated to the bench.

 

Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse has the luxury of selecting his strongest available team for Friday night’s semi-final against the Elephants.

Fullback MJ Mentz, flyhalf Valentine van Wyk, prop Ronnie Uys and centres Tiaan Marx and Shaun Venter have been selected in the Witbank team, who ended the First Division in top position.


Braam Pretorius, who is the leading points-scorer in the competition on 152 points, and Allister Kettledas, who has ran in 14 tries this season, have been selected on the wing for the Pumas.


“We’ll be ready for the Elephants,” said Stonehouse who insisted his team would be focused on their semi-final fixture following their defeat to the Griffons last week.


“If you look at what happened in Welkom, we were already assured of a home semi-final and the Griffons needed maximum points to book their home semi-final. So maybe our opponents on the day were hungrier. It will be very different on Friday though.”


The Under-21 B Championships reaches its semi-final stage on Saturday with Griquas hosting Border at GWK Park (12.30pm) while the Griffons travel to Kempton Park for their clash against the Valke (1.15pm).


In the Under-19 B semi-finals, the Pumas host Boland in Witbank (1pm) on Friday and on Saturday, the Valke are in Port Elizabeth for their playoff fixture against Eastern Province (12 noon).


Teams:

 

Pumas – MJ Mentz, Braam Pretorius, Tiaan Marx, Shaun Venter, Allister Kettledas, Valentine van Wyk, Jacques Coetzee, Christo le Roux, Jaco Bouwer, Corne Steenkamp, Marius Coetzer, Eduan van der Walt, Ashley Buys, Hannes Franklin (c), Ronnie Uys.

Reserves: Torsten van Jaarsveld, Dawie Steyn, De Jay Terblanche, Johan van Heerden, Pieter Meyer, Juan Visser, Hyron Thyse.


Mighty Elephants – Carl Bezuidenhout, Alipate Fatafehi, Siviwe Magaba, De Wet B

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