The 2nd week of the Currie Cup Premier Division competition had a full contingent of games. Only the iCollege Pumas were on a bye this weekend. The Xerox Golden Lions opened their campaign against the Tafel Lager Griquas. The Cell-C Sharks hosted the Vodacom Blue Bulls. Finally, the DHL Western Province faced the Toyota Free State Cheetahs on a stormy night in Cape Town.
All three home teams managed to get a win. Let’s take a look at some of the best performers from the Currie Cup this weekend.
The Xerox Golden Lions’ winger opened his Currie Cup season with three tries for his team in their 62-41 victory over the Tafel Lager Griquas on Friday night. This gets him to the top of the try scorers so far, followed by AJ Coertzen and Hacjivah Dayimani, each with two.
— Xerox Golden Lions (@LionsRugbyCo) August 24, 2018
Skosan’s first try came from chasing a kick down the touchline, booting it forward himself before winning the final race to the ball on the tryline. He wasn’t given the nod by Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus this year. Although, Lions coach, Swys de Bruin, favored him to start over Aphiwe Dyantyi in the Super Rugby final. Skosan couldn’t do much against the Crusaders on that day, but proved he is a quality finisher at Ellis Park on Friday. His last try came from a chip kick over the top, which he angled in field for a support runner. He recollected the ball himself and forced it down just before the dead-ball line. The Griquas have now lost two out of two games but managed to come away with a bonus point.
With the Springbok depth at wing being tested, Skosan may be considered for a call up before the end of this Rugby Championship tournament.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls may have lost their game against the Cell-C Sharks on Saturday, but their fly-half dominated proceedings for most of the match. The young kicker kept the visitors in the game with his boot and proved valiant on defense. He also looked dangerous with the ball in hand. His game ended early when a devastating tackle from Johan Deysel that saw him leave the field injured.
He probably won’t be considered for Springbok duty any time soon. But will definitely be a contender for the green and gold in the future.
The open-side flanker from the DHL Western Province lead from the front in some trying conditions on Saturday. The game was played in torrential rain which at one point reduced visibility that even the commentators couldn’t see what was happening on the field. In a game littered with handling errors, Notshe managed to make carries and retain possession where lesser players easily coughed up the ball.
The Western Province also managed to keep a clean sheet in their opening Currie Cup match, not allowing any points against them by the Cheetahs. The Western Province forwards keeping up the intensity in the breakdown, even when it became a drowning hazard.
Scarra Ntubeni proved again why his name should be included in any discussions regarding future Springbok hookers. With strong carries up the midfield, he also got his offloads to stick in the rainy Cape Town weather. He didn’t disappoint at the set-piece either. Managing to remain accurate at line-out throws and got rewarded with a maul-over try himself.
The Western Province forwards combined well with their backs, retaining most of the possession during the game. This forced the Cheetahs to do most of the defending. Ntubeni is a powerful runner with the ball but also provided the necessary ball security in the tackle situations. The Cheetahs’ Joseph Dweba may be equally powerful but will need some more time to learn the ins and outs of crash-ball rugby before being able to compete with Ntubeni for an international cap.
All video courtesy of SuperSport.