|Date||Saturday, 13 October 2018|
|Venue||Tafel Lager Park, Kimberley|
|Referee||Marius van der Westhuizen|
|Assistant Referees||Ben Crouse, Jaco Kotze|
|Television Match Official||Lourens van der Merwe|
The Cell C Sharks will mount one last fight before the semis, in the battle for Currie Cup honours when we travel to Tafel Lager Park in Kimberley on Saturday for a 3pm showdown with Griquas.
Head coach Robert du Preez has made a number of changes to the team that played Western Province two weeks’ ago, with a new captain in scrumhalf Louis Schreuder as season captain Chiliboy Ralepelle swaps with Akker van der Merwe, handing the latter a start.
Also in the front row, and the only other change amongst the forwards, Coenie Oosthuizen comes in for Thomas du Toit for a straight rotational swap.
Curwin Bosch has been handed a start at flyhalf, with Robert du Preez shifting to centre in place of Marius Louw who will no doubt cause mayhem for the opposition when he comes off the bench in the second half. There is a welcome return for Sbu Nkosi after being called up for the Springbok squad ahead of their final game against the All Blacks, and he will be raring to go. In the final change, Aphelele Fassi takes over Bosch’s place in the vacated fullback position.
There are two notable inclusions on an exciting and experienced bench, U/19 lock JJ van der Mescht has been named, with Jean-Luc du Preez returning from injury at the most opportune time.
This final week’s action will see the permutations for the semi-finals being finalised, but right now, there is no guarantee for any of the top five teams. As far as a place in the semis goes. Province need just two points from their match against the Blue Bulls to remain in top spot. The Cell C Sharks could leap-frog the men from Cape Town should we gain a bonus point victory and Province are denied any log points.
However, the Bulls could usurp the Cell C Sharks should they win and we lose, so a home semi-final is the carrot at the end of their stick as much as it is ours.
Which all makes for an exciting finale to the pool stages of the competition!
Cell C Sharks
15. Aphelele Fassi
14. Sbu Nkosi
13. Jeremy Ward
12. Robert du Preez
11. Lwazi Mvovo
10. Curwin Bosch
9. Louis Schreuder (c)
8. Daniel du Preez
7. Tyler Paul
6. Jacques Vermeulen
5. Hyron Andrews
4. Gideon Koegelenberg
3. Coenie Oosthuizen
2. Akker van der Merwe
1. Juan Schoeman
16. Chiliboy Ralepelle
17. Thomas du Toit
18. JJ van der Mescht
19. Jean-Luc du Preez
20. Grant Williams
21. Marius Louw
22. Kobus van Wyk