ABSA Currie Cup First Division Preview – Week 2

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Defending ABSA Currie Cup First Division champions the Regent Boland Kavaliers will look to put their 25-20 home defeat to arch-rivals the EP Kings in last weekend’s season-opener behind them when the men from Wellington travel to Nelspruit on Saturday to take on the Ford Pumas.


In the weekend’s other matches, Friday sees the EP Kings face fellow Southern Kings franchise partners the SWD Eagles in Port Elizabeth, and the Border Bulldogs host the Valke in East London. In addition to the Pumas-Boland match, Saturday sees the Griffons at home to the Platinum Leopards in Welkom.

The Kavaliers have drawn on their rich club resources and have handed an Absa Currie Cup First Division debut to Johannes Kitshoff, who represented Ceres Rugby Club in the Boland Premier League earlier this year.

The team will once again be captained by the evergreen Bolla Conradie, with the competition’s top point-scorer in 2011, Elgar Watts, partnering the former Springbok at flyhalf, and Springbok Sevens representative Cornal Hendricks offering fire-power in midfield.

Meanwhile, the SWD Eagles, following their comprehensive 46-8 victory over the Border Bulldogs, have announced an unchanged side to face the EP Kings at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, with the only movement coming on the bench where former Vodacom WP hooker Sydney Tobias, and the son of ex-Springbok flyhalf Errol, comes in for Wayne Kahn.

The Kings, meanwhile, have announced that former NMMU and EP utility back Michael Killian would be returning to Port Elizabeth after a successful few seasons in Johannesburg with the MTN Lions.

Pumas coach, Jimmy Stonehouse, has made a number of changes to his team following their first-round defeat to the Platinum Leopards, among them Faf de Klerk replacing Shaun Venter at scrumhalf, and DJ Terblanche coming in at tighthead to replace the injured Ashley Buys.

The Griffons, following their 37-27 victory over the Valke in Round 1, have also rung the changes for their match against the Platinum Leopards, lock Francois Uys coming into the team at flanker and Tertius Maarman, who played a big part in his team’s win in Kempton Park last week, starting at flyhalf in place of Tiaan van Wyk.

The Platinum Leopards meanwhile have lost the services of wing Danie Dames and flanker Philip de Wet, who are representing Namibia and the SA Student Sevens team this weekend respectively.

Eagles flyhalf Kurt Coleman top the point-scoring log after Round 1, with 16 points made up of five conversions and two penalties. Just behind Coleman is Leopards win Danie Dames, whose hat-trick of tries against the Ford Pumas puts him on 15, and Ford Pumas fullback JC Roos on 13 points (2 conversions, 3 penalties).

This weekend’s fixtures – Round 2:

EP Kings vs. SWD Eagles

Date: Friday, 6 July

Kickoff: 19:00

Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

Referee: Rasta Rashivenga

Assistants: Lusanda Jam, Linston Manuels

TMO: Johan Greeff

Last meeting: 26 August 2011 in George: EP won 60-24.

Border Bulldogs vs. Valke

Date: Friday, 6 July

Kickoff: 19:00

Venue: Buffalo City Municipal Stadium, East London

Referee: Jason Jaftha

Assistants: Christie du Preez, Loyiso Bosman

Last meeting: 30 September 2011 in East London: Valke won 34-31.


Ford Pumas vs. Regent Boland Kavaliers

Date: Saturday, 7 July

Kickoff: 15:00

Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

Referee: Ben Crouse

Assistants: Marius van der Westhuizen, Pieter de Villiers

Last meeting: 25 March 2011 in Witbank (Vodacom Cup): Pumas won 26-17.

Griffons vs. Platinum Leopards

Date: Saturday, 7 July

Kickoff: 15:00

Venue: North West Stadium, Welkom

Referee: Lourens van der Merwe

Assistants: Pieter Janse van Vuuren, Francois de Bruin

Last meeting: 26 March 2010 in Potchefstroom (Vodacom Cup): Leopards won 43-13.

Last week’s results – Round 1:


Regent Boland Kavaliers 20-25 EP Kings

SWD Griffons 46-8 Border Bulldogs

Platinum Leopards 32-23 Ford Pumas

Valke 27-37 Griffons

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