All to play for in Bloemfontein Vodacom Cup clash

Apr 25 • General News, National, South Africa, Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Cup News • 3188 Views • Comments Off on All to play for in Bloemfontein Vodacom Cup clash

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There is plenty at stake for DHL Western Province when they travel to Bloemfontein to take on the Free State XV in a final-round Vodacom Cup league match on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 16h45).

The defending champion WP side has a chance to top the South Section log in the Vodacom Cup – as they did last year – but they need to beat the Free Staters away from home on Saturday.

But, their own bid for victory aside, Province will also be hoping that the ICBC Pampas XV can beat the Sharks XV in Durban on Friday evening – the Men from Durban just two points ahead of the Men from Cape Town on the Vodacom Cup standings at present.

As things stand now, the Sharks have 24 log points, WP are next on 22 and the Pampas are breathing down their necks with 21 points on the standings.

Province coach John Dobson has made three changes to his team from last week – as WP claimed a 34-27 win over SWD in the Strand – with wily veteran Bolla Conradie assuming the No.9 jersey, as well as the captaincy in the absence of centre Marcel Brache who was a late withdrawal last Saturday with a quad-muscle injury.

“I am sorry Marcel Brache, our regular skipper, did not make it back. Marcel will need another week which means we really do, in such a young team, need Bolla’s experience and leadership,” explained Dobson.

“But it’s great to welcome back Don Armand, who passed his fitness test yesterday – an individual, leader and player of his quality would boost any team. (Hooker) Mike Willemse has been a real find for us – but had been through the mill in the last two games, so he drops to the bench this week.

“Although we have already qualified for the quarterfinals, this is a must-win for us to ensure we play (the match) in our beloved Cape next weekend,” added the WP boss.

Speaking about WP’s season up till now, which sees them riding the wave of a four-game unbeaten run at present, Dobson said: “We had a tough start to the season, but we have come together nicely since then and putting 40 points on the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth the game after that was a great comeback and getting 19 from a possible 20 points since then has been great for the team.

“Yes, we can top the log… but if we lose on Saturday against a good Free State side, then we will end up with an away quarterfinal – something we have never had before as a management team (since taking over in 2011).”

The DHL WP Vodacom Cup team to take on the Free State XV:

15. Cheslin Kolbe
14. Pat Howard
13. Berton Klaasen
12. Michael van der Spuy
11. Devon Williams
10. Kurt Coleman
9. Bolla Conradie (captain)
8. Rayn Smid
7. Don Armand
6. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
5. Gerbrandt Grobler (vice-captain)
4. Wilhelm van der Sluys
3. Chris Heiberg
2. Stephan Coetzee
1. Ashley Wells

Reserves:
16. Mike Willemse
17. Tjoppie Ferreira
18. Taz Fuzani
19. Cobus Nel
20. Godlen Masimla
21. Kobus van Wyk
22. Tim Swiel

Referee: Marius Jonker

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