South Africa’s women’s rugby faithful will be treated to a jam-packed day of action and free entry to Tafel Lager Park in Kimberley and Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit in a special Currie Cup treat on Women’s Day on Wednesday.
The fairer sex will be granted free access to the matches between Tafel Lager Griquas and DHL Western Province in Kimberley, and the Steval Pumas and Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Nelspruit respectively, with children also entering for free at the Mbombela Stadium.
In the other Currie Cup Premier Division match of the day – proudly brought to you by DirectAxis and Nashua – the Vodacom Blue Bulls will host the Cell C Sharks at Loftus Versfeld, while the Xerox Golden Lions have a bye.Fans are encouraged to bring along sanitary products to the matches, which will be distributed to disadvantaged women through Caring4Girls. These produces can be placed in the collection boxes at the stadium entrances. A video featuring actor, comedian, and activist Siv Ngesi, who is also the ambassador for the Sanitary Product drive, can be watched on YOUTUBE.
In Kimberley, Tafel Lager Griquas will be hunting their first victory of the season, while DHL Western Province will look to build on their first win last weekend. History favours the Capetonians, who have won all seven matches between the sides dating back to the 2012 season. The hosts, however, have surprised many teams at home in the past, which could boost their confidence.
The match will be particularly significant for DHL Western Province hooker Scarra Ntubeni, who will earn his 50th cap off the bench. Both team’s coaches made several changes to their sides to manage their players’ load after playing on Saturday, with new front rows among the changes.
The Steval Pumas will brace themselves for a tough battle against the unbeaten Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Nelspruit, but their impressive track record against the defending champions and the fact that the visitors come off a bye will inspire them. In their last four encounters, the Bloemfontein side have won only one match, and drew one.
The Steval Pumas and Toyota Free State Cheetahs have made a number of changes to their starting line-ups, with the hosts fielding a new front row and halfback pairing among the changes, while Jasper Wiese will debut for the Free Staters at No 8, and Niell Jordaan will lead the team in the absence of Francois Venter who is in the Springbok squad.
The match-up between the Vodacom Blue Bulls and Cell C Sharks in Pretoria will be exciting as the both sides will enter the match high on confidence. The hosts come off two 50-point hauls and remain unbeaten, while the Cell C Sharks bounced back strongly from their round-one defeat with back-to-back victories. Interestingly, the KwaZulu-Natalians have won four of the last five matches between the sides since 2013.
Junior Springbok utility back Manie Libbok will make his Vodacom Blue Bulls debut, while former Springbok wing Jamba Ulengo returns from injury in the notable changes to coach Nollis Marais’ team.
Cell C Sharks coach Robert du Preez has named Franco Marais, Tera Mtembu and Inny Radebe as replacements for Chiliboy Ralepelle, Daniel du Preez, and Curwin Bosch, who are in the Springbok squad.
Currie Cup round four fixtures – Wednesday, 9 August:
Tafel Lager Griquas v DHL Western Province
Tafel Lager Griquas – AJ Coertzen (captain), Ederies Arendse, Tertius Kruger, Jonathan Francke, Enver Brandt, Andre Swarts, Renier Botha, Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, Sias Koen, Wendal Wehr, Pieter Janse van Vuren, Mzwanele Zito, Nicolaas Oosthuizen, Marius Fourie, Liam Hendricks. Replacements: Wilmar Arnoldi, Stephan Kotzé, Jonathan Adendorf, DeWet Kruger, Tiaan Dorfling, George Whitehead, Eric Zana.
DHL Western Province – SP Marais, Seabelo Senatla, EW Viljoen, Michal Hazner, Bjorn Basson, Kurt Coleman, Dewaldt Duvenage, Nizaam Carr, Kobus van Dyk, Steph de Wit, JD Schickerling, Chris van Zyl (capt), Wilco Louw, Ramone Samuels, JC Janse van Rensburg. Replacements: Scarra Ntubeni, Michael Kumbirai, Jurie van Vuuren, Jaco Coetzee, Jano Vermaak, Huw Jones, Damian Willemse.
Venue: Tafel Lager Park, Kimberley
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Referees: Mpho Matsaung & Nico Schmahl
TMO: JJ Wagner
Steval Pumas v Toyota Free State Cheetahs
Steval Pumas – Devon Williams, Jerome Pretorius, Gerrit Smith, Hennie Skorbinski (captain), Ruwellyn Isbell, Justin van Staden, Stefan Ungerer, Lambert Groenewald, Thembelani Bholi, Francois Kleinhans, Hugo Kloppers, Jeremy Jordaan, Pieter Scholtz, Marko Janse van Rensburg, Kwezi Mona. Replacements: Frank Herne, De-Jay Terblanche, Cameron Lindsay, Chris Cloete, Reynier van Rooyen, Kobus Marais, Neil Maritz.
Toyota Free State Cheetahs – Clayton Blommetjies, Rosko Specman, William Small-Smith, Rayno Benjamin, Makazole Mapimpi, Niel Marais, Shaun Venter, Jasper Wiese, Henco Venter, Niell Jordaan (captain), Reniel Hugo, Justin Basson, Aranos Coetzee, Jacques du Toit, Ox Nche. Replacements: Charles Marais, Joseph Dweba, Rynier Bernardo, Junior Pokomela, Zee Mkhabela, JW Jonker, Malcolm Jaer.
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant Referees: Ricus van der Hoven & Alex Jonker
TMO: Johan Greeff
Vodacom Blue Bulls v Cell C Sharks
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Manie Libbok, Travis Ismaiel, Franco Naude, Burger Odendaal, Jamba Ulengo, Tony Jantjies, Andre Warner, Nic de Jager, Jannes Kirsten, Boom Prinsloo (captain), Ruben van Heerden, Irné Herbst, John-Roy Jenkinson, Jan Henning Campher, Pierre Schoeman. Replacements: Jaco Visagie, Matthys Basson, Abongile Nonkontwana, Shaun Adendorff, Ivan van Zyl, JT Jackson, Dries Swanepoel.
Cell C Sharks – Garth April, Kobus van Wyk, Jeremy Ward, Lukhanyo Am, Sbu Nkosi, Inny Radebe, Michael Claassens, Tera Mtembu, Jacques Vermeulen, Keegan Daniel, Ruan Botha (captain), Tyler Paul, Ross Geldenhuys, Franco Marais, Thomas du Toit. Replacements (TBC): Akker van der Merwe, Juan Schoeman, John-Hubert Meyer, Jean Droste, Cameron Wright, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Odwa Ndungane, Louis Schreuder, Marius Louw, Mzamo Majola, Wian Vosloo.
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant Referees: Stephan Geldenhuys & Morne Ferreira
TMO: Pro Legoete