Bulls hooker Johan Grobbelaar made the biggest impression in Round 10 of the Currie Cup at the weekend, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.
Two tight contests on Friday saw Western Province hold off a fightback from the Griffons in Welkom to clinch a 25-21 win and the Sharks score a converted try at the death to snatch a 24-22 victory over a 14-man Pumas side in Nelspruit.
The Lions on Saturday sprung a surprise when they toppled the table-topping Cheetahs 33-26 in Bloemfontein and the Bulls bagged a 40-20 win over Griquas in Kimberley.
Our Currie Cup Team of the Week consists of four Lions, three Western Province players, two Bulls, two Sharks, two Pumas, a Cheetah and a Griquas standout.
15: Nevaldo Fleurs (Sharks)
The Sharks’ match-winner. Renowned for his attacking exploits but it was his ice-cool temperament that clinched the game for the Durbanites as he slotted two clutch conversions, including the decisive two-pointer.
14: Rosko Specman (Griquas)
Looking for work set him apart from the rest and allowed him to rack up plenty of metres and ask a lot of questions of the Bulls’ defence.
13: Rynhardt Jonker (Lions)
Great line and timing of his run to draw first blood, good bit of skill to set up JC Pretorius for his score and made a try-saving tackle on David Brits
12: Cornel Smit (Western Province)
Stormed over the advantage line at will with his power and lethal inside step. Provided the momentum for the Capetonians’ first try, made a match-high 16 carries and 11 tackles.
11: Edwill van der Merwe (Lions)
Made his presence felt. Good synergy with Morne van den Berg to collect his chip for a try, bumped off Robert Ebersohn and stood up strong on defence.
10: Thinus de Beer (Pumas)
Masterfully marshalled the game with his team being a man down for most of the match. Scored 17 of the Pumas’ 22 points, kicked excellently out of hand and was sensational on defence, making a try-saving tackle on Yaw Penxe and winning three turnovers on the deck.
9: Thomas Bursey (Western Province)
A probing predator who pressed the action. Used quick taps and the blindside and pounced on a wayward pass to score. Hit the right runners, rolled a delicate kick into touch in the 22 and came away with the Man of the Match award.
8: Kwanda Dimaza (Pumas)
A barnstorming Man of the Match performance. Ultra-dynamic, he charged at the Sharks all afternoon and won most if not all of the collisions he was involved in. Made no less than 18 tackles.
7: Jarrod Taylor (Western Province)
Impressive all-around. Strong in contact, scored Western Province’s opening try, defended intensely (15 tackles) and delivered a jackal.
6: JC Pretorius (Lions)
Continued his rich vein of form with a prolific performance. His strong run was key in the build-up to Jonker’s try, he scored one himself, sat down Rynhardt Rijnsburger and was a menace at the breakdown.
5: Reniel Hugo (Sharks)
The Sharks skipper was all over the park. That work rate extended to him charging down Chriswill September, pouncing on a loose ball and even executing a dangerous grubber. A calm presence down the dramatic stretch.
4: Ruan Venter (Lions)
A powerhouse who brought his loose forward work rate to the second row. Smashed into rucks and nearly knocked Ruan Pienaar out of his boots.
3: Hencus van Wyk (Cheetahs)
Showcased a very impressive gas tank for a man his size. Was the Cheetahs’ most productive ball carrier, chugged along for the full 80 minutes and was strong in the scrums.
2: Johan Grobbelaar (Bulls) – Player of the Week
A top-class complete performance. Mister Clinical in the set pieces, bagged a try in each half, was effective at the breakdown and made an excellent cover tackle on Sako Makata.
1: Gerhard Steenekamp (Bulls)
Took it to Janu Botha, winning two scrum penalties, and made some valuable hit-ups.