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Currie Cup Team of the Week – Round 13

Griquas’ captain fantastic Hanru Sirgel stands tall as our standout player of the penultimate round of the Currie Cup league phase.

Currie Cup Hanru Sirgel

Griquas’ captain fantastic Hanru Sirgel stands tall as our standout player of the penultimate round of the Currie Cup league phase, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld. 

Friday’s fixtures saw Griquas and the Bulls score crucial wins, the Peacock Blues coming from behind to beat Western Province 38-29 in Kimberley and the men from Pretoria thumping the Griffons 64-33 at Loftus Versfeld. 

On Saturday, the Sharks and Cheetahs cemented home semi-finals with the Durbanites defeating the Lions 29-21 at Kings Park and the Free Staters securing a 29-14 win over the Pumas in Nelspruit.

Griquas and the Bulls have the most representatives in our Team of the Week with four each, the Sharks and Cheetahs have three a piece and the Lions one. 

15: George Whitehead (Griquas)

Made an immense contribution with his metronomic boot. Scored 13 points (five conversions and a late penalty goal) while his long, accurate kicking out of hand was also valuable. 

14: Cornal Hendricks (Bulls)

Banked a classic chip-and-chase try, strong in contact and won the aerial contests.

13: Manie Rass (Lions)

So quick off the mark, evaded several defenders with hot-stepping, saved the day early on by defusing a dangerous grubber and produced a vital jackal just outside his 22. 

12: Chris Smit (Bulls)

Mixed hard running with deft distribution like the 20-metre pass that teed up Hendricks and added stinging defence.

11: David Kriel (Bulls)

Ran in a hat-trick of tries and looked for work. 

10: Ruan Pienaar (Cheetahs)

Calmly and classily shepherded his side to victory. Good decision-making and had the ball on a string for the most part, starting with an early 50:22, to claim the Man of the Match honours.

9: Johan Mulder (Griquas)

A Jack Russell with the heart of a lion. Brave and brilliant as he seized two breakdown penalties, nimble and accurate on attack – including picking out Sango Xamlashe with a tight pass for his try – and kicked well. 

8: Nizaam Carr (Bulls)

Full of running. Barged over a couple of defenders, sliced in between others with deceptively good footwork, scored a try and uncorked some impressive long passes. 

7: Hanru Sirgel (Griquas) – Player of the Week

Inspired his team’s triumph with a spirited Man of the Match performance. Dangerous with ball in hand – setting off on three fantastic breaks – defended like a warrior and produced a crucial lineout steal on his 5m line.

6: Vincent Tshituka (Sharks)

Came on for an injured Dylan Richardson in the 19th minute and took over, delivering a dynamic, fierce and at times flashy Man of the Match outing.  

5: Victor Sekekete (Cheetahs)

A solid captain’s innings. A tower of strength in the lineout, physical in the trenches and ripped a vital turnover when the Cheetahs were down to 14 men.

4: Dylan Sjoblom (Griquas)

A disruptor of the highest order in the lineout. Terrorised Western Province in the set piece, snatching two steals, the second on his 22m line.A key cog in the driving maul and a fixture in the tight loose. 

3: Ntuthuko Mchunu (Sharks)

Fantastic in all facets. Had the work rate of a man half his size and was especially relentless in the ball-carrying department. 

2: Marnus van der Merwe (Cheetahs)

Created and scored a try from the lineout, where he threw daggers all evening, and combative, stripping Francois Kleinhans of possession. 

1: Ntuthuko Mchunu (Sharks)

Started the second half and made an immediate impact, winning a scrum penalty and rumbling over for a try that put the Sharks in the lead. A beastly ball carrier, he committed two tacklers more often than not and scored the match-winning try. 

Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at and senior staff writer at, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

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