Players from six of the eight competing sides bring great variety to our Currie Cup Team of the Week, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.
On Friday, the defending champion Pumas pipped the Lions 34-27 in Nelspruit and Western Province outgunned arch-rivals the Bulls 41-33 in Pretoria.
Sunday saw the Cheetahs wallop the Griffons 52-12 in Welkom and Griquas roar back from 18 points down to record a 48-40 win over the Sharks in Kimberley.
Western Province, the Bulls, and the Cheetahs all have four stars in our team with the Pumas, Griquas, and Sharks each having one representative.
15: Clayton Blommetjies (Western Province) – Team Of The Week
A polished performance. Full of running, made a number of line breaks with his speed and agility, finished a thrilling try, and produced an extraordinary 50:22 to pick up the Man of the Match award.
14: Ruhan Nel (Western Province)
Created carnage every time he touched the ball. Created a try for Kade Wolhuter with a brilliant counter-attack that saw him beat three Bulls and took a difficult pass to score a try of his own.
13: Diego Appollis (Pumas)
The Pumas’ two-try hero. Pounced on a wayward pass to release Devon Williams for a try, touched down after an excellently executed pre-planned move off a scrum, and delivered a wicked step off his left foot to leave Rynhardt Jonker for dead and score the match-winning try.
12: Harold Vorster (Bulls)
Central to much of the Bulls’ best work. Had a key hand in Sbu Nkosi’s try, varied his game with a couple of clever grubbers, and even added his weight to the driving maul.
11: Munier Hartzenberg (Cheetahs)
Had a field day in the Free State derby, running in no less than four tries. Luther Obi was outstanding for Griquas as well.
10: Kade Wolhuter (Western Province)
A second complete performance in as many weeks. Attacked the line, moved the chains, scored after some superb support play, and punished the Bulls with the boot. Finished with a personal tally of 26 points.
9: Paul de Wet (Western Province)
One of his best showings. His speed to the ball, distribution, and vision were world-class and primarily why Province’s attack flourished as it did. Textbook scrumhalf support play to dot down and architected Nel’s try by beating one defender and drawing another.
8: Andisile Ntsila (Cheetahs)
A standout exhibition of strength and skill. Bumped off defenders, made a great break, and conjured up a cracking chicken-wing offload to put Hartzenberg in for his third try.
7: Dylan Richardson (Sharks)
Brilliant at the breakdown, winning two crucial penalties on his 5m line, the first when the Sharks were down to 14 men, strong in contact, and scored two late tries.
6: Hanru Sirgel (Griquas)
Changed the complexion of the game when he replaced the injured Niel Otto. Took over the captaincy and led by example, injecting incredible energy and intensity. Steamrolled Thaakir Abrahams to go over for the try that put Griquas in the lead.
5: Ruan Nortje (Pumas)
Lived up to his ironman reputation with a loose forward-like work rate. Made a string of carries in the lead-up to Cornal Hendricks’ try, was held up over the line, which would’ve been a deserved try, and was the general of the lineout and driving mauls.
4: Ruan Vermaak (Bulls)
In the thick of the action. Pure power in the trenches, produced a slick offload to put Zak Burger in for a try and clutch contesting in the lineouts.
3: Hencus van Wyk (Cheetahs)
The man with the orange scrum cap showed off his impressive gas tank in the Welkom heat, relentlessly carrying the ball up, making tackles, and scrummaging well for the full 80 minutes.
2: Marko Janse van Rensburg (Cheetahs)
Top-notch grafting around the park. Had work to do to score the opening try after peeling off a driving maul and set up his captain Victor Sekekete’s try with a beautiful inside pass after having beaten a defender.
1: Gerhard Steenekamp (Bulls)
As good as it gets. Won the turnover that resulted in the first try and dominated Sazi Sandi at scrum time, winning four penalties in all.