Drama set to continue in second round
September 13, 2012
The second round of the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division kicks off this coming Saturday with log leaders DHL Western Province travelling to Durban to face the third-placed Sharks in the pick of the weekend's matches.

WP lead the six-team standings on points difference from defending champions the MTN Golden Lions and Sharks, all of whom have 15 log points. And while he would never admit it, WP coach Allister Coetzee will be hoping that his young team can exact revenge for the nailbiting 25-23 defeat they suffered at the hands of the Durbanites at Newlands last month.

In Saturday's first match, fifth-placed GWK Griquas will want to build on their 22-15 win over the Sharks in Kimberley last week when they host the Vodacom Blue Bulls, who find themselves in the wholly unfamiliar position of bottom of the table after three defeats in their opening five matches.

Coach Pine Pienaar has responded to the situation by naming three new players among the backs, Jurgen Visser, Ulrich Beyers and Rudy Paige replacing Clayton Blommetjies, Johann Sadie and Ruan Snyman.

And in the weekend's other match, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, who currently lie fourth in the standings, will look to bounce back from their 29-22 home defeat to WP last week when they welcome the second-placed Lions – victors over the Blue Bulls last week – to the Free State Stadium.

Coach Naka Drotské has surprised by naming scrumhalf Tewis de Bruyn at flyhalf for the clash against the battling Jo'burgers, who announced earlier this week that talismanic skipper Josh Strauss would be furthering his career in Scotland with immediate effect.

Vodacom Blue Bulls flyhalf Louis Fouché tops the Premier Division point-scoring log after Round 5, with 74 points made up of seven conversions, 19 penalties and a drop goal. Behind Fouché in second place is DHL WP flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis on 59, with Sharks centre Meyer Bosman on 56.

Sharks wing Odwa Ndungane and Cheetahs wing Raymond Rhule continue to lead the try-scoring stakes with four touchdowns apiece, with Blue Bulls loose forward CJ Stander, Griquas wing Rocco Jansen and Free State Cheetahs scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius on three apiece.

This weekend's fixtures – Round 6:

GWK Griquas vs Vodacom Blue Bulls

Date: Saturday, 15 September
Kickoff: 15h00
Venue: GWK Park, Kimberley
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistants: Lesego Legoete, Francois de Bruin
Television match official: JC Fortuin
Last meeting: 10 August in Pretoria (First round): Blue Bulls won 35-20

Toyota Free State Cheetahs vs MTN Golden Lions

Date: Saturday, 15 September
Kickoff: 17h05
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Sindile Mayende
Assistants: Quinton Immelman, Stefan Breytenbach
Television match official: Gerrie Coetzee
Last meeting: 11 August in Johannesburg (First round): Lions won 43-20

Sharks vs DHL Western Province

Date: Saturday, 15 September
Kickoff: 19h10
Venue: Mr Price Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe
Assistants: Jaco van Heerden, Reuben Rossouw
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman
Last meeting: 11 August in Cape Town (First round): Sharks won 25-23