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Player ratings: Epic Etzebeth

Sat, 27 Oct 2012 14:46
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The meteoric rise of Etzebeth reached the summit in the Final
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Western Province overcame the odds as they secured a tense 25-18 victory over the Sharks in Durban on Saturday to end an 11-year Currie Cup trophy drought.

The visitors were decided underdogs in the Kings Park Final but shocked all and sundry with a dominant line-out and moments of individual brilliance that saw them being crowned Currie Cup champions.  

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the Western Province players.

15 Gio Aplon
Failed to really inject himself into the match on attack but was typically tenacious on defence.
6.5/10

14 Gerhard van den Heever

Nothing spectacular from the former Blue Bulls player but was able to keep the speedy Lwazi Mvovo in check and made one or two strong, direct runs.
6.5/10

13 Juan de Jongh

His scintillating try was the turning point of the match and showed him to be a big match player. Silky footwork aside, he was aggressive on defence and timed his odd rush up the line to perfection to catch the Sharks behind the gainline.  
7.5/10

12 Damian de Allende

Truth be told, he wasn’t the battering ram he was selected to be ahead of the more creative Marcel Brache. He did front up on defence, however, and will only be the better for the experience.
6.5/10

11 Bryan Habana

Made a big hit on JP Pietersen before he limped off after just 17 minutes. Not enough time to be rated.

10 Demetri Catrakilis
Showed great character to recover from a dreadful opening quarter to play a key role in the visitors’ unlikely victory in his Western Province swansong. He willingly attacked the gainline, kicked well at goal and vitally, slotted drop-goals off his right and left boot to sink the Sharks.  
8/10

9 Nic Groom

His tactical kicking was too deep which often resulted in him merely conceding possession but he did ask some questions of the Sharks defence around the fringes.
6.5/10

8 Duane Vermeulen

Contributed equally well on attack, physical defence and at the breakdown, where he won a couple of turnovers deep inside his own territory.   
7/10

7 Don Armand

Grafted hard but was left in the shadows of the other loose forwards.  
6.5/10

6 Deon Fourie

Led by example in terms of workrate and attitude and was exceptional at the breakdown, capping a fairytale season with a man of the match performance in the Final.
8/10

5 De Kock Steenkamp

A dependable target in the line-outs and was quick to the rucks and mauls to clean out.
7/10

4 Eben Etzebeth

The meteoric rise of Etzebeth reached the summit in the Final. The 20-year-old stood head and shoulders above the rest and was in my opinion the man of the match. He single-handedly decimated the Sharks line-out, made ample of metres with ball in hand and was a huge physical presence in the tight loose.    
8.5/10

3 Frans Malherbe

Had no answer for a fired up Tendai Mtawarira at scrum time and was penalised on a number of occasions.  
5/10

2 Siyabonga Ntubeni

Shone in two areas; his line-out throwing and work across the park.
6.5/10

1 Steven Kitshoff

Strong with ball in hand but got a working over from Jannie du Plessis.
6/10

Replacements:

16 Deon Carstens
(on for Carstens, 78th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

17 Brok Harris (on for Malherbe, 78th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

18 Wilhelm van der Sluys
Not used.

19 Jebb Sinclair (on for Armand, 57th minute)
Contributed well in open play and in the line-outs and will take a coveted Currie Cup winner’s medal back to Canada.
6.5/10

20 Louis Schreuder
(on for Groom, 67th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

21 Marcel Brache
Not used.

22 Joe Pietersen (on for Habana, 17th minute)
Solid at the back, kicked a long-range penalty and made a crucial tackle on Charl McLeod at the death.  
7.5/10

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