Player ratings: Heartbreak for hosts

Sat, 26 Oct 2013 19:43
Large jdv high ball630 Large de allende dive630 Large newlands crowd630

A dream season came to a tragic end for Western Province as they slipped to a 19-33 defeat to the Sharks in the Currie Cup Final at Newlands on Saturday.

A dream season came to a tragic end for Western Province as they slipped to a 19-33 defeat to the Sharks in the Currie Cup Final at Newlands on Saturday.

The defending champions endured a meltdown at the most inopportune time.

Fuelled by emotion but lacking composure, they failed in their bid to become the first Western Province side since 1936 to go through a season unbeaten.

Their big-name players - for the most part - didn’t deliver. The Sharks’ fast start had them under the cosh and the visitors’ slow poison territory-based strategy ate away at the hosts, who gradually succumbed to the pressure and expectation of their home supporters.   

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the Western Province players.

15 Gio Aplon
Solid under the high ball and ever elusive on attack.
7/10

14 Gerhard van den Heever

Not the dream send-off Ireland-bound Van den Heever envisioned. Made a crucial tackle on SP Marais but needed to inject himself into the action more.
6.5/10

13 Jean de Villiers

Apart from a few deft touches and solid defence, the Springbok skipper had a quiet evening. Arguably not as motivated as Allister Coetzee would have hoped. He certainly didn’t play with the same determination as he did in the recent Rugby Championship decider against the All Blacks.
7/10

12 Damian de Allende

Scored a good try but knocked two restarts, the second resulting in a penalty for accidental offside.
6.5/10

11 Cheslin Kolbe

Showed glimpses of his potential as he danced past a number of would-be defenders but his inexperience showed, most notably when he kicked the ball out on the full.
6.5/10

10 Demetri Catrakilis

In contrast to Pat Lambie, Catrakilis was faultless off the tee but almost anonymous in general play. Was content to go through the motions as opposed to taking the game at the scruff of the neck as he did in last year’s Final and cried off in the second half.
6/10

9 Louis Schreuder

His distribution - and tendency to walk across the field before passing - was mediocre and damning, as highlighted by opposite number Charl McLeod’s intercept try. Also failed to act as a sweeper.
4/10

8 Duane Vermeulen

Didn’t had the impact expected of him and squandered a try-scoring opportunity with an uncharacteristic knock-on at an attacking five-mete line-out.
7/10

7 Siya Kolisi

Left the field early on due to a cut above his eye and could never truly get into his rhythm when he returned.
6/10

6 Deon Fourie (captain)

Pitbull-like mongrel in the tight loose and with ball in hand. Great pressure on McLeod at the back of the scrum to win a crucial turnover but was only blown up on the deck on occasions. Also made a bizarre call when he turned down three points in the first half.
6.5/10

5 De Kock Steenkamp

Poached a line-out but lost the set-piece battle by some margin and also conceded some silly penalties.
6/10

4 Eben Etzebeth

Produced his usual mix of power, skill and athleticism but didn’t have it all his own way.
7/10

3 Pat Cilliers

Scrummed well enough but conceded a number of penalties while trying to defend driving mauls.
6.5/10

2 Siyabonga Ntubeni

His shaky line-out throwing showed the promising youngster has some way to go still in terms of his development.  
6/10

1 Steven Kitshoff

Scrummed very well and backed it up with a high workrate for a front row forward.
7/10

Replacements:

16 Frans Malherbe
(on for Cilliers, 54th minute)
Solid at scrum time and made a few tackles close in.
6.5/10

17 Brok Harris
(on for Ntubeni, 74th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

18 Michael Rhodes (on for Steenkamp, 55th minute)
His ill-discipline - choking Bismarck du Plessis - cost Province dearly.
6/10

19 Schalk Burger
(on for Kolisi - blood, sixth minute; on for Kolisi, 59th minute)
Not quite the “Incredible Schalk” but then he’s still in the early stages of his comeback. Didn’t let the hosts down but probably didn’t do enough to warrant a place on the plane for the Springboks’ end-of-year tour.
6/10

20 Nic Groom
(on for Schreuder, 51st minute)
Brought the quick, crisp distribution Western Province needed. Should have been brought on earlier.  
6.5/10

21 Kurt Coleman
(on for Catrakilis, 47th minute)
Slotted his one and only kick at goal.
6/10
 
22 Juan de Jongh
(on for Van den Heever, 51st minute)
Unable to produce the magic like he did in last year’s decider.
6/10

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CURRIE CUP
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Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 10 9 0 1 43
Free State Cheetahs 9 6 0 3 30
Western Province 9 5 0 4 27
Golden Lions 9 4 0 5 25
Pumas 10 4 0 6 24
Blue Bulls 9 3 0 6 20
Griquas 10 2 0 8 16