Team of the Week: Big cat fight

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 22:52
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CURRIE CUP SPOTLIGHT: Two teams made a big statement of intent this past weekend and they were rewarded in rugby365's famous weekly selection.

The Golden Lions, despite playing with a decidedly second-string team, simply had too much class for the Pumas.

And the Free State Cheetahs showed they are benefiting from having virtually their entire Super Rugby selection still intact - demolishing the Blue Bulls.

As a result, the two teams dominate this week's selection.

The Lions have six players in our starting XV, followed closely by the Cheetahs with five.

The Sharks (with two), Pumas and Blue Bulls (one each) make up the numbers.

There is good reward for the Sharks - who were too powerful for Griquas - in our back-up squad, where they have five players - the same as the Cheetahs.

The Lions (three) also get some additional reward - with the Bulls and Boland Cavaliers (one each) making up the numbers.

Four players return from last week - fullback Clayton Blommetjies (Free State Cheetahs), centre Francois Venter (Free State Cheetahs), lock Jason Jenkins (Blue Bulls) and prop Retshegofaditswe Nche (Free State Cheetahs).

Team of the week - Round Two:

15 - Clayton Blommetjies (Free State Cheetahs):
His attacking form is something to behold and the rest of his game is not too shabby either.
Bubbling under: Sylvian Mahuza (Golden Lions)

14 - Koch Marx (Golden Lions):
This man is going make a lot of people sit up and take note if he continues with his impressive early season form.
Bubbling under: Jamba Ulengo (Blue Bulls)

13 - Francois Venter (Free State Cheetahs):
He has been in great form all year and remains unfortunate not to be in the Springbok mix.
Bubbling under: Lukhanyo Am (Sharks)

12 - Howard Mnisi (Golden Lions):
He is showing great maturity in his game and another of those knocking on the Bok door.
Bubbling under: William Small-Smith (Free State Cheetahs)

11 - Anthony Volmink (Golden Lions):
Pure pace. That is the main requirement of a wing.
Bubbling under: Raymond Rhule (Free State Cheetahs)

10 - Fred Zeilinga (Free State Cheetahs):
It was a tough choice between two flyhalves who showed great vision and played important roles in their respective teams' victories.
Bubbling under: Jaco van der Walt (Golden Lions)

9 - Ross Cronje (Golden Lions):
He is certainly relishing the captaincy role.
Bubbling under: Tian Meyer (Free State Cheetahs)

8 - Renaldo Botha (Pumas):
He often fought a lone battle against the overwhelming power of the Golden Lions pack.
Bubbling under: Lubabalo Mtembu (Sharks)

7 - Philip van der Walt (Sharks):
He is the spark that has set the Sharks' season alight.
Bubbling under: Uzair Cassiem (Free State Cheetahs)

6 - Paul Schoeman (Free State Cheetahs):
One of the unsung heroes in a much-improved Cheetahs team.
Bubbling under: Keegan Daniel (Sharks)

5 - Lourens Erasmus (Golden Lions):
He has a good workrate for such a large lad and he does have a new Currie Cup record - for the fastest try in the tournament's illustrious history.
Bubbling under: Stephan Lewies (Sharks)

4 - Jason Jenkins (Blue Bulls):
With a bit more support from his teammates, the Bulls may not get bullied so easily again.
Bubbling under: Shaun McDonald (Boland Cavaliers)

3 - Thomas du Toit (Sharks):
He looks to be regaining some form and live up to the promise he showed as a junior.
Bubbling under: Tom Botha (Free State Cheetahs);

2 - Armand van der Merwe (Golden Lions):
It is not just the energy and workrate, but also the skill he displayed.
Bubbling under: Franco Marais (Sharks)

1 - Retshegofaditswe Nche (Free State Cheetahs):
Maybe his 50-metre try grabbed the headlines, but there is so much more to his game than energetic bursts with the ball in hand.
Bubbling under: Corne Fourie (Golden Lions)

Our individual selections:

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Lourens Erasmus, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Koch Marx, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Lourens Erasmus, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.

Previous selections:

Team of the week - Round One: 15 Clayton Blommetjies (Free State Cheetahs), 14 Jade Stighlingh (Blue Bulls), 13 Francois Venter (Free State Cheetahs), 12 Andrew Esterhuizen (Sharks), 11 Jamba Ulengo (Blue Bulls), 10 Curwin Bosch (Sharks), 9 Jano Vermaak (Western Province), 8 Arno Botha (Blue Bulls), 7 Jannes Kirsten (Blue Bulls), 6 Keegan Daniel (Sharks), 5 Stephan Lewis (Sharks), 4 Jason Jenkins (Blue Bulls), 3 Lourens Adriaanse (Sharks), 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni (Western Province), 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche (Free State Cheetahs).