Currie Cup

Bulldogs in search of first Currie Cup win




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The Border Bulldogs will be going all out to secure their first victory in the Currie Cup First Division when they travel to Welkom to take on the Griffons on Saturday.

The East London-based team have already suffered two defeats in the competition, an 11-10 loss to the South Western District Eagles and a 16-10 defeat to the BA Mighty Elephants.

The Bulldogs, however, will be bolstered by the return of captain Chumani Booi along with lock stalwarts Bruce Cumming and Nomani Tonga. But the problem for the Border team this season has been their inability to finish off try-scoring opportunities.

The Griffons, on the other hand, have been the in-form team in the competition and are leading the First Division log after three matches.

“The job of travelling to Welkom and winning has been difficult in previous years but I am quietly confident we will make this coming weekend our watershed weekend and restore the Bulldogs supporters’ faith in our team,” said Border coach David Maidza.

“We have unfortunately put ourselves under pressure resulting in a situation where we know anything less than a win in Welkom against the Griffons will be deemed a failure.

“Our aim is to make sure we build on the performance against the SWD Eagles at home three weeks ago and that we begin to feel comfortable with our game plan that we have been applying in training.”

Meanwhile, former Western Province Vodacom Cup eighthman Jody Burch will make his debut for the SWD Eagles in Friday’s Absa First Division clash against the Pumas in Witbank.

Burch takes over from Springbok Sevens player Schalk van der Merwe, who moves to the flank position in the place of Shawn Raubenheimer, who will play off the bench. SWD will also start with two new props. Willa Schoeman and Jaco Terblanche make way for Wickus Harmse, who returns from injury, and Brood van der Westhuizen.

The entire backline remains the same from the side that played the Griffons a fortnight ago. In the other First division match of the weekend, the Mighty Elephants travel to Kempton Park for their clash with the Valke on Saturday. The Valke have not achieved a single log point in this season’s competition and will be looking to secure their first win in the First Division against the Port Elizabeth-based team.


SWD Eagles: Bevin Fortuin (capt), Norman Nelson, Izak Saayman, Joe Breytenbach, Bobby Joubert, Gaffie du Toit, Jandré Blom, Jody Burch, Schalk van der Merwe, Victor Joubert, Henry Grimes, Wikus Liebenberg, Wickus Harmse, Wayne Bennett, Brood van der Westhuizen.

Replacements: Junior Leota, Jaco Terblanche, Hein Potgieter, Shawn Raubenheimer, Ricardo Croy, Selithemba Zweni, Baldwin McBean.

Pumas: MJ Mentz, Braam Pretorius, Tiaan Marx, Hyron Thyse, Steyn Kettledas, Valentine van Wyk, Jacques Coetzee, Christo le Roux, Martin Sithole, Corne Steenkamp (capt), Marius Coetzer, Luan Velthuizen, Ashley Buys, Hannes Franklin, Dawie Allistair.

Replacements: Torsten van Jaarsveld, Ronnie Uys, Johan van Heerden, Francois Scott, Hendrik van der Nest, Shaun Venter, Ashwin van Wyk.

Griffons (squad): Darryl Coeries, Eddie Fredericks, Werner Griesel, Kennedy Tsimba, Gerrie Odendaal, Nicky Steyn (capt), Marnus Briedenhann, Albert Parsons, Windpomp van Rooyen, Sewes Oosthuizen, Ashley Johnson, Cecil Afrika, Sandile India, Gert Greyling, Jannie Briedenhann, Philip Snyman, Hercholl Johnson, Sarel Louw, Johnny Fourie, Enrico Shultz, Thabang Molefe, Tiaan van Wyk.

Border Bulldogs: Reinhard Gerber, Ghafoer Luckan, Chumani Booi, Jeffrey Taljaard, Loloyanga Waka, Thembani Mkokeli, Morné Adams, Sebastian Hilpert, Gareth Krause (capt), Dumisani Meslane, Nomani Tonga, Andries Kruger, Marius Visser, Greg van Jaarsveld, Patrick Mulamba.

Replacements: Matthew Taljard, Buhle Mxunyelwa, Samora Fihlani, Bruce Cumming, Bernard le Roux, Jacob Naude, Dumisani Matyeshana. Mighty

Elephants: Raul Japhta, Ryan January, Derrick Memanie, Clyde Theron, Darryl Haulgreen, Deon Booysen, Nicholas Cornelius, Craig Adams, AJ Maart, Riaan Meyer, Dewald Holtzauzen, Michael van Huyssteen, Khwezi Yoyo, Kobus van der Westhuizen, Jean Wiggle.

Replacements: Mziyanda Sobuza, Zviko Muranjari, Comfort Louw, Stanley Jaji, Sisa Soxuza, Thulani Mexi, Sakhiwo Afrikaner.

Valke: Tsepo Kokoali, Gerhardus Kotsee, Franco Booysen, Corne Uys, Wensley Mbanje, Jonathan Jacobs, Jaco Snyman, Johannes de Bruin (capt), Bradley Fortuin, Reg Muller, Hendrik Knoetze, Martin Lombard, Lourens Grobler, Tango Gatya, Charl du Plessis.

Replacements: Andries Hefer, Jaques George, Yves Bashiya, Liebrecht Gericke, De la Port Maart, Clinton Kayser, Dieter Alvandre.

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