by Len Kaplan
It’s climax time in the Currie Cup and we have the Cheetahs-conquering Sharks travelling to Newlands to play against Lions-vanquishing Western Province. And that’s the spot-on appropriate final, with the two best-performing teams in the competition meeting up in what should be a humdinger of a game.
5 things we learned from the Currie Cup semi-finals this weekend:
• Gio Aplon’s attacking skill set is such that Heyneke Meyer must surely select him for the Springbok tour to Wales, Scotland and France. We so often hear about players with magical X-factor who can produce something out of nothing – Aplon is amongst the best of these. And yes, can defend as well.
• Pieter-Steph du Toit and Franco van der Merwe should both be ahead of Juandré Kruger as first-choice Springbok number five lock while Andries Bekker is playing in Japan.
• François Steyn’s 52 minutes and Johan Goosen’s 37 minutes showed that they have some way to go in match fitness and skill level before they’ll be ready to return to Test rugby. Heyneke Meyer may be tempted to take them on tour to play as subs but Pat Lambie’s brilliant performance on Saturday can only have confirmed that he is the obvious flyhalf alternative to Morné Steyn,
• Johann Sadie and Robert Ebersohn are top-class centres, individually and as a pair.
• Marius van der Westhuizen is the best of South Africa’s young up-and-coming referees. It would come as no surprise if he were appointed to a Test match in the not-too-distant future.
Player of the Week:
Gio Aplon. He showed sublime skill on attack, and his defense was good too. His try was something special – magical artistry.
Suggestion to Referees:
Stop players racing ahead of the kicker at kick-off and restart kicks. When last did you see a kick-off or restart kick without players ahead of the ball as it is kicked? Why do referees ignore this?
Quote of the Week:
Referee Marius Jonker to the Western Province and Golden Lions front rows: “People come to watch rugby, not just scrums!”