Six of the best? Western Province ring the changes for Sharks clash

Andre-Hugo Venter of Western Province during the 2023 Currie Cup match between Western Province and Pumas held at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town

Andre-Hugo Venter of Western Province is one of six changes the Cape outfit has made for their Currie Cup clash against the Sharks on Saturday. Picture: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Published Jun 9, 2023


Cape Town - Western Province made six changes to the side - three in the backline, and three amongst the forwards - for their coastal Currie Cup clash with the Sharks in Cape Town on Saturday.

It's a must-win game for WP (kickoff 5:05 PM) in the DHL Stadium as they look to seal a spot in the semi-final of the domestic competition. The Sharks already secured a home semi and will look to seal the top spot on the log with a win.

John Dobson, WP coach, brought in hooker Andre-Hugo Venter, lock Ruben van Heerden, and flanker Willie Engelbrecht who all came off the bench in the loss against Griquas last Friday.

Van Heerden and Engelbrecht will provide some bulk to the forwards as they look to topple the Durban side that won their last encounter comfortably by 20-7 at Kings Park.

In the backline, scrumhalf Godlen Masimla is back and will partner young flyhalf Jurie Matthee, while Cornel Smit forms a midfield combination with Ruhan Nel, and Mnombo Zwelendaba comes in on the wing for Angelo Davids.

With a loaded pack of forwards, Dobson will be hopeful that the Province scrum can find its footing as it can be a weapon to rely on when they want to get possession on the front foot.

Their scrummaging was brilliant against Griquas on a dry field, but the DHL Stadium can pose a different challenge to them. And then the backline will have to know their defence. If they get caught slipping and sliding when shooting out of the defensive line to make a spot tackle, the Sharks will have a field day running around them.

Western Province team: 15. Clayton Blommetjies, 14. Mnombo Zwelendaba, 13. Ruhan Nel, 12. Cornel Smit, 11. Leolin Zas, 10. Jurie Matthee, 9. Godlen Masimla, 8. Hacjivah Dayimani, 7. Marcel Theunissen, 6. Willie Engelbrecht, 5. Ruben van Heerden, 4. Ben-Jason Dixon, 3. Neethling Fouche (captain), 2. Andre-Hugo Venter, 1. Ali Vermaak.

Replacements: 16. Scarra Ntubeni, 17. Leon Lyons, 18. Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19. Connor Evans, 20. Jarrod Taylor, 21. Paul de Wet, 22. Juan de Jongh, 23. Luke Burger.


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