Golden Lions Desperate For Second Win At Home This Season

(Photo Credit: Herman Watney/Speedshots.co.za)

The Xerox Golden Lions and Tafel Lager Griquas will meet in the first semi-final at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg at 14h00. 

The match in Johannesburg will mark the second week in a row the Xerox Golden Lions and Tafel Lager Griquas meet after they crossed paths in the final round in Kimberley last week, and judging by the close result – the Jozi outfit won 27-26 – it is expected to be a cracker of a match.

The last time Tafel Lager Griquas played in the Currie Cup final was back in 1970 and they won that match 11-9 against the Vodacom Blue Bulls (then known as Northern Transvaal), and that is expected to be a huge motivational force for the team going into the clash.

The home side, meanwhile, will be hunting their first final appearance since 2015. To do that, the men from Jozi will have to overturn their home-ground odds.

The Xerox Golden Lions have won only one of their three games at Emirates Airline Park this season, which will motivate them to put up a good show in front of their home crowd, but Tafel Lager Griquas will have enough motivation of their own as their last Currie Cup victory in Johannesburg in 2012.

Adding to this, the margins between the teams on attack and defence this season have been small, with the Gauteng outfit having scored only two tries more and conceding two points fewer in the pool stages, which points to an epic clash.

The Xerox Golden Lions named an identical match-day squad to last week for the clash, while Tafel Lager Griquas made three personnel changes to their starting team with Khwezi Mona (prop), Zandre Jordaan (No 8) and Christiaan Meyer (scrumhalf) taking over from Mox Mxoli, Neill Jordaan and Chriswill September, who have all been named among the replacements. 

The match will mark special milestones in the careers of Xerox Golden Lions captain and scrumhalf Ross Cronje, and Marnus Schoeman (flanker), as both will earn their 70th Currie Cup caps.

Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg Kick-off: 14h00

Xerox Golden Lions – 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Duncan Matthews, 11 Stean Pienaar, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronje (capt), 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Sti Sithole. Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Len Massyn, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jan-Louis la Grange, 23 Jamba Ulengo.

Tafel Lager Griquas – 15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Michal Haznar, 12 Andre Swarts, 11 Eduan Keyter, 10 George Whitehead (captain), 9 Christiaan Meyer, 8 Zandre Jordaan, 7 Sias Koen, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete, 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 AJ Le Roux, 1 Khwezi Mona. Replacements: 16 Wilmar Arnoldi, 17 Mox Mxoli, 18 Johan Momsen, 19 Neill Jordaan, 20 Chriswill September, 21 Chris Smit, 22 Bjorn Basson, 23 Ruan Kramer.