Monday, October 19, 2009
We saw two pulsating Semi Finals in the 2009 Currie Cup this past weekend, showing us exactly why South African rugby is on the top of the world at the moment.
In Durban, many expected the Natal Sharks to be favourites at home against a hard working Freestate Cheetahs side. In Cape Town, tickets to the Newlands match between Western Province and the Blue Bulls had sold out in an hour and a half, such is the rivalry between the two sides.
For the Bulls, Springbok sensation Morne Steyn kicked seven penalties, totally 21 points on the day. Province struggled to get into the match, but the hard work up front, most notably from Tiaan Liebenberg, started to pay off as Joe Pietersen kept them in touch with four penalties of his own.
Gio Aplon, who punched above his weight all day, scored a great try as he sprinted between two big guys to dot down late in the match, with a comeback looking on the cards.
Ace marksman Steyn slotted the match winning kick with three minutes left as the Bulls fended off the Province resurgence, this earning themselves a home final. It ended 21-19 to the Bulls.
The Sharks dominated early possession, territory, and points in their match against the Cheetahs in Durban. It was Hugh Bladen in the commentary box that echoed the thoughts of everyone watching after Juan Martin Hernandez dropkicked the Sharks even further in front: "The Cheetahs are in trouble here."
The Sharks scored two great running tries through Stefan Terblanche and Ruan Pienaar, while the Cheetahs found their opportunities first in the form of tighthead WP Nel crashing over.
A wayward pass from the Sharks then bounced favourably for man of the match Jacques-Louis Potgeiter, who sprinted away for a try against the run of play.
It was Potgeiter again, in the final minute, who dropped back into the pocket for the match winning drop goal, completing a successful Cheetahs fight back and booking his team's ticket to Loftus Versfeld in two weeks time. It ended 23-21 to the Freestate Cheetahs.
We've combined highlights from both semi finals into one compilation with the hopes of bringing you a more in depth look at what was some magnificent rugby from all four teams.
Aside from the tries, weve included various other bits, namely some examples of the hard work from the likes of Freestate loosies Ashley Johnson and Heinrich Brussow, and the tactical prowess of Hernandez for the Sharks. Enjoy.
Music: Live Forever by Oasis