Faf de Klerk told media in Japan on Wednesday that criticism of the Springbok game plan and individuals was a sign of pa Valke 57 33Phakisa Pumas 24 0 It was one-way traffic for the Valke in the first half of their clash against their easterly neighbours, the Phakisa Pumas, as the East Randers bashed their way to a lead at the break. The Valke ran hard and straight, but the same could not be said of the Nelspruit visitors, who looked out of sorts and fairly limp on defence in the first half. Eight of their nine tries were scored by the Valke forwards, who dominated proceedings and delivered a much better performance than Monday.
The game will mark the third time the teams meet in the final, with both previous finals between these sides having taken place in Bloemfontein, in and With both sides finishing the pool stages of the Currie Cup Premier Division with four wins from their six pool games, and only two points separating the teams on the scoreboard in their pool match in Bloemfontein earlier in the season the Xerox Golden Lions won , much is expected of this final.
The Free Staters have won three and lost two of their last five matches against Xerox Golden Lions in Bloemfontein, which will give the visitors confidence going into the clash. On defence both teams have been closely matched, with the Xerox Golden Lions conceding only 10 points more.
The match will have extra significance for the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, who will be determined to bid a memorable farewell to their head coach, Franco Smith, who will lead the Italian national team after the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Smith has made two changes to his match-day squad, with flanker Gerhard Olivier promoted from the bench to the starting lineup, which sees Abongile Nonkontwana start among the replacements. Joining Nonkontwana on the bench is the experienced loosehead prop Charles Marais, who is back from injury.
Toyota Free State Cheetahs Team Clayton Blommetjies, William Small-Smith, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Dries Swanepoel, Tian Meyer captain , Tian Schoeman, 9. Ruan Pienaar. Ox Nche, 2. Joseph Dweba, 3. Erich de Jager, 4.
Sintu Manjezi, 5. Walt Steenkamp, 6. Gerhard Olivier, 7. Junior Pokomela, 8. Henco Venter. Replacements: Jacques du Toit, Charles Marais, Reinach Venter, JP du Preez, Jasper Wiese, Abongile Nonkontwana, Louis Fouche, Darren Adonis.
Xerox Golden Lions Team Tyrone Green, Madosh Tambwe, Wandisile Simelane, Duncan Matthews, Stean Pienaar, Shaun Reynolds, 9. Ross Cronje captain. Dylan Smith, 2.
Pieter Jansen, 3. Jacobie Adriaanse, 4. Ruben Schoeman, 5.
Marvin Orie, 6. Marnus Schoeman, 7.
Cyle Brink, 8. Hacjivah Dayimani. Jan-Henning Campher, Nathan McBeth, Johannes Jonker, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Len Massyn, Dillon Smit, Jan-Louis la Grange, Jamba Ulengo.