Currie Cup Awards

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, In the news on 26 Oct 2009 at 10:16

Jacques van der Westhuyzen of makes his awards for the Currie Cup season that has come to an end. How many do you agree with?

Team of the season

Sure, they didn’t reach the final, but Western Province finished second on the log and were two minutes away from playing in the final. With a largely inexperienced side, with few Springboks, they were consistent throughout the campaign. The Cheetahs, simply for sneaking into the playoffs and then winning in Durban against the Sharks, also deserve credit.

Biggest talking point

There were a number of hot topics that made headlines in 2009, among them the appointment of Jake White as a consultant to the Lions, while Bryan Habana’s move from the Bulls to WP also enjoyed plenty of attention. So, too, Jaque Fourie’s arbitration case with the Lions. But the referees stole the show. Willie Roos quit after a tasteless incident with an enraged fan in Kimberley, while the inconsistency of the refereeing (or rather the different interpretation of the laws) had many a coach and fan seething.

Best hair-do

A number of women are believed to be envious of Todd Clever’s wavy locks, while others prefer Wynand Olivier’s blond-surfer look. But the man who stood out this season was Cheetahs No8 Ashley Jonhson. He wears his Afro with pride and it’s no wonder the commentators never failed to spot him when he was carrying the ball or powering his way over the tryline.

Player of the season

With the Springboks only joining their teams in the latter stages of the competition, it was felt that no current Boks should be considered. WP skipper Luke Watson enjoyed a memorable season, leading the side to the semifinals and at the same time scoring a bunch of tries. He got the best out of a side with few big name stars.

Biggest bore

With 31 points separating the team in sixth place (the Lions) and the team placed seventh (the Leopards), matches against the minnows of the Premier Division are a waste of time. The Leopards and Boland won one game each and finished the season with six and five points respectively. Not many got excited about the matches in Potchefstroom and Wellington.

Currie cup XV

Joe Pietersen (WP)
Dusty Noble (Lions)
Juan de Jongh (WP)
Riaan Swanepoel (Sharks)
Bjorn Basson (Griquas)
Naas Olivier (Griquas)
Sarel Pretorius (Griquas)
Luke Watson (WP)
Jean Deysel (Sharks)
Francois Louw (WP)
Anton van Zyl (WP)
David de Villiers (Cheetahs)
WP Nel (Cheetahs)
Derick Kuun (Bulls)
Wian du Preez (Cheetahs)

Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs)
Werner Kruger (Bulls)
Willem Alberts (Lions)
Dewald Potgieter (Bulls)
Jano Vermaak (Lions)
Peter Grant (WP)
Lionel Mapoe (Cheetahs)

Coach of the season

Naka Drotske. His side were down-and-out after losing four in a row at the start of the campaign, but a change of captain, instilling Adriaan Strauss in the hotseat, and motivating his team with a slogan that read “The greatest comeback in Currie Cup history” makes him the coach of the year. He also got Os du Randt on board and he’s made the Cheetahs’ front row a real force.

Try of the season

In the 56 matches played in the league phase of the competition, 354 tries were scored, with the majority of them resulting in big cheers in the living-rooms around South Africa. One try, though, that left many fans open-mouthed and silent was the effort by Cheetahs wing Fabian Juries when he stepped his way past several Bulls defenders to score a stunner at Loftus.

Comeback of the season

There was never any doubt … the Cheetahs, after losing four on the trot and sharing the basement with the Leopards, snuck into the playoffs ahead of Griquas and then did the near-impossible by beating the star-studded Sharks in the semifinals in Durban last weekend. Going into the final next weekend, they have won nine of their last 11 games – a record few would have anticipated a few months ago after that horrendous start.

Surprise of the season

When the competition kicked of in July, few would have predicted Griquas would lead the log for a good chunk of the season. And not many believed they’d be in with a real shot of making the playoffs. In the end, they missed out by the closest of margins. But with no Boks in their ranks, they showed guts, a will to fight to the end, and they provided the competition with something other than the usual offering. They kept the competition exciting.

Biggest cock-up

Phew, what can one say about the Lions. The big bosses opened up their safes and paid Jake White and his company, Winning Way, in the region of R2,2 million – if rumours are to be believed – to consult the side during the Currie Cup. They finished sixth, their worst showing since 1998, and also lost Jaque Fourie to WP – the arbitration case also costing a small fortune. More players are set to move on, so was hiring White and Co worth it?

Unlikely hero

Jacques-Louis Potgieter. The Cheetahs flyhalf had an up-and-down year and he’ll be the first to admit he doesn’t have the skill or class to rank among the best in the country. His goal-kicking also fluctuates between good and bad, but for that drop-goal against the Sharks in the dying seconds last weekend, he certainly deserves hero status.

Flop of the season

It would be easy to name the Lions in this category, but no one really expected much of them, especially after firing Eugene Eloff at the end of the Super 14. So that leaves the Sharks. Sure they finished top of the log and won 12 of their 14 games, but when it mattered most, in the semifinals, they failed. Not only was the scoreboard against them, the Cheetahs actually dominated them on the field as well in the playoff. With stars and experience aplenty in their ranks, they should have done better.

Best tackle

It was a season of big hits, some legitimate, others not. But the one that stands out, perhaps because it is still fresh in the memory, came just a week ago. Schalk Burger lined up Fourie du Preez in their semifinal at Newlands and absolutely flattened him. They may be Bok teammates, but in Currie Cup there’s no such thing as friendship.


  • I think the most dissapointing aspect of the season was that nobody really shouted from the rooftops to be included in the bok side, Last Year Brussouw announced himself But this year, nothing really special.

  • Comment 1, posted at 26.10.09 10:47:23 by Whindy Reply
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  • Team of the season – I’d give it to the Cheetahs… they hung in there- and in the end had to beat a strong Sharks team at the Shark-Tank.

    Province lost a semi at home…

    Talking point : LIONS …from Jake…to the player transfers…etc…

  • Comment 2, posted at 26.10.09 11:04:09 by blackshark Reply

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  • Best hair do :lol:
    Whenever I see Duane Vermeulen and Andries Bekker I see a full on mullet waiting to be released.

  • Comment 3, posted at 26.10.09 11:17:47 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @blackshark (Comment 2) : I agree Blackshark, the Cheetahs come from behind was better than Province plus apart from Brussouw and smith they are just as new a team as Province. Well done to your team last night!!

  • Comment 4, posted at 26.10.09 11:36:35 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 4) : I agree, the currie cup does not stop after the log games. Province maybe had the upper hand up to the semi’s. But they still did not reach the final. That must give the cheetahs the edge.

  • Comment 5, posted at 26.10.09 11:41:53 by mbayshark Reply
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  • @blackshark (Comment 2) : @Whindy (Comment 4) : @mbayshark (Comment 5) :

    I don’t agree with any of you…it was a POX! :twisted:

  • Comment 6, posted at 26.10.09 11:44:19 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Bulletproof) (Comment 6) : Yes it was, we gave the game to them. But they still reached the final.

  • Comment 7, posted at 26.10.09 11:46:51 by mbayshark Reply
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  • @mbayshark (Comment 7) :

    True – so that cannot make them the “Team of the Season” IMO..Team of teh season to me means consistency firt and foremost.. ;-)

  • Comment 8, posted at 26.10.09 11:52:21 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Bulletproof) (Comment 8) : OK lets agree to disagree, but what if they win the cup? :roll:

  • Comment 9, posted at 26.10.09 11:55:10 by mbayshark Reply
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  • @mbayshark (Comment 9) :

    I will always believe they do not really deserve to be there, but if they win and the Bulls played like only they can, then I will congartulate them on two beautiful poxxes in the season!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 10, posted at 26.10.09 12:02:11 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Bulletproof) (Comment 6) : Ag Shampies!! :roll:

  • Comment 11, posted at 26.10.09 12:04:31 by Whindy Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Bulletproof) (Comment 10) :

    I think they deserve to be there…

    They followed all the right steps to reach the final…

    1. Finish in the Top Four
    2. Beat whoever you face in the semi-finals

    End of story.

  • Comment 12, posted at 26.10.09 14:04:13 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
  • @blackshark (Comment 12) : Too true….
    1. Finish in the top four – Being top of the log beteken niks, nada, nothing if you cosistantly fail to win when it matters.
    2. Beat whoever you face in the semi-finals – Getting to a semi means you surely must have played well enough to be a contender, and if that is the case you deserve your win as much as the any team above you on the log. When you then go on to win the trophy you are the better team :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 26.10.09 16:24:37 by diablo Reply

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  • @blackshark (Comment 12) :

    Dont be cheeky with me!! :wink:

  • Comment 14, posted at 26.10.09 16:28:09 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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