Tie to give away some awesome Windhoek Lager to the person who came closest to selecting the same Currie Cup Team of the Tournament as our panel of experts did.
So here’s how it worked… we got together a team of five of our most knowledgeable posters, KSA Shark, Letgo, Morne, wpw and Eben from BlouBulBlog.co.za and asked them to select the best team of the tournament. It was a long and tortuous process, conducted over numerous rounds of email and long Skype chats. The idea was to have a balanced panel that wouldn’t reflect any undue Sharks bias (and, in hindsight, that may have worked just a bit too well!) Each panel member put forward their own team and then they debated and discussed until a majority could be reached on who was the best player in each position. They also selected a bubbling under 15, of those guys who were unlucky not to make it in.
There were a few positions where genuine consensus could not be reached – and in these cases, Richard and I stepped in and made a call – i.e. we picked the Sharks player!
We need to remember that this team was selected and finalised BEFORE the Currie Cup Final took place. Had it been done afterwards, I’m sure at least one position would have gone to a different player… but it is what it is, I guess. So let’s start with each of the individual selections, before revealing our combined Team of the Currie Cup.
Morne: Jaco Taute, Odwa Ndungane, Juan de Jongh, Doppies la Grange, Bjorn Basson, Elton Jantjies, Francois Hougaard, Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Keegan Daniel, Franco van der Merwe ,Steven Sykes ,Brock Harris ,Craig Burden, Coenie Oosthuizen
WPW: Hennie Daniller,Gio Aplon, Juan de Jongh ,Pat Lambie ,Bjorn Basson ,Elton Jantjies ,Charl McLeod , Duane Vermeulen ,Willem Alberts ,Keegan Daniel ,Anton van Zyl ,Flip van der Merwe ,Brock Harris ,Craig Burden, Coenie Oosthuizen,
Eben: Hennie Daniller,Gio Aplon,Juan de Jongh,Stefan Watermeyer,Bjorn Basson,Elton Jantjies,Francois Hougaard,Ashley Johnson,Willem Alberts,Keegan Daniel,Franco van der Merwe,Flip van der Merwe,Werner Kruger,Adriaan Strauss,Coenie Oosthuizen
KSA Shark: Jaco Taute,Gerhard van der Heever,Stefan Terblanche,Jean de Villiers,Bjorn Basson,Pat Lambie,Francois Hougaard,Ryan Kankowski,Willem Alberts,Keegan Daniel,Franco van der Merwe,Flip van der Merwe,Jannie du Plessis,Adriaan Strauss,Coenie Oosthuizen
Letgo: Jaco Taute,Gio Aplon,Juan de Jongh,Meyer Bosman,Bjorn Basson,Pat Lambie,Charl McLeod,Ashley Johnson,Willem Alberts,Keegan Daniel,Franco van der Merwe,Steven Sykes,Brock Harris,Craig Burden,Coenie Oosthuizen
And finally here is the team:
15: Jaco Taute – won it by the narrowest of margins over Hennie Daniller
14: Gio Aplon – a clear favourite, with Odwa Ndungane the closest runner up
13: Jean de Jongh - again a very strongly-supported candidate, with Stefan Terblanche offering token opposition.
12: Doppies la Grange – a wide open race, which the Lions man takes ahead of bubbling under Bull Stefan Watermeyer
11: Bjorn Basson – A unanimous pick in all the teams. Lwazi Mvovo was clearly the next best, though.
10: Elton Jantjies – The panel felt he was just that little bit better at flyhalf than Pat Lambie. I disagreed, but had no casting vote here!
9: Charl Mcleod – It was deadlocked between him and the Bulls’ Francois Hougaard. Richard and I were asked to pick and we felt the Sharks man had had a greater impact.
8: Ashley Johnson – another close call, just pipping Duane Vermeulen
7: Willem Alberts – completely unanimous, we’ve given Juan Smith the runners-up slot
6: Keegan Daniel – Another unanimous choice. We felt the Lions’ Derrick Minnie was the next best.
5: Franco van der Merwe – Anton van Zyl was next best.
4: Flip van der Merwe – the panel could rech consensus here and had Flip neck-and-neck with Steven Sykes. Rich and I both backed the Bulls man cos it is always cool to have a lock combo with the same surname.
3: Brock Harris – I need to reiterate that the panel made this selection BEFORE the Final was played! Jannie du Plessis bubbling under.
2: Craig Burden – the discussions went long into the night on this one. Burden won it from Adriaan Strauss simply because his impact on his team’s fortunes was considered greater.
1. Coenie Oosthuizen – the likeable Free Stater was a simple pick. Beast Mtawarira was next best.
After finalising the team, we than analysed all the entries we’d received and checked who was closest. Nobody was completely spot on, but I’m proud to announce that Molly is our winner, as she picked the same player as our panel in 11 of the 15 positions going. In the other 4, she picked the bubbling under player and that was by far the closest anyone got (even family members of panel members weren’t quite as close!)
Congrats, Mols and thanks to Windhoek for sponsoring this great competition. Molly, we’ll give you a cup, but more importantly, will be in touch to deliver you two crates of Namibia’s finest beer. You must be warned, though, that since you’re a Capetonian, Morne will get hold of your address and insist on sharing it with you!Tweet