A history of Sharks v WP Currie Cup finals

bandooq

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Cape Town - Saturday’s Currie Cup final between the Sharks and Western Province in Durban will be the eighth contested between the teams.

The first final dates back to 1984, with Western Province holding a 4-3 overall edge.

1984: Western Province 19-9 Natal, Cape Town

Natal, as the Sharks were then called, surprisingly made the final when they took advantage of a "strange" ruling enforced by the old South African Rugby Board.

Natal, winners of the B-section, were allowed a chance to play for a spot in the A-section final by hosting a semi-final against the second-placed team in the A-section.

They stunned Free State 26-15 in the semi-finals in Durban and booked their spot in the final against high-flying WP at Newlands.

Natal, under the leadership of Springbok No 8 Wynand Claassen, threatened a major upset when they led 9-3 at the break.

WP however took charge in the second period and ran out comfortable victors.

If was a hat-trick of Currie Cup titles for WP and they would go on to set the record of five title triumphs in a row.

1995: Natal 25-17 Western Province, Durban

Natal’s French flyhalf Thierry Lacroix proved Western Province’s undoing by contributing 20 points with the boot at a wet Kings Park.

This was the last Currie Cup final of the old amateur era where six teams played in the Currie Cup A-section.

Apart from Lacroix, Natal also had French lock Olivier Roumat among their ranks, while Western Province had France flank Laurent Cabannes.

The French trio had earlier in the year played in the memorable Rugby World Cup hosted in South Africa.

2000: Natal Sharks 15-25 Western Province, Durban

Western Province went into the final as underdogs, having lost to the Sharks at Newlands a few weeks earlier.

However, they silenced Kings Park by scoring three tries to nil, with Springbok wing Breyton Paulse bagging a brace.

This was the game where Paulse famously executed his trademark handstand-somersaults after scoring.

2001: Western Province 29-24 Natal Sharks, Cape Town

Western Province overcame a 17-6 first half deficit to again silence the Sharks, this time at Newlands.

The Sharks outscored WP by three tries to two, but Springbok centre Braam van Straaten’s deadly boot proved the difference for WP.

Van Straaten contributed 24 points, including a try.

Flyhalf Chris Rossouw's chip and collect over the Sharks defence to score shortly after half-time also helped spark WP's fightback.

2010: Sharks 30-10 Western Province

This game will be remembered as the match where 20-year-old flyhalf Pat Lambie came of age.

Lambie scored 25 points, including two tries, as the Sharks thrashed a shell-shocked WP.

The Capetonians came into the game confident having convincingly beaten the Sharks 33-21 at Newlands a few weeks earlier, but left Kings Park with egg on their face.

Lambie’s famous hand-off of Schalk Burger has become part of Currie Cup final folklore.

2012: Sharks 18-25 Western Province, Durban

This game will go down as one of the great upsets in Currie Cup finals history.

Injuries to several frontline players forced Western Province to take a young side to Kings Park and few gave them a chance against a Springbok-laden Sharks outfit.

The day will best be remembered for WP flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis’ heroics with the boot, which included a left-footed drop kick.

WP centre Juan de Jongh’s spectacular first half try off a scrum also stands out and helped WP claim their first Currie Cup title in 11 years.

2013: Western Province 19-33 Sharks, Cape Town

A year later Western Province were the favourites when they hosted the Sharks in the final at Newlands.

WP had beaten the Sharks 17-13 in Durban two weeks beforehand, but failed to pitch in front of their home fans.

Scrumhalf Charl McLeod’s intercept try in the sixth minute set the tone as Brendan Venter’s Sharks produced a tactical masterclass to win in convincing fashion.

http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/CurrieCup/a-history-of-sharks-v-wp-currie-cup-finals-20171025
 
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