The Currie Cup, South Africa's premier domestic rugby competition, came to a thrilling end this evening and we picked our a team of the tournament.
We tried to reward players that showed great consistency throughout the season and there is no doubt a few players were unlucky to be left out of the final team.
Our side consists of eight Province players, two Sharks, two Blue Bulls, one from the Lions and a surprise pick from the Pumas.
Here is our Currie Cup Team Of The Tournament:
1) Alistair Vermaak (Western Province)
Vermaak performances has been described as effortless and unnoticed by certain sections of the media this season. The has undoubtedly been one of the best props in the competition and has dominated whoever has been put in his way at scrum time.
2) Scarra Ntubeni (Western Province)
Ntubeni has strung a number of strong performances together after struggling with injuries over the past two years. He just pips Akker van der Merwe to a place in the side.
3) John-Hubert Meyer (The Sharks)
Meyer filled in for Thomas du Toit brilliant contined his rise as one of the most promising tightheads in the country with a strong Currie Cup campaign.
4) Chris van Zyl (Western Province)
Some might wonder how Van Zyl got selected, but to be fair his partnership with JD Schickerling has been immense. The No. 4 was not only a solid performer but also a brilliant leader and that was showcased in the semi-final against the Blue Bulls.
5) JD Schickerling (Western Province)
Schickerling has made the most of his second chance at a rugby career after a horror injury that almost left him paralyzed. He was exceptional througout the competition and could be making his test debut in the near future. Marvin Orie is unfortunate to miss out on both locking positions.
6) Marnus Schoeman (Pumas)
Every team usually has a surprise pick and we feel Schoeman deserves his inclusion ahead of a few others. The Pumas weren’t themselves this year but they produced some good rugby at times and the man making the things happen at ruck time was the former Lions loosie.
7) Jacobus van Dyk (Western Province)
Van Dyk is far from the biggest loose forward in the competition but makes up for his size with his aggression and outstanding work rate.
8) Hacjivah Dayimani (The Lions)
Dayimani narrowly edged Dan du Preez for the number No. 8 jersey and it was largely due to the number of points he scored for the Lions. The talented loosie scored six tries this season which is the third most in the tournament.
9) Louis Schreuder (The Sharks)
The lack of depth in our scrumhalf department is a bit worrying at a national level but Schreuder can keep his head up high and has possibly put his hand up for a Springbok call-up. He was definitely the most consistent this season and for us narrowly pipped Nic Groom to the No. 9 jersey.
His performances in the competition also earned him a recall to the Springboks squad.
10) Robert du Preez (The Sharks)
Winning the Currie Cup twice is no small feat, winning twice in two years and with two different sides is something special and that's exactly what Robert du Preez has managed to achieve.
Du Preez joined his brothers and dad at the Sharks earlier this year and has been impressive in both Super Rugby and the Currie Cup.
His performance in the final sees him edge Manie Libbok for a spot in the side.
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11) SP Marais (Western Province)
Western Province’s bargain buy keeps impressing every year and this time around ended as the Currie Cups leading points scorer. Marais played out on the wing for most of this season but it was his boot that was so vital for the Cape side. The former Sharks and Bulls utility back scored 4 tries this season and posted 135 points.
12) Johnny Kotze (Blue Bulls)
Kotze was brilliant for the Bulls throughout the competition and will look to build on that form with Ospreys before returning to the Bulls for Super Rugby.
He edges Marius Louw for a place in our side.
13) Jeremy Ward (Sharks)
The former South African u20s centre was sublime for the Sharks in the closing stages of the competition seeing him win the race to the #13 jersey with Lionel Mapoe the unlucky second.
Ward performed brilliantly throughout the season and put his body on the line - especially in the final.
14) Sergeal Petersen (Western Province)
It has taken a bit of time for Petersen to find his feet in the Cape but this season he has produced the form the Cheetahs now all so well. The winger finished as the competition’s leading try scorer as he crossed the white line on eight occasions.
15) Aphelele Fassi (The Sharks)
The Currie Cup has unearthed yet another superstar in Aphelele Fassie! The flyer enjoyed a fantastic start to his professional career with the Sharks and will look to kick on the Super Rugby next year,
Fassi's sheer pace has seen being dubbed as the fastest player in the republic after he caught Springbok flyer Aphiwe Dyantyi.
He beats off Curwin Bosch and Dillyn Leyds who are both exceptionally unlucky to miss out to the youngster.
This weekend's @TheCurrieCup semi-final saw a chase down for the ages, when #OurSharks young flyer, @onke_fassi reeled in @Springboks flyer Aphiwe Dyantyi from behind!🏃— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) October 22, 2018
Re-live the moment here, and see what goes through a player's mind in these situations.💭#OurSharksForever pic.twitter.com/iqD7PGqEPj