Despite delivering a world-class 40 minutes against the Chiefs, Lawrence Sephaka is again benched by Frans Ludeke.
The move is the latest of increasingly baffling calls by the under-fire Ludeke.
Marius Hurter started the season as first-choice tighthead, but after being outscrummed by the Stormers’ JD Moller, Ludeke turned to the returning Daniel Muller.
But against a Chiefs front row not known for its potency, Muller buckled. He went backwards at scrumtime, conceding two penalties and was substituted after a few minutes of the second half.
The Cats scrum was hurtling backwards with eight men, and when down to seven after the dismissal of Willem Stoltz, seemed certain for annihilation.
Sephaka, literally thrown to the wolves, dropped anchor and was immovable for the half. His impact in ensuring the pack was not decimated was the difference between victory and defeat, and his performance earned him a spot in keo.co.za’s team of the week, despite a stand-out performance from BJ Botha against Os du Randt.
His selection was a no-brainer. And yet Ludeke’s side released to play the Hurricanes again sees Muller packing down at tighthead.
Ludeke has cited questionable Chiefs scrumming tactics, and will no doubt value Muller’s experience of Kiwi conditions, but the selection is not defendable.
Sephaka’s continued exclusion from a struggling pack, especially considering his impressive impact, is a disgrace.
Other baffling Ludeke calls see his most potent backline player, Jaque Fourie, still dwindling on the wing to accomodate Grant Esterhuizen in the midfield.
With Tana Umaga expected to start alongside Ma’a Nonu as the Hurricanes centres, expect carnage.
Gerhard Vosloo gets his chance in the back-row, remarkably in place of Cobus Grobbelaar, who has been one of the few Cats to roar in their opening two encounters.
Calamity Snyman retains jersey 10, somehow.
Cats side to play the Hurricanes
15. Earl Rose
14. Wylie Human
13. Grant Esterhuizen
12. Wayne Julies
11. Jaque Fourie
10. Tiaan Snyman
9. Ricky Januarie
8. Ernst Joubert
7. Wikus van Heerden (c)
6. Gerhard Vosloo
5. Willem Stoltz
4. Trevor Hall
3. Daniel Muller
2. Lukas van Biljon
1. Pietman van Niekerk
16. Delarey du Preez
17. Lawrence Sephaka
18. KleinJan Tromp
19. Cobus Grobbelaar
20. Jano Vermaak
21. Doppies la Grange
22. Jorrie Muller