The Bulls’ last-minute win in Kimberley has certainly upset the Currie Cup apple cart, in more ways than one.
Griquas, the runaway log-leaders, finally came unstuck in Kimberley and were made to pay the price for negative play in the worst possible way, with referee Wilile Roos yellow carding two forwards in the last five minutes. It was by no means the worst thing that Roos did in another typically woeful performance with the whistle. If anything, he probably should have taken action against Griquas’ spoiling tactics far earlier in the game, but so incensed were the home faithful at what appeared to be an orchestrated move to give the Bulls the win that one of them took the law into his own hands. Roos was allegedly doused in brandy and Coke as he made his way off the field after the game.
He’s a pretty shit ref, is Roos and given that he has a family connection to the Bulls (former player Johann Wasserman is Roos’s brother-in-law) he should perhaps be a little more circumspect in what he does when the Bulls are playing under him as he has somewhat of a penchant for handing his favourite team a numerical advantage. Just ask Johan Ackermann!
That said, the Bulls were good value for their win and showed some real character and resolve, just as the Sharks did in downing the Lions at Ellis Park without ever getting out of second gear. The Pretoria crew have now clawed their way back into the top four and with a home fixture against the Leopards their final hurdle of the first round, expect them to bag five more points and consolidate further.
The Cheetahs and (to a lesser extent) Province did well in downing the pathetic opposition that the Leopards and Boland presented and although the former still have a mountain to climb after losing their first four games (two of them at home) they are building up a head of steam and will look for more of the same against Boland this weekend.
The weekend’s most exciting encounter will take place in Durban, with the Sharks needing a win to ensure they leap-frog Griquas and end the first round in top spot. With the Bulls sure to pick up a massive haul, they could well end up second, assuming Griquas fail to score a bonus point and Province don’t pick up a full house against the Lions. The other big clash of the weekend, at Newlands, is shaping up to be a rather one-sided affair, with the limp Lions – unable to capitalise on a surfeit of possession and territory against the Sharks – unlikely to fair any better against Province. The Cape side have, if anything, a stronger pack than the Sharks do at the moment and will certainly look to even up matters up front against a truly woeful Lions outfit who seem incapable of stringing even a simple set of passes together.
Things really are very evenly-matched on the table, though, with only a few points in it. A Griquas win would help them to stay clear of the chasing pack, but the Sharks will also know that winning their sixth successive match will allow them to open up just a little bit of daylight with an arguably easier second-round draw to come. Should Griquas be beaten soundly in Durban, they could find themselves dropping three places in the standings and face the prospect of their dream season starting to go just a little pear-shaped.
What an exciting weekend it’s going to be. Bring it on!Tweet