Round 2 of the ABSA Currie Cup is upon us and it’s time to gaze into the crystal ball a little and predict what we think will happen.
Game 1: Cheetahs v Griquas
The home team lost quite surprisingly to Western Province in round 1, while the visitors recorded a superb victory over the Sharks in Kimberley. If last year’s results are anything to go on, then Griquas should have a really good chance of upsetting their neighbours here – then again, the Cheetahs have their talismanic skipper Juan Smith back. Injuries in the second row see the Cheetahs tight five weakened, but expect them to still have a little too much upfront for a Griquas side that just aren’t the same playing away from home. I see the backlines as very hard to separate, so we’ll give this one to the Cheetahs, by virtue of home ground advantage, by no more than 5 points.
Cheetahs: 15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Philip Snyman, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Jongi Nokwe, 10. Louis Strydom, 9. Tewis de Bruyn, 8. Ashley Johnson, 7. Juan Smith (Captain), 6. Hendro Scholtz, 5. Waltie Vermeulen, 4. Francois (FS) Uys, 3. Willem Petrus (WP) Nel, 2. Skipper Badenhorst, 1. Coenie Oosthuizen
Replacements: 16. Pieter-Willem Van Vuuren, 17. Kobus Calldo, 18. Barend Pieterse, 19. Kabamba Floors, 20. Tertius Carse, 21. Corné Uys, 22. Sias Ebersohn
Griquas: 15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Rocco Reginald Jansen, 13. Wilmaure Louw, 12. Barry Geel, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Naas Olivier (Captain), 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Leon Karemaker, 7. Davon Raubenheimer, 6. Wesley Wilkins, 5. Cecil-John Kemp, 4. Frederik Albertus Spies, 3. Albertus Buckle, 2. Ryno Barnes, 1. Steph Roberts
Replacements: 16. Simon Westraadt, 17. Jacobus Petrus Adriaanse, 18. Zane Kilian, 19. Petrus Gerhardus (Gerhard) Human, 20. Rohan Kitshoff, 21. Matthew Rosslee, 22. Richard Lawson
Game 2: Western Province v Golden Lions
The Lions, now under their fourth coach in as many competitions, claim to have turned the corner yet again (does this mean they’re now back to where they started?). They won well against the Leopards last weekend, but it was only the Leopards after all! Province, in contrast, beat Free State in Bloemfontein and with a stronger (and more experienced) tight five, better loose forwards and an experienced campaigner at flyhalf, the men from Cape Town will win here with at least 10 points to spare.
Western Province: 15. Conrad Jantjes, 14. Fabian Juries, 13. Tim Whitehead, 12. Paul Bosch, 11. Frikkie Welsh, 10. Willem de Waal, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Pieter Louw, 5. Anton van Zyl (Captain), 4. Adriaan Fondse, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. Wicus Blaauw
Replacements: 16. Deon Fourie, 17. JD Moller, 18. JC Kritzinger, 19. Martin Muller, 20. Pieter Myburgh, 21. Conrad Hoffmann, 22. Lionel Cronje
Golden Lions: 15. Jaco Taute, 14. Deon van Rensburg, 13. Marius Delport, 12. Waylon Murray, 11. Michael Killian, 10. Herkie Kruger, 9. Jano Vermaak, 8. Warren Roger Whiteley, 7. Franco van der Merwe (Captain), 6. Derick Minnie, 5. David Bulbring, 4. George Earle, 3. Ross Geldenhuys, 2. Martin Bezuidenhout, 1. JC Janse van Rensburg
Replacements: 16. Edgar Marutlulle, 17. Kevin Buys, 18. Trevor Hall, 19. Wikus van Heerden, 20. Chris Jonck, 21. Elton Thomas Jantjies, 22. Pieter Engelbrecht
Game 3: Pumas v Leopards
It’s always tough calling a game involving two minnows, because we really don’t have any sort of form to guide us. We know that both teams got thrashed by big 5 opposition last week, but since the Leopards game wasn’t even on TV, we couldn’t even take much from that one. On the basis of needing to call a winner, we’re going to go with the home side here, based on the fact that they didn’t look that bad against the Bulls and home-ground advantage counting for something. Pumas by less than 7.
Pumas: 15. Carl Bezuidenhout, 14. Shaun Venter, 13. Ashwin Scott, 12. Siviwe Wilmot Magaba, 11. Allistair Kettledas, 10. Elgar Watts, 9. Jacques Coetzee, 8. Christo le Roux, 7. Alwyn Bester, 6. Corne Steenkamp, 5. Marius Coetzer, 4. Eduan Van Der Walt, 3. Ashley Buys, 2. Hannes Franklin (Captain), 1. Ronnie Uys
Replacements: 16. Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17. Dawie Steyn, 18. Willem Jacob Serfontein, 19. Jaco Bouwer, 20. Tian Carel Meyer, 21. Ricardo Croy, 22. Tiaan Marx
Leopards: 15. Russel Jeacocks, 14. Deon Scholtz, 13. Jovan Bowles, 12. Neill Jacobs, 11. Dumisani Matyeshana, 10. Clayton Durand, 9. Michael Bondesio, 8. Riaan Swanepoel, 7. Wilhelm Koch (Captain), 6. Victor Hugo Joubert, 5. Rynard Landman, 4. Anthonie Johannes Gronum, 3. Philip Andries Lemmer, 2. Gavin Williamson, 1. Divan Kotze
Replacements: 16. Pellow van der Westhuizen, 17. Johan Coetzee, 18. Edrich Linde, 19. RW Kember, 20. Theo Clyde van Wyk, 21. Bernd Theisinger, 22. Hendrik Daniel Petrus Dames
Game 4: Sharks v Blue Bulls
This is, of course, the big one and probably the toughest to call. The Bulls have lost slightly more players than the Sharks have, but both teams are considerably weaker than their best and as a result, the game will probably be something of a lottery. The Bulls were decent without being great against the Pumas, while the Sharks were both very good and utterly awful in patches, with the latter unfortunately prevailing as they lost to Griquas. With not too much to go on here, we’re going to back the home side on the basis of a more exciting looking backline and the return of JP Pietersen at wing. Sharks, by 5 or less.
Sharks: 15. Louis Ludik, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Stefan Terblanche (Captain), 12. Patrick Lambie, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Steve Meyer, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Keegan Daniel, 7. Michael Rhodes, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Alistair Hargreaves, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Wiehahn Jovan Herbst, 2. Craig Burden, 1. Pat Cilliers
Replacements: 16. Kyle Lorran Cooper, 17. Eugene van Staden, 18. Ross Skeate, 19. Skholiwe Ndlovu, 20. Rory Kockott, 21. Monty Dumond, 22. Andries Strauss
Blue Bulls: 15. Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Stephan Dippenaar, 12. Stefan Watermeyer, 11. John Mametsa, 10. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9. Ruan Snyman, 8. Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 7. Derick Kuun, 6. Deon Stegmann, 5. Fudge Mabeta, 4. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Gary Botha (Captain), 1. Dean Greyling
Replacements: 16. Bandise Maku, 17. Bees Roux, 18. Bêrend Botha, 19. Christiaan Johan Stander, 20. Daniel Cornelius Faasen, 21. Francois Brummer, 22. Hayden Gareth GroepesTweet