Round 3 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.
There’s a lot riding on this one. Getting the result right can help you make serious progress in our Last Man Standing competition, as well as making your way up the log over at SuperBru. For those of you who prefer to take a more direct financial stake in things, perhaps using an online sports betting site, such as Marshalls World of Sport to place a bet on the results will be more your thing. Knowing who’s playing (and who isn’t) is also pretty important for Fantasy League managers.
Game 1: Sharks v Pumas
The Sharks showed some good form in beating the Blue Bulls last week, while the Pumas also did well to down the Leopards. The men from Witbank are a bit of an unknown quantity still, having played far better in their opening loss to the Bulls than the scoreline would suggest. They boast a useful pack and some dangerous runners among the backs, but one feels that there can really only be one winner here. The Sharks must be careful not to try and get loose too early on, but should win by at least 20 points.
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. Willem Alberts, 20. Rory Kockott, 21. Monty Dumond, 22. Andries Strauss
Pumas: 15. Carl Bezuidenhout, 14. Ashwin Scott, 13. Shaun Venter, 12. Siviwe Wilmot Magaba, 11. Allistair Kettledas, 10. Ricardo Croy, 9. Jacques (Pumas) 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. De-Jay Terblanche, 18. Willem Jacob Serfontein, 19. Jaco Bouwer, 20. Tian Carel Meyer, 21. Elgar Watts, 22. Tiaan Marx
Game 2: Leopards v Western Province
Sometimes rugby can be a pretty simple game to predict and it’s no different here. The Leopards, while a reasonably useful side, managed to concede a bonus point to the Lions at home in round 1. Those self-same Lions lost to Province by 32 points in round 2, while the Leopards went on to lose a second game to the Pumas. All the signs point to a simple WP victory here. We’ll give it to them by 20 points, simply because they have yet to show us that they know how to score lots of tires.
Leopards: 15. Jean Tiedt, 14. Deon Scholtz, 13. Jovan Bowles, 12. Walter Venter, 11. Dumisani Matyeshana, 10. Neill Jacobs, 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. Clayton Durand, 21. Shuaib Samaai, 22. Hendrik Daniel Petrus Dames
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. Deon Fourie, 1. JD Moller
Replacements: 16. Tiaan Liebenberg, 17. JC Kritzinger, 18. Martin Muller, 19. Yaasir Hartzenberg, 20. Pieter Myburgh, 21. Conrad Hoffmann, 22. Lionel Cronje
Game 3: Griquas v Lions
Here’s the first of the games that actually requires a little thought, although given the Lions continuing woes, maybe not that much thought! In years gone by, any one of the big five would routinely expect to come away from Kimberley with five points. The Lions, however, lost there last year and the Sharks also found that the Griquas class of 2010 do not easily give away log points on home soil. I’d be more comfortable picking this one if Griquas hadn’t capitulated in Bloemfontein last week, but my gut feel is that the Lions lack the genuine talents and game breakers to turn things their way this week. Griquas will win a scrappy match by 7 points or so.
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. Jacobus Petrus Adriaanse, 2. Ryno Barnes, 1. Steph Roberts
Replacements: 16. Simon Westraadt, 17. Albertus Buckle, 18. Michael John Richard Passaportis, 19. Petrus Gerhardus (Gerhard) Human, 20. Marnus Hugo, 21. Matthew Rosslee, 22. Richard Lawson
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. Kevin Buys
Replacements: 16. Edgar Marutlulle, 17. Wayne Swart, 18. Trevor Hall, 19. Jonathan Mokuena, 20. Chris Jonck, 21. Elton Thomas Jantjies, 22. Doppies la Grange
Game 4: Blue Bulls v Cheetahs
Aha! Another big derby and a repeat of last year’s Currie Cup final. Neither side has really hit their straps yet in this competition, with Free State poor against Western Province in the opener and the Blue Bulls also not convincing in either of their two previous outings. Although form would suggest that the men from Bloem might take this, given their victory last week, my gut-feel is that they lack the polish to upset the Bulls in Pretoria at the moment. Frans Ludeke’s charges will have learned much from their beating in Durban and will manage to shore themselves up sufficiently to win at home. It’s going to be close, though – so Bulls by not much more than 3. Could be wrong, here, so don’t bet the farm on this result.
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. Juandre Kruger, 19. Christiaan Johan Stander, 20. Daniel Cornelius Faasen, 21. Francois Brummer, 22. Hayden Gareth Groepes
Cheetahs: 15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Philip Snyman, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Corné Uys, 11. Jongi Nokwe, 10. Louis Strydom, 9. Tewis de Bruyn, 8. Ashley Johnson, 7. Juan Smith, 6. Hendro Scholtz (Captain), 5. Barend Pieterse, 4. Izak van der Westhuizen, 3. Willem Petrus (WP) Nel, 2. Adriaan Strauss, 1. Coenie Oosthuizen
Replacements: 16. Skipper Badenhorst, 17. Kobus Calldo, 18. Waltie Vermeulen, 19. Kabamba Floors, 20. Tertius Carse, 21. Sias Ebersohn, 22. JW JonkerTweet