Round 5 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: Blue Bulls v Leopards
Really not a tough one to call, this. While the Bulls have been hard-hit by Bok call-ups and are far from their best, they will certainly have far too much, at home, for a game, but ultimately outgunned Leoaprds outfit. Even though Frans Ludeke has shuffled his deck somewhat and rested one or two stalwarts, including regular captain Gary Botha, this one should be a walk in the park for the Bulls, who should win by 20 or so.
Blue Bulls: 15. Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Jaco Pretorius, 12. Stefan Watermeyer, 11. Hayden Groepes, 10. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 7. Dewald Potgieter, 6. Derick Kuün (capt), 5. Juandré Kruger, 4. Flip van der Merwe, 3. Bees Roux, 2. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1. Jaco Engels.
Replacements: 16. Bandise Maku, 17. Frik Kirsten, 18. Mthunzi Mabeta, 19. CJ Stander, 20. Dustin Jinka, 21. Francois Brummer, 22. Stephan Dippenaar.
Leopards: 15. Danie Dames; 14. Deon Scholtz, 13. Jovan Bowles, 12. Walter Venter, 11. Dumisani Matyeshana; 10. Neill Jacobs, 9. Michael Bondesio; 8. Riaan Swanepoel, 7. Wilhelm Koch (capt), 6. Danie Crous, 5. Ligtoring Landman, 4. Anthonie Gronum, 3. Os van der Walt, 2. Pellow van der Westhuizen, 1. BG Uys.
Replacements: 16. Gavin Williamson, 17. Aranos Coetzee, 18. Draad Linde, 19. Christo van Niekerk, 20. Jean Tiedt, 21. Clayton Durand, 22. Jan van Zyl.
Game 2: Griquas v Western Province
This is an enticing prospect indeed, not least because Province have actually lost both of their previous matches in Kimberley in the Currie Cup. Griquas have started 2010 strongly, just like they did last year and can already count good home wins over the Sharks and the Golden Lions as theirs, with the away loss to the Cheetahs the only blot on their copybook so far. That said, Province haven’t lost at all and have named a formidable lineup. Alister Coetzee’s team look a well-drilled outfit this season and I think it will take a better team than the Griquas to beat them this year. Province aren’t going to walk this, but they’ll win by around 7 points.
Griquas: 15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Richard Lawson, 13. Wilmaure Louw, 12. Barry Geel, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Naas Olivier (Captain), 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Danie Burger Schoeman, 7. Davon Raubenheimer, 6. Johan van Deventer, 5. Cecil-John Kemp, 4. Frederik Albertus Spies, 3. Jean Botha, 2. Ryno Barnes, 1. Albertus Buckle
Replacements: 16. Simon Westraadt, 17. Jacobus Petrus Adriaanse, 19. Petrus Gerhardus (Gerhard) Human / Leon Karemaker, 20. Marnus Hugo, 21. Matthew Rosslee, 22. Rocco Reginald Jansen
Western Province: 15. Conrad Jantjes, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Paul Bosch, 11. Frikkie Welsh, 10. Willem de Waal, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Francois Louw, 6. Pieter Louw, 5. Anton van Zyl (Captain), 4. Adriaan Fondse, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. JD Moller
Replacements: 16. Deon Fourie, 17. Wicus Blaauw, 18. Buhle Mxunyelwa, 19. De Kock Steenkamp, 20. Nick Koster, 21. Conrad Hoffmann, 22. Lionel Cronje
Game 3: Pumas v Free State Cheetahs
Does this game, just maybe, have “upset” written all over it? Ordinarily you’d say I was dreaming, but the loss of Juan Smith to injury, coupled with the Cheetahs’ baffling inability to score tries this season and the Pumas encouraging attacking form and strong defence may just make this game a fair bit closer than one might think. The Pumas only lost to the Sharks by 10 points in Durban, after all and if they can lift themselves to that sort of performance again, they will make life tough for the rudderless Bloemfonteiners. This one will be close, but I don’t see the unthinkable happening, which means I’ll go with the Cheetahs, but not by more than 10 points.
Pumas: 15. Elgar Watts, 14. Ashwin Scott, 13. Tiaan Marx, 12. Siviwe Wilmot Magaba, 11. Shaun Venter, 10. Ricardo Croy, 9. Jacques (Pumas) Coetzee, 8. Christo le Roux, 7. Alwyn Bester, 6. Corne Steenkamp (Captain), 5. Marius Coetzer, 4. Andries Kruger, 3. Ashley Buys, 2. Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1. Dawie Steyn
Replacements: 16. Hannes Franklin, 17. De-Jay Terblanche, 18. Willem Jacob Serfontein, 19. Jaco Bouwer, 20. Pieter Gideon Joubert Meyer, 21. Carl Bezuidenhout, 22. Roelof Steyn
Free State 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. Francois (FS) Uys, 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. CJ van der Linde, 18. Waltie Vermeulen, 19. Kabamba Floors, 20. Tertius Carse, 21. Sias Ebersohn, 22. JW Jonker
Game 4: Sharks v Golden Lions
The Lions are on the up and put in a far better showing against the Bulls in Joburg last week. That said, despite some exciting running and at least one superb try, they still lost the game – and badly. The Sharks will be bolstered by the return of the du Plessis brothers and one feels that anything other than an absolute nightmare first outing at flyhalf from Pat Lambie should be enough to see the Sharks take the spoils here. The Lions don’t have the necessary big guns in the pack to keep the Sharks out and that, I feel, will ultimately be the difference. If Kankowski gets into his best Lion-killing form, this could, in fact, become a rout. Sharks by 12, is my call.
Sharks: 15. Louis Ludik, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Stefan Terblanche (Captain), 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Keegan Daniel, 5. Alistair Hargreaves, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Craig Burden, 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16. Bismarck du Plessis, 17. Eugene van Staden, 18. Ross Skeate, 19. Jean Deysel ,20. Jacques Botes, 21. Rory Kockott, 22. Riaan Swanepoel
Golden Lions: 15. Jaco Taute, 14. Deon van Rensburg, 13. Waylon Murray, 12. Doppies la Grange, 11. Michael Killian, 10. Elton Thomas Jantjies, 9. Jano Vermaak, 8. Warren Roger Whiteley, 7. Trevor Hall, 6. Derick Minnie, 5. Franco van der Merwe (Captain), 4. George Earle, 3. Kevin Buys, 2. Martin Bezuidenhout, 1. JC Janse van Rensburg
Replacements: 16. Edgar Marutlulle, 17. Ross Geldenhuys, 18. David Bulbring, 19. Renaldo Botma, 20. Chris Jonck, 21. Carlos Spencer, 22. Marius DelportTweet