Round 10 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: Pumas v Sharks
The Sharks head down to Witbank with their tails between their legs to some degree, having thrown away a decent lead to lose to the Bulls at Loftus. Still sitting comfortably at the top of the log, any shred of complacency should now be gone and with John Plumtree naming a strong side to take on the minnows, The Durbanites should be expected to record a handsome win. This year’s Pumas team are no pushovers, though and have confounded the odds on a number of occasions, but none more so than when they beat the Blue Bulls by a single point a fortnight ago. We’re sticking to our guns here, though and backing the Sharks to win by 20 or so.
Pumas: 15. Johan Jackson, 14. Braam Pretorius, 13. Tiaan Marx, 12. Ashwin Scott, 11. Allister Kettledas, 10. Elgar Watts, 9. Tian Carel Meyer, 8. Christo le Roux, 7. Torsten van Jaarsveld, 6. Corne Steenkamp, 5. Marius Coetzer, 4. Andries Kruger, 3. Ashley Buys, 2. Hannes Franklin (captain), 1. Ronnie Uys
Replacements: 16. De-Jay Terblanche, 17. Dawie Steyn, 18. Willem Jacob Serfontein, 19. Jaco Bouwer, 20. Ricardo Croy, 21. Siviwe Wilmot Magaba, 22. Martin Sithole
Sharks: 15. Stefan Terblanche (captain) 14. Odwa Ndungane 13. Andries Strauss 12. Riaan Swanepoel 11. Lwazi Mvovo 10. Patrick Lambie 9. Charl McLeod 8. Ryan Kankowski 7. Willem Alberts 6. Jacques Botes 5. Alistair Hargreaves 4. Steven Sykes 3. Eugene van Staden 2. Craig Burden 1. Patric Cilliers
Replacements: 16. Kyle Cooper 17. Wiehahn Herbst 18. Michael Rhodes 19. Skholiwe Ndlovu 20. Rory Kockott 21. Andre Pretorius 22. Louis Ludik
Game 2: Lions v Griquas
The Lions are on the up, having won their last 4 matches to move them within spitting distance of the top 4. Griquas seem to be heading in the opposite direction, but looking at the log, these two sides are very close to each other, with similar records so far, which should make this an enthralling game. While neither boasts a team packed with superstars, there are a handful of players on either side who could turn the result – probably none more so than Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjes. Look out for on-loan Lions flanker Biscuit van Deventer, who’ll want to prove his detractors in Joburg wrong by putting in a strong showing in the Griquas number 6 shirt. In terms of a prediction, we’ll give this one to the home team, on the basis of momentum and home ground advantage, but I feel it could go either way. Lions by 7 or fewr.
Griquas: 15. Riaan Viljoen; 14. Rocco Jansen, 13. Wilmaure Louw, 12. Barry Geel, 11. Bjorn Basson; 10. Naas Olivier (capt), 9. Marnus Hugo; 8. Davon Raubenheimer, 7. Justin Downey, 6. Biscuit van Deventer, 5. Luvo Lusaseni, 4. Cecil-John Kemp, 3. Jean Botha, 2. Simon Westraad, 1. Stef Roberts.
Replacements: 16. Ryno Barnes, 17. Jacobie Adriaanse, 18. Edwin Hewitt, 19. Burger Schoeman, 20. Sarel Pretorius, 21. Jean Stemmet/Richard Lawson, 22. Rudi Vogt
Game 3: Western Province v Leopards
Same rules apply here as for the Sharks game, but with two major difference (actually three!). Firstly, Province are at home. Secondly, the Leopards SUCK. Thirdly, Province have received a huge Bok injection to their backline, with Jean de Villiers, Juan de Jongh and Gio Aplon all coming back. Fourthly (oops) they don’t have Willem de Waal at flyhalf. Province will consider it an abject failure if they don’t win this one by 50. I have them by 66 on SuperBru and I’m worried it won’t be enough.
Western Province: 15 Conrad Hoffmann, 14 Conrad Jantjes, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Nick Koster, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Anton van Zyl (captain), 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 JC Kritzinger, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 JD Moller
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Brok Harris, 19 De Kock Steenkamp, 20 Yaya Hartzenburg, 21 Willem de Waal, 22 Paul Bosch
Leopards: 15. Hendrik Daniel Petrus Dames, 14. Deon Scholtz, 13. Jovan Bowles, 12. Cecil Dumond, 11. Dumisani Matyeshana, 10. Clayton Durand, 9. Theo Clyde van Wyk, 8. Riaan Swanepoel, 7. RW Kember, 6. Wilhelm Koch (captain), 5. Bradley Peter Mockford, 4. Anthonie Johannes Gronum, 3. Johan Coetzee, 2. Pellow van der Westhuizen, 1. Bennie Geldenhuys Uys
Replacements: 16. Gavin Williamson, 17. Os Van der Walt, 18. Edrich Linde, 19. Christo van Niekerk, 20. Theuns Kotze, 21. Neill Jacobs, 22. Kempie Rautenbach
Game 4: Cheetahs v Blue Bulls
Yeeha! Currie Cup rugby at its finest, with a full-strength Afrikaner derby. At least, it would be, were it not for the bonkers “conditioning program” that has ruled a number of key players out of this game. Had the Bulls been able to call on the likes of Bakkies Botha and Wynand Olivier, I wuld have said this would be a walk in the park for them. As it is, they’ve been strengthened by a number of key returning forwards, which should go some way to make up for a weakened three-quarter line. The Cheetahs have the better backs, I reckon, but without inspirational skipper Juan Smith, there’s no way they’re going to take this one. Bulls by around 7.
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. Christoffel Philippus Van der Walt, 6. Hendro Scholtz, 5. Waltie Vermeulen, 4. Francois Uys, 3. Kobus Calldo, 2. Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1. Coenie Oosthuizen
Replacements: 16. Skipper Badenhorst, 17. Willem Petrus (WP) Nel, 18. Izak van der Westhuizen, 19. Kabamba Floors, 20. Tertius Carse, 21. Sias Ebersohn, 22. Corné Uys
Blue Bulls: 15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Jaco Pretorius, 12. Stefan Watermeyer, 11. Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 10. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 7. Christiaan Johan Stander, 6. Derick Kuun (captain), 5. Juandre Kruger, 4. Flip van der Merwe, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1. Dean Greyling
Replacements: 16. Gary Botha, 17. Rossouw De Klerk, 18. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19. Okkie Kruger, 20. Dustin Jinka, 21. Stephan Dippenaar, 22. Jaco Engels