It’s that time of the week again that we look forward to the weekend’s Currie Cup action and attempt to call the games. Last weekend was a bit of a nightmare with all the away teams winning, but we managed to call two out of three and come away with a better than average performance.
You will note that I will be doing the predicting this weekend in the absence of our man Rob, who is taking a breather this weekend and enjoying himself a nice little holiday. Not to stress though, you are in the capable hands of Richard Ferguson, who got a brilliant 0 from 3 last weekend, so we can only do better!
This weekend does look like a reversal from last weekend, where I suspect we will see all the home teams win, but let’s look at each match individually:
Lions vs Western Province
The Lions come off a phenomenal win over the Bulls at Loftus last week, with their confidence well up after two losses at the beginning of the campaign. Western Province won’t be too down and out either, coming off an away win against Griquas, a match that many would have felt would play into Griquas’ favour. Looking at the teams announced, the Lions have picked up a few injuries but look eager to kick on from their win last week, while Western Province are boosted by the return of Tiaan Liebenberg to the front row. Close match but I reckon the Lions will have just too much in the tank. Lions by 4 points.
Lions: 15 Marnitz Boshoff, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Robert de Bruyn, 12 Dylan Des Fountain, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Guy Cronje, 8 Lambert Groenewald, 7 Derick Minnie (captain), 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Willie Britz, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 CJ van der Linde
Substitutes: 16. Robbie Coetzee, 17. Jacques van Rooyen, 18. Hugo Kloppers, 19. JJ Breedt, 20. Jaco Kriel, 21. Tian Meyer, 22. Andries Coetzee
Western Province:15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Rohan Kitshoff, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Tim Swiel, 22 Michael van der Spuy
Cheetahs vs Griquas
Completely different tale of the tape than in the first match, where both teams come off home losses, the Cheetahs in a surprise home loss to the Sharks, and as mentioned the Griquas coming unstuck to WP. The Cheetahs would like to make up for ground lost, especially at home, by giving Griquas a hiding, but we have seen that all matches in this Currie Cup so far, nothing is ever a done deal. Expect Griquas to throw everything at their neighbours and co-franchise, but I suspect the beating Naka Drotske gave all his players last weekend would push them through to a victory at home. Cheetahs by 8 points.
Free State Cheetahs:15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Boom Prinsloo (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Teboho Mohoje, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Trevor Nyakane
Substitutes: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 16 Wian du Preez, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Davon Raubenheimer, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Piet Lindeque
Griquas: 15. PJ Vermeulen, 14. Nico Scheepers, 13. JP Nel, 12. Howard Mnisi, 11. Rocco Jansen, 10. Francois Brummer, 9. Marnus Hugo, 8. Leon Karemaker, 7. Burger Schoeman, 6. Carel Greeff, 5. Rory Arnold, 4. Hilton Lobberts, 3. Nick Schonert, 2. Ryno Barnes (capt), 1. Steph Roberts.
Substitutes: 16. Matt Dobson, 17. Brummer Badenhorst, 18. Patrick O’Brien, 19. Marnus Schoeman, 20. Jacques Coetzee, 21. Du Randt Gerber, 22. Richard Lawson
Sharks vs Bulls
And it only gets easier. I joke! Set to be another momentous tussle, the Sharks host the Bulls in what can only be described as a crunch match. (But which match isn’t these day?) Anyway, the Sharks have made some rotational changes to their squad, yet keeping a consistent look about them going into the fourth round of this competition. Similarly, the Bulls have made very few changes themselves, injury forcing their hand in letting Handre Pollard start his first match in senior Blue Bulls colours, along with Waylon Murray getting a start. I get the feeling that this match will be settled amongst the forwards, with neither team willing to risk going wide and conceding possession. Either way, it should be a great battle and we can only hope the current Cape weather remains there. Close match again, but the home team to build on their win last week and jump to the top of the table. Sharks by 4 points.
Sharks: 15. SP Marais, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Louis Ludik, 12. Heimar Williams, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Jacques Botes, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Keegan Daniel, 5. Marco Wentzel, 4. Peet Marais, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Craig Burden, 1. Dale Chadwick.
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Rayno Gerber, 18. Edwin Hewitt, 19. Justin Downey, 20. Charl McLeod, 21. Butch James, 22. Jaco van Tonder
Blue Bulls:15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Ulrich Beyers, 11 Akona Ndungane, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Morné Mellett
Substitutes: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 David Bullbring, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Tiaan Schoeman, 22 Clayton BlommetjiesTweet