Let’s have a look at the four Currie Cup games for the weekend, if for no other reason than to give everyone an excuse to stop obsessing about World Cup selection.

The Lions head to Nelspruit tonight (shudder – it’s a bit like Mordor, just without the volcano) to face a Pumas team that has won twice in the opening three rounds. The Lions, let’s face it, were pretty poor for much of last week’s game against the Sharks, but emerged with a relatively easy 5 points all the same. The Pumas held them well for 40 minutes in Johannesburg earlier in the season but will back themselves to be much more competitive at home.

The Lions are also without a number of key players – most significantly, captain fantastic Jaco Kriel. Call me crazy, but I think the **Pumas are going to take their second big scalp** this week, and could sneak a win by 2-3 points.

**Pumas**: 15 JW Bell, 14 Bernado Botha, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Stefan Watermeyer (captain), 11 Rosco Spekman, 10 JC Roos, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jason-Colin Fraser, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marius Coetzee, 4 Rudi Mathee, 3 Khwezi Mona, 2 Jacques Momberg, 1 Corné Fourie.

Replacements: 16 Frank Herne, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Giant Mtyanda, 19 Jaco Bouwer, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Justin van Staden, 22 Hoffmann Maritz.

**Golden Lions**: 15 Ruan Combrinck, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje (captain), 8 Fabian Booysen, 7 Stephan de Wit, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.

Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Julian Redelinghuys, 18 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 19 Jano Venter, 20 Jaco van der Walt, 21 Alwyn Hollenbach, 22 Anthony Volmink.

Free State take on Province in Bloem at the same time (7pm) and will be on a bit of a high after dispatching Griquas last week. John Dobson took his inaugural PK as coach at Loftus last week and has reacted by dropping Dillyn Leyds, whose stupid post try “pole dance” manoeuvre appears to have irked his coach.

That kind of thing can go one of two ways – either Dobbo will have completely cemented his authority in the dressing room with this move or he will have lost them entirely. My feeling is, backlash or no, there’s enough doubt in the Province minds this week that **the Cheetahs will sneak a win**, maybe by 5 or so.

**Free State Cheetahs**: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ryno Benjamin, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 BG Uys.

Replacements: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Reniel Hugo, 19 Freddy Ngoza, 20 Ruan van Rensburg, 21 Tertius Kruger, 22 Sias Ebersohn.

**Western Province**: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Nizaam Carr (captain), 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Alistair Vermaak.

Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 JP Smith, 18 Jan de Klerk, 19 Chris Cloete, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Dillyn “Beyonce” Leyds.

The Bulls head to Kimberley to take on Griqas at 3pm on Saturday and there unfortunately is little to talk about. Griquas are a shadow of their former Currie cup glory days and t**he Bulls are quite simply going to murder them**.

**Griquas**: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Sandile Ngcobo, 13 Michael Van Der Spuy, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Ntabeni Dukisa, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer (captain), 8 RJ Liebenberg, 7 Jonathan Adendorf, 6 Johan Wessels, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jaco Nepgen, 3 Ewald Van Der Westhuizen, 2 AJ Le Roux, 1 Steph Roberts

Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Luxolo Koza, 18 Hilton Lobberts, 19 Carel Greeff, 20 Rudi Van Rooyen, 21 Jonathan Francke, 22 Ruhan Nel

**Blue Bulls**: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Pieter Labuschagne (captain), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Dean Greyling.

Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 Rudolph Snyman, 19 Nick de Jager, 20 André Warner, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Dan Kriel.

Finally, the Sharks head to the bay for a very tricky return fixture against an EP Kings side that ran them far too close in Durban a fortnight ago (and picked up a try bonus point in the process). There’s been a lot of noise out of the camp this week regarding improvement against the Lions and if the Sharks can show the same attitude and commitment on defence that they managed in the first part of that Lions encounter, they’ll do better against the Kings this week.

I’m not hugely confident, but I’ll back the **Sharks to do the business** by around 8 points.

**Eastern Province Kings**: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Siyanda Grey, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 JP du Plessis, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Karlo Aspeling, 9 Enrico Acker, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Luke Watson (captain), 5 Cornell Hess, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Lizo Gqoboka

Replacements: 16 Schalk Ferreira, 17 Edgar Marutlulle, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Stefan Willemse, 20 Paul Schoeman, 21 Dwayne Kelly, 22 Hansie Graaff.

**Sharks**: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 S’bura Sithole, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Daniel du Preez, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Marco Wentzel (captain), 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Gerhard Engelbrecht, 2 Monde Hadebe, 1 Dale Chadwick.

Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 JC Astle, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Stefan Ungerer, 21 Wandile Mjekevu, 22 Garth April

I agree with the picks. Pumas are a different team at home, they have a solid set piece. Rudi Mathee will make a huge difference behind the front row.They have an exciting midfield with Watermeyer a very underrated player. Trompie is a strong bugger, and a naughty shit too. His only error in judgement was in driving a Landy

Met him at a “fishing” getaway that my son attended with his work colleagues. Specimen, Bell, and Botha are a more than useful back three. Marcus Schoeman is a terrier on the ground, and is deceptively strong with ball in hand. And of course the Faf factor. JC Roos, won’t miss many kicks at goal.

Lions, Cheetahs, Bulls, Sharks would be my calls. Pumas are a tough ask at home but the Lions will switch gears and bring the pain in the final 20.

Kick off. Pumas vs Lions

Penalty try to the Lions and Stephan Watermeyer yellow carded for diliberate knock down

Converted

Lions 7

Pumas 0

7min

Penalty missed by Roos.

Pumas 0

Lions 7

9min

Penalty again missed Roos

Pumas 0

Lions 7

16min

Watermeyer back on

Penalty Boshoff

Lions 10

Pumas 0

21min

And in Bloem its 18-3 to the Cheetahs. Zelinga missed 5 points in kicks.

Penalty Boshoff

Lions 13

Pumas 0

31min

Cheetahs 25 – 3 WP

29 minutes

Cheetahs 25 – 8 WP

33 minutes.

Penalty Roos

Pumas 3

Lions 13

39min

Massive Drop goal Boshoff!!!!!!

Lions 16

Pumas 3

Halftime

Cheetahs 25 – 15 WP

39 minutes.

Half Time

Cheetahs 25 – 15 WP

2nd half starts. Pumas vs Lions

Penalty Boshoff

Lions 19

Pumas 3

42min

Long range Penalty Roos

Pumas 6

Lions 19

46min

Penalty Boshoff

Lions 22

Pumas 6

51min

Try Faf de Klerk

Convertion missed by Roos

Pumas 11

Lions 22

52min

Score still the same.

Cheetahs 25 – 15 WP

50 minutes.

Try Kwagga!!!!!!

Conversion missed by Boshoff

Lions 27

Pumas 11

58min

Yellow Card Marnus Schoeman

Cheetahs 25 – 18 WP

56 minutes.

Try Jaques van Rooyen

Converted Boshoff

Lions 34

Pumas 11

63min

Cheetahs 25 – 21 WP

60 minutes.

Cassiem Yellow Card

4th Yellow Card. Monza off

Kwagga scores his 2nd and the Lions bonus point

Boshoff converts

Lions 41

Pumas 11

78min

Cheetahs 28 – 21 WP

73 minutes.

Fulltime

Lions 41(16) Tries: Kwagga Smith (2), Jaques van Rooyen, Penalty try. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (3). Penalties: Boshoff (4). Drop Goal: Boshoff

Pumas 11 (3) Tries: Faf de Klerk. Penalties: JC Roos (2)

FULL TIME

CHEETAHS 28 – 21 WP

Man of the Match – Jaques van Rooyen

Again the Pumas are roving just what a shock their win over the Sharks was.

The big teams beat the Pumas and today the Lions whipped them.

*proving

2 for 2 so far

@Mutley (Comment 35) : great win for the Lions!!! Going to be hard to beat this year!!!

@Orlok Tsubodai (Comment 40) : to be honest the Sharks were very poor in that game (and most of the other games)!!!!!

@vanmartin (Comment 42) : 1 out of 2 for me…I picked Province by 2…

I must say, I am enjoying how the Cheetahs are playing…

Bulls vs Lions final. Go Lions!

Ja bulls lions for 1 and 2. Cheetahs weepee for 3 and 4. Sharks to duke it out with the bottom of the barrel. Sad

@pastorshark (Comment 45) : @Ben (Comment 46) : @coolfusion (Comment 47) : Lions will be tough to beat!!!!!

Weet iemand wat met die U19 gebeur het – hoop vir goeie nuus.

@Leon Schrenk (Comment 49) : Rob answered your question already on the u21 thread.

@Leon Schrenk (Comment 49) : klink of hulle 26-7 verloor het.

Kick off. Griquas vs Blue Bulls

Penalty Dukisa

Griquas 3

Bulls 0

3min

Yellow Card. Lappies

Try Dukisa

Convertion missed

Griquas 8

Bulls 0

8min

Penalty attempt missed by Dukisa

Griquas 8

Bulls 0

13min

Wind having a huge effect on the game

Hugh Bladen again.

Penalty Dukisa

Griquas 11

Bulls 0

16min

Tian Schoeman really stuggling to cope with the wind

Penalty Schoeman

Bulls 3

Griquas 11

21min

Penalty attemp by Schoeman hit the posts

Bulls 3

Griquas 11

27min

Try Travis Ismail

Converted

Bulls 10

Griquas 11

28min

Try Jamba Ulengo

Converted

Bulls 17

Griquas 11

32min

Try Dries Swanepoel

Converted

Bulls 24

Griquas 11

38min

2nd try for Dries Swanepoel and bonus point for the Bulls

Converted

Bulls 31

Griquas 11

Halftime

2nd half underway Bulls vs Griquas

Try Carel Greef

Converted

Griquas 18

Bulls 31

45min

Penalty Schoeman

Bulls 34

Griquas 18

52min

Try AJ Le Roux

Converted by Clinton Swart

Griquas 25

Bulls 34

56min

Try no 2 for Jambo Ulenga

Converted

Bulls 41

Griquas 25

61min

Bonus point try for Griquas scored by Riaan Viljoen

Converted

Griquas 32

Bulls 41

73min

Yellow Card – Hilton Lobberts

Try Louis Fouche

Convertion missed

Bulls 46

Griquas 32

78min

Fulltime

Blue Bulls 46 (31) Tries: Travis Ismail, Jamba Ulengo(2), Dries Swanepoel (2), Louis Fouche. Penalties: Tian Schoeman(2). Conversions: Schoeman (5)

Griquas 32 (11) Tries: Ntabeni Dukisa, Carel Greef, AJ le Roux, Riaan Viljoen. Penalties: Dukisa(2) Conversions: Dukisa, Clinton Swanepoel (2)

Man of the Match – Jamba Ulenga

@pastorshark (Comment 45) : 4 from 4,two weeks in a row. Trust me to get predictions right when I’m no longer playing fantasy league or SuperBru

@vanmartin (Comment 87) : So I ended up getting 3 out of 4…with some margin points. I had to go and back Province, didn’t I?

@vanmartin (Comment 87) : I did have another good fantasy league weekend, picking Ulenga as my captain! Though I did drop from second to fourth on the global log…still up there though…