robdylan

Currie Cup 2013: Round 1 preview and predictions


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content on 8 Aug 2013 at 10:07
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It’s Currie Cup time, ladies and gents. Let’s have a look at this weekend’s match-ups and see if we can pick the winners, without the benefit of form to guide us.

Game 1: Sharks v Griquas (Friday 19h10)

This one is all about continuity versus change, but also about seeing whether Griquas have advanced at all in the mental stakes during the off-season. The Sharks have changed their coaches and welcome in a few new faces; Griquas are more settled from the perspective of playing and coaching personnel, but welcome a few fresh men themselves. The men from Kimberley have traditionally battled to be competitive in Durban, despite regularly winning the return fixture against the Sharks and it remains to be seen whether Pote Human has managed to instill enough belief in this year’s charges to avoid the annual Kings Park humiliation. For the Sharks, though, there’s a huge amount resting on this game. For John Smit and the men he has brought in, an opening loss against the likes of Griquas – at home – would be nothing short of disastrous. The Sharks have assembled a very decent squad and named pretty much their strongest available 22 for this match; they will chop and change as the season progresses but unlike other sides, appear to have the depth to do so. All the signs are pointing towards a convincing victory for the home side – Sharks by at least 15 points.

The Sharks: 15. Odwa Ndungane, 14. Sizo Maseko, 13. Louis Ludik, 12. Tim Whitehead, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Butch James, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Keegan Daniel (capt) , 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Brynard Stander, 5. Marco Wentzel, 4. Edwin Hewitt, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Dale Chadwick
Replacements: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Rayno Gerber, 18. Peet Marais, 19. Tera Mtembu, 20. Cobus Reinach, 21. Fred Zeilinga, 22. Jaco van Tonder.

Griquas: 15.Gouws Prinsloo, 14.Nico Scheepers, 13.JP Nel, 12.Howard Mnisi, 11.PJ Vermeulen, 10.Francois Brummer, 9.Jacques Coetzee, 8.Burger Schoeman, 7.Jaco Negpen, 6.Marnus Schoeman, 5.Ligtoring Landman, 4.Hilton Lobberts, 3.Lourens Adriaanse, 2.Ryno Barnes (capt), 1.Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16.Matthew Dobson, 17.Nick Schonert, 18.Jonathan Adendorff, 19.Carel Greeff, 20.Marnus Hugo, 21.Du Randt Gerber, 22.Rocco Jansen.

Game 2: Lions v Cheetahs (Saturday 15h00)

Saturday’s action starts off in Joburg and we are once again reminded that in the abbreviated Currie Cup Premier Division, there are no easy games. The Lions are the team that should benefit from continuity, given that they’ve been operating with pretty much the same squad throughout their Lions Challenge series; however, the loss of some really big names due to exodus and injury see them fielding an alarmingly inexperienced tight five for this encounter. The Cheetahs, on the other hand, have lost more men to the national cause than is accustomed but have also purchased wisely and boast the sort of depth at prop, in particular, to give other coaches sleepless nights. A lot will depend on who settles fastest and with the Cheetahs having lost badly against Griquas in a warm-up a week ago, they may again be vulnerable in the mental stakes. The Lions have been through a lot this season too and seem to have pulled together as a unit; that said, they were poor in losing to the Kings last week and will field a significantly weaker outfit than that on Saturday. My gut says the Cheetahs will take this, by around 6 points.

Lions: 15.Chrysander Botha, 14.Deon Helberg, 13.Stokkies Hanekom, 12.Dylan des Fountain, 11.Anthony Volmink, 10.Marnitz Boshoff, 9.Guy Cronje, 8.Willie Britz, 7.Warwick Tecklenburg, 6.Derick Minnie (capt), 5.Hugo Kloppers, 4.Stephan Greeff, 3.Ruan Dreyer, 2.Martin Bezuidenhout, 1.Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16.Francois du Toit, 17.CJ van der Linde, 18.Lambert Groenewald, 19.Jaco Kriel, 20.Tian Meyer, 21.Elton Jantjies, 22.Lionel Cronje/Robert de Bruyn

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 (Capt), 5. Waltie Vermeulen, 4. Lodewyk de Jager, 3. John-Roy Jenkinson, 2. Hercu Liebenberg, 1. Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16. Ethienne Reynecke, 17. Wian du Preez, 18. Teboho Mohoje, 19. Davon Raubenheimer, 20. Piet van Zyl, 21. Joubert Engelbrecht, 22. Piet Lindeque

Game 3: Western Province v Blue Bulls (Saturday 17h05)

The simple view here is to simply call a massive – and very easy – Province win. All of the signs point towards the Bulls – who have not so much lost players as hemorrhaged them – suffering a big opening loss, which certainly won’t be the last of the season for them. Running the rule over the two teams, we see that Province have themselves included a slew of young stars, but boast a level of steel and experience in the pack (and particularly the loose trio) that the Bulls simply cannot match. Halfback too is an area where Province have proven men and the Bulls only greenhorns. You also have to consider that the men from the Cape will be taking a big psychological advantage into this game; after all, it was the Stormers who humiliated the Bulls at the same venue just a few weeks back to effectively end their quest for a Super Rugby home final. In fact, about the only thing going for the Bulls here is the element of surprise, coupled with the fact that they truly have nothing to lose. Western Province by 20 points.

Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Pat Howard, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Alistair Vermaak, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Michael Rhodes, 19 Ruan Kitshoff, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Berton Klaasen.

Blue Bulls: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Travis Ismaiel, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudi Paige, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Morné Mellet.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Marcell van der Merwe, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Jean Cook, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Waylon Murray, 22 Clayton Blommetjies.


19 Comments

  • Jislaaik Rob???? Sharks & WP so far? I’m always hesitant to call BIG wins at the start of any campaign….

  • Comment 1, posted at 08.08.13 10:17:20 by R Hayward Reply
     
  • I don’t think anyone can really argue those selections..

    Back those three teams on your betting accounts people – you will make a decent return!

  • Comment 2, posted at 08.08.13 10:17:23 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • I am never confident when we play the Griquas, we have been burned more times than I care to remember.

  • Comment 3, posted at 08.08.13 10:19:46 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 3) : Tend to agree with you. They are our Achilles’ heel!!!

  • Comment 4, posted at 08.08.13 10:22:58 by R Hayward Reply

     
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) : I rather think you gonna loose all your money….
    Sharks will be lucky if they only get a win and the Mighty Lions wount loose this one….. WP does not know how to get 20 points in a game even with a brilliant kicker…. But hey that is just my thoughts…. Good luck to all………

  • Comment 5, posted at 08.08.13 10:24:39 by Lassy_lion Reply
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  • @Lassy_lion (Comment 5) :

    I’d love to make a direct wager with you on this, because you are sure to ‘loose’.

    But it is probably not fair taking other people’s money so easily..

  • Comment 6, posted at 08.08.13 10:31:44 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) : Well you can get 21 odds for this multiple: Griquas, Cheetahs and wp.

    Problem is griquas just aren`t the same side away from home so it probably won`t come off.

  • Comment 7, posted at 08.08.13 10:33:38 by Original Pierre Reply
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    Original Pierre
     
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 6) : Don`t he still owes me a lamb! 👿

  • Comment 8, posted at 08.08.13 10:34:44 by Original Pierre Reply
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    Original Pierre
     
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 7) :

    Sharks would want to start their Venter reign with a win, and the crowd will be decent with the free tickets for women and children..

    Griquas have a decent squad, but will need time to properly gel and get a rhythm..

  • Comment 9, posted at 08.08.13 10:36:26 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 8) :

    Oh, so he ‘looses’ quite often..

    I wonder why?

  • Comment 10, posted at 08.08.13 10:38:09 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 6) : We will talk again on Monday….
    @Original Pierre (Comment 8) : The lamb is on for next years S15…..I know you were under the influince but hey….LOL

  • Comment 11, posted at 08.08.13 10:38:38 by Lassy_lion Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 10) : He was a bit tipsy it looks like to me….The bet is for next years S15…. I have a whole lamb riding on LIONS not finishing last of the SA teams

  • Comment 12, posted at 08.08.13 10:41:46 by Lassy_lion Reply
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  • @Lassy_lion (Comment 12) :

    Start saving up – else July 2014 might be an expensive month for you!

  • Comment 13, posted at 08.08.13 10:43:53 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @R Hayward (Comment 4) : not in durban they aren’t.

  • Comment 14, posted at 08.08.13 10:49:20 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 13) : Well to be honnest after the Last game vs Kings I have already started :mrgreen:
    But hey a man has got to back his team right

  • Comment 15, posted at 08.08.13 10:52:50 by Lassy_lion Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : true but I still worry.

  • Comment 16, posted at 08.08.13 10:57:28 by lostfish Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : 10 Try festival again then?

  • Comment 17, posted at 08.08.13 11:04:29 by R Hayward Reply

     
  • I think that your predictions are spot on but as we have learnt rugby can be a funny old game. The fact that I agree with you is probably a bad thing – I was sure that the Bulls would beat the Brumbies in Pretoria, Crusaders the Chiefs and the Lions the Kings in Jhb.

    On paper the Cheetahs are the team to beat for me but I’m sure they will miss Strauss’s leadership and I’m not convinced about Elgar Watts ability to get the most out of that lethal backline.

  • Comment 18, posted at 08.08.13 11:21:54 by steve Reply

     
  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : Sharks with “at least 15” Right…… LOL :mrgreen:

  • Comment 19, posted at 09.08.13 21:07:04 by Lassy_lion Reply
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