ABSA Currie Cup 2014: Round 1 Preview and Predictions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content on 7 Aug 2014 at 15:14
Tagged with : , ,

Right, enough of this Super Rugby nonsense…. it’s time to rediscover our caveman (or whatever the latest ad campaign is about) and get stuck into the real thing. The Currie Cup is back, baby and it all kicks off this weekend with four games on the table.

EP Kings v DHL Western Province – Friday at 19h10

Wow, a R10 prize to the first person who can tell me when last EP played a premier division Currie Cup match…. it certainly has been a long time since the likes of Adri Geldenhuys, Pote Human and Deon Kayser terrorised all comers in the black and red hoops. Luke Watson leads his newly-promoted troops to do battle in what used to be the big coastal derby in days gone by. Western Province are weakened and have included a lot of debutants in their 22, but you’d fancy there is still enough collective experience there to see off the challenge of the Kings, who are pretty much all on debut, if you think about it. There will be a contrast of styles on display, I’m sure, with EP wanting to run everything and WP no doubt reverting to the dour defensive game that sees them very hard to beat. With just that bit too much class in their team, though, we see Western Province taking this one by around 7 points.

EP Kings: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Ronnie Cooke, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Tobie Botes, 8 Luke Watson (captain), 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Steven Cummins, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Lizo Gqoboka/BG Uys.
Replacements: 16 Albe de Swardt, 17 CJ vd Linde, 18 Darron Nell, 19 Aidon Davis, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa.

DHL Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh (capt), 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Pat Cilliers (v/capt), 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Alistair Vermaak
Subs: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Jean Kleyn, 19 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Patrick Howard

GWK Griquas v Cell C Sharks – Saturday at 15h00

The Sharks get their title defence under way on yet another concrete Kimberley pitch, against a team licking their lips at the thought of yet another upset. While the hosts have the benefit of some continuity and have a more battle-hardened pack, the Sharks have themselves named a useful looking 8 and a backline chockful of dangerous runners with pace. We foresee an open game, with both defences tested to the limit and a strong likelihood of bonus points for both sides. The Sharks have that little bit more class, though and we think they’ll prevail, but it won’t be by much. Sharks to edge a high-scoring affair by 3 points.

GWK Griquas: 15 Nico Scheepers, 14 Danie Dames, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Wayne Stevens (captain), 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Hilton Lobberts, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Jaco Nepgen, 4 Willem Serfontein, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Ewald Van Der Westhuizen, 18 Hugo Kloppers, 19 RJ Liebenberg, 20 Abrie Griesel, 21 Marais Schmidt, 22 Edries Arendse.

Cell C Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Sโ€™bura Sithole, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Tonderai Chavanga, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Tera Mtembu (captain), 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Marco Wentzel, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Thomas du Toit
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 JC Astle, 20 Francois Kleinhans, 21 Hanco Venter, 22 Lionel Cronje

Xerox Golden Lions v Vodacom Blue Bulls – Saturday at 17h05

Hmm, another tasty Jukskei derby. Let’s not forget that the Lions stuffed the Bulls in the corresponding Super Rugby fixture to finally consign the latter to also-ran status in the play-off race this year. Ludeke and his boys will be breathing the fire of revenge, but I fancy Ackermann’s Lions to not lose too many games at home this year. The Bulls are quite strong on paper, but I just don’t see them rolling this Lions team at the second attempt. Lions to win by 5 points.

Xerox Golden Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Ruan Combrinck, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronjรฉ, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Willie Britz, 19 Warwick Tecklenburg, 20 Ricky Schroeder, 21 Jaco van der Walt, 22 Howard Mnisi.

Vodacom Blue Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Jono Ross, 6 Deon Stegmann (captain), 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Marcel van der Merwe, 18 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 19 Wiaan Liebenberg, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Tony Jantjies, 22 Jesse Kriel.

Steval Pumas v Toyota Free State Cheetahs – Saturday at 19h10

Finally, we get to see the Pumas in action against the big boys. This one is not going to go well for the visitors, I fear, who are looking very thin up front. The first upset of the 2014 Currie Cup happens in Nelspruit, with the Pumas scoring a comfortable 12 point victory over the Cheetahs. You read it here first.

Steval Pumas: 15 JW Bell, 14 Ruwellyn Isbell, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Jerome Pretorius, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Reynier van Rooyen, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Cornรฉ Steenkamp (captain), 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Frikkie Spies, 3 Dejay Terblanche, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Vincent Koch.
Replacments: 16 Frankie Herne, 17 Cornรฉ Fourie, 18 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 19 Uzair Cassiem, 20 Sinoyuvo Nyoka, 21 JC Roos, 22 AN Other.

Toyota Free State Cheetahs: 15 AJ Coertzen, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Francois Venter (v/capt), 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Neill Claasen, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Torsten van Jaarzveld (capt), 1 Kevin Stevens
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Bees Roux, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Henco Venter, 20 Renier Botha, 21 Elgar Watts, 22 JP du Plessis


  • noooo . Rob .. the Lions never win when you pick them in a preview .. ai ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.08.14 15:17:48 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Zibbie
  • @Zibbie (Comment 1) : just for you boss

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.08.14 15:20:55 by robdylan Reply
  • Bit rich calling the WP game dour! They have been playing a much more entertaining game of late.

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.08.14 15:28:23 by KingCheetah Reply
  • I can get just over 13 to one odds for Lions, wp, Pumas and Kwasse . . .
    It`s not impossible is it? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.08.14 15:31:54 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Zibbie (Comment 1) : If he picks the Lions they usually loose ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.08.14 15:33:35 by Mutley Reply
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 4) : Go for it.

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.08.14 15:35:22 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 4) : take it.

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.08.14 15:44:47 by robdylan Reply
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 4) : take out my heart-over-head call of Sharks to win and you have exactly those results.

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.08.14 15:47:49 by robdylan Reply
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 3) : Yes, but they only do that once they have no chance of making the playoffs.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.08.14 15:57:19 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 3) : Ja, they were rather entertaining when we crushed them in Cape Town ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.08.14 15:58:20 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Betting against the sharks is never easy but look at it this way, if we win I celebrate, if we lose . . . Ishmael over at Sportsbet will compensate . . . :mrgreen:

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.08.14 16:27:29 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Jeepers… got brave on their predictions:
    – Lions by 10
    – WP by 18
    – Sharks by 12
    – Cheetahs by 15

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.08.14 17:19:06 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld pastorshark
  • @pastorshark (Comment 12) : Having said that, I will go with those picks…just not those margins…

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.08.14 17:20:28 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld pastorshark
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 9) : Lol, I recall both the Sharks and WP playing some nice exciting rugby in the CC last year.

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.08.14 21:14:58 by KingCheetah Reply
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 14) : but that was a long time and two coaches ago………..

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.08.14 23:54:05 by JD Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld JD
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) :last time they played as the Mighty Elephants, prob early 2000’s, 2002 maybe. They’ve come a long way since the days of “The Mighty Elephants Stamping the Field”

  • Comment 16, posted at 08.08.14 08:46:28 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • @pierre_mackie (Comment 16) : Were they not even known as the Telkom Callmore Mighty Elephants at some time?

  • Comment 17, posted at 08.08.14 09:27:46 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 17) : and British Aiways, some sponsors will just ruin your name ๐Ÿ˜†

  • Comment 18, posted at 08.08.14 09:37:11 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 11) : Ishmael…doesnt sound like he should be involved with gambling.

  • Comment 19, posted at 08.08.14 09:40:34 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @pierre_mackie (Comment 18) : I always laughed at the Callmore Mighty Elephants. I don’t know if that was intentional – but it is still the most classic combination of a sponsor and team name.

  • Comment 20, posted at 08.08.14 09:41:32 by Bokhoring Reply
  • I must admit to enjoying watching the EP Elephants play when i first started watching Currie Cup rugby. Back then the CC was the one and only premier comp and although at that time EP didnt have the star names they always gave every union one hell of a fight at their home ground. Id love to see more of that these days where teams make their home grounds very uncomfortable for visiting teams and fans pack the grounds and make it that much tougher for the opposition

  • Comment 21, posted at 08.08.14 09:46:05 by SheldonK Reply
  • Thank you Gavin Rich!

    His favorites to win the CC this year is as follow and in this order:



  • Comment 22, posted at 08.08.14 10:14:25 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • The format seems a bit silly this year – in order to fit 8 teams into the competition. We play the Bulls and WP only away, the Lions only at home, and all the other teams home and away.

    I guess the away game against WP counts in our favour – given our recent home record against them ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Comment 23, posted at 08.08.14 10:35:19 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Interesting article (The art of execution) by Brendan on his Supersport blog analyzing the Sharks – Crusaders semi.

  • Comment 24, posted at 08.08.14 11:21:19 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 23) :

    Its so the Kings can get yet another free ride ๐Ÿ˜› Without earning a place in the CC ..

  • Comment 25, posted at 08.08.14 11:37:44 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Zibbie
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 20) : ja that was the best combination of a sponsor and team ever.

  • Comment 26, posted at 08.08.14 12:18:26 by JD Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld JD
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 23) : Are you seious. I cant imagine that the Sharks would agree to such a crap format.

  • Comment 27, posted at 08.08.14 12:51:30 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 27) :

    9 Griquas v Sharks GWK Park, Kimberley 15:00
    15 Sharks v Pumas Kings Park, Durban 19:10
    23 Sharks v Free State Cheetahs Kings Park, Durban 19:10
    29 Pumas v Sharks Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit 19:10
    6 Sharks v Griquas Kings Park, Durban 17:05
    13 Free State Cheetahs v Sharks Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 15:00
    20 Blue Bulls v Sharks Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria 17:05
    27 Sharks v Eastern Province Kings Kings Park, Durban 14:00
    4 Sharks v Golden Lions Kings Park, Durban 19:10
    11 Western Province v Sharks Newlands, Cape Town 17:05

  • Comment 28, posted at 08.08.14 13:00:10 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Bulls and WP away only
    Lions and Kings at home only
    Other teams home and away

  • Comment 29, posted at 08.08.14 13:02:18 by Bokhoring Reply
  • teams are divided into 2 groups . Lions . Wp kings , bulls

    and Sharks Pumas Griquas and FS

    You play each team in your group twice . and each team in the other group only once

  • Comment 30, posted at 08.08.14 13:04:19 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Zibbie
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 20) : ๐Ÿ˜†

  • Comment 31, posted at 08.08.14 13:12:19 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • @Zibbie (Comment 30) : That is really the only way to fit 8 teams into 10 weeks.

  • Comment 32, posted at 08.08.14 13:41:37 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 29) : As opposed to WP who plays:

    Cheetahs and Pumas away only
    Griquas and Sharks at home only
    Others home and away

  • Comment 33, posted at 08.08.14 13:48:56 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 32) :

    really cant see why the KIngs NEED to be in . If the NEED to be in the NEED to do what the Pumas did last year . earn the right ..

  • Comment 34, posted at 08.08.14 13:54:19 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Zibbie
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 28) : @Zibbie (Comment 30) : Wow, Sharks season ticket holders must be ecstatic.

  • Comment 35, posted at 08.08.14 14:19:12 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 32) : this format is a joke. Currie cup is now same as Vodacom cup just another thing that SA rugby must fit in between Super rugby and Springbok matches to keep the other players busy.

  • Comment 36, posted at 08.08.14 16:38:46 by JD Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld JD
  • @JD (Comment 36) : When is the Currie Cup going to die out altogether. Never i hope. I love the South African rivalry and it may be watered down but come the final stretch and South Africans are backing their teams to the hilt.

    Im honestly looking more forward to the start of the competition than I am the Boks vs Agentinia game.

  • Comment 37, posted at 08.08.14 16:45:33 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 37) : ja I feel the same. I believe Super rugby is waaaaaaay to long and is killing Currie cup.

  • Comment 38, posted at 08.08.14 16:52:01 by JD Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld JD
  • If you want a home and away format like before, it is either back to 6 teams, or add 4 weeks to the Currie Cup. Or 7 teams and a 2 week extension.

    As the Boks are out of the Cup, a 4 week extension may work but then the final would be played on the 22nd of November – in the middle of the end of year tour.

  • Comment 39, posted at 08.08.14 17:02:50 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Wp by 15
    Sharks by 2
    Lions by 16
    Cheetahs by 11

  • Comment 40, posted at 08.08.14 17:33:09 by Windgat101 Reply
  • Must admit I quite like this format. Think they got a really nice balance to it.

  • Comment 41, posted at 08.08.14 18:21:37 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld gregkaos
  • @Windgat101 (Comment 40) : ja think it’s about right, but don’t know if the Cheetahs will win.

  • Comment 42, posted at 08.08.14 21:34:04 by JD Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld JD
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Well predicted Rob, a tough weekend to call 1st round, no boks, a few tough away fixtures and four out of four. FYI Rugby 365 got one out of four, the WP V EP game which was a no brainer really.

  • Comment 43, posted at 11.08.14 09:14:29 by markp Reply
  • @JD (Comment 36) : @JD (Comment 36) :

    you cant drop the CC . what are the Lions going to do in the time ….

  • Comment 44, posted at 11.08.14 10:32:41 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Zibbie
  • @Zibbie (Comment 44) : Watch the Rugby Championship ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  • Comment 45, posted at 11.08.14 10:49:44 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld vanmartin
  • @vanmartin (Comment 45) :

    i had to watch 80 min of Bulls rugby this weekend .. that was torture enough …

  • Comment 46, posted at 11.08.14 10:59:37 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Zibbie
  • @Zibbie (Comment 46) : I assume, the fact that they were pummelled by the Lions made it slightly more bearable though ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Comment 47, posted at 11.08.14 11:55:19 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld vanmartin
  • @vanmartin (Comment 47) :

    hahah ! yes very much so :mrgreen:

  • Comment 48, posted at 11.08.14 12:07:34 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Zibbie
  • @Zibbie (Comment 48) : Still sad I missed that game but dirty toddlers do not bathe and feed themselves.

  • Comment 49, posted at 11.08.14 12:16:52 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld vanmartin
  • @vanmartin (Comment 49) : ja the fun of parenthood! !!!!

  • Comment 50, posted at 11.08.14 16:14:28 by JD Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld JD

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.