Currie Cup 2016: Round 1 Preview and Predictions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content on 5 Aug 2016 at 12:28
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Only three games in this first round, since the Griquas v Kings clash will take place at some later date due to <reasons>…


The opening game is also the clear pick of the round – the traditional North-South derby (albeit played at closer to under-21 strength). Both of these sides did reasonably well in Super Rugby, but go into Currie Cup with vastly different squads, making it hard to make any predictions on form this early. Neither side boasts much of a pack due to Bok call-ups and player departures, so one looks at the back lines and my feeling is that hte Bulls boast a marginally more settled unit there. This one is likely to be scrappy and closely fought, but I’m backing the Loftus mob to prevail by around 5 points.

Blue Bulls – 15 Bjorn Basson, 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Arno Botha (c), 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Entienne Swanepoel, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Subs: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Nqoba Mxoli, 18 Eli Snyman, 19 Hanro Liebenberg, 20 Andre Warner, 21 Tony Jantjies, 22 Dan Kriel.

Western Province – 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Khanyo Ngcukana, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Daniel du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Jacques Vermeulen, 7 Jurie van Vuuren, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Chris van Zyl (c), 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Subs: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 JP Smith, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Godlen Masimla, 21 Brandon Thomson, 22 Johnny Kotzé.


The Pumas should be settled and combative at home, as always, but the Sharks, under new head coach Robert du Preez, boast a Super Rugby pack and really shouldn’t be struggling against a team of this calibre. Curwin Bosch will need to settle fast and dictate matters from flyhalf, but with an experienced scrumhalf and hopefully dominant pack, I predict he’ll do just fine. It’s a new campaign and we are full of hope, so I’m backing the Sharks to win this by 12 points.

Pumas – 15 Justin van Staden, 14 JP Lewis, 13 Hennie Skorbinski, 12 Marlou van Niekerk, 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Reynier van Rooyen, 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Brian Shabangu/Marnus Schoeman, 5 Hugo Kloppers (c), 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Dee-Jay Terblanche, 2 Frankie Herne, 1 Kwezi Mona.
Subs: 16 Swys du Toit, 17 Yskas Kotzé, 18 Wiehan Hay,19 Brian Shabangu/Marnus Schoeman, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Devon Williams, 22 Deon Helberg.

Sharks – 15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 Neil Maritz, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 S’bura Sithole, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel (c), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Subs: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Ruan Botha, 19 Tera Mtembu, 20 Stefan Ungerer, 21 Inny Radebe, 22 Heimar Williams.


There’s no sign of the Boland team sheet yet, but regardless, it’s hard to imagine a Super-Rugby strength Cheetahs team losing to them. Cheetahs to win here by 15 or so.

Boland – To be announced

Free State Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (c), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Neill Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Justin Basson, 19 Henco Venter, 20 Tian Meyer, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Ryno Benjamin.


  • Cheetahs are pretty much at Super rugby strength, depth is a slight issue but i can see them doing pretty well this CC. If Sharks forwards come to the party we will win comfortably, if they dont then either team may sneak it on penalties. Bulls/WP tough to call…could be a close one

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.08.16 12:33:56 by SheldonK Reply
  • I’m a bit worried about the second half of the Sharks game. The Pumas will throw the ‘Yskas’ at us. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.08.16 12:34:09 by Ben Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 1) : I think WP will crush the Bulls. WP by 10.

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.08.16 12:35:21 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 2) : oh my word…. 😀

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.08.16 12:36:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Gotta admit thats a goodie

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.08.16 12:39:25 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Ben (Comment 3) : Where do you think WP will have the upper hand? If DuPreez continues to play deep and kick Bjorn ‘please punch me in the face” Basson will cause them headaches.

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.08.16 12:40:29 by SheldonK Reply

  • Hahaha “reasons”

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.08.16 12:40:49 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @Ben (Comment 2) : ha . well done , you take time to read the teem sheets 😉 i just last week realized that one of the whitelocks has moved to the Higlanders

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.08.16 12:46:08 by Zibbie Reply
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  • I have the same picks and eerily similar margins. You clearly know your rugby Rob 😎

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.08.16 12:48:58 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 6) : I’m really just guessing. My gut tells me that WP will win it. 🙂

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.08.16 12:49:07 by Ben Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 8) : I also noticed Tony Jantjies. I wondered where he was.

  • Comment 11, posted at 05.08.16 12:50:02 by Ben Reply
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  • I’m going for 3 away wins.

  • Comment 12, posted at 05.08.16 13:00:00 by JD Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 10) : A draw between WP and Bulls would be great for the Sharks…provided we can win.

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.08.16 13:22:04 by SheldonK Reply

  • Im going to be interested to see how Boland fare under Brent Janse van Rensburg as their coach. I think, that theyqualified for the premier division, is already a feather in his cap. I think he also got a lot out of what should have been a very depleted, demotivated, dejected, debilitated etc Kings team when he was still with them.
    A coach to watch….

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.08.16 16:14:13 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • How wrong was I. Bulls running away with this one.

    Half Time

    Bulls 24 – 0 WP

  • Comment 15, posted at 05.08.16 17:56:10 by Ben Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 14) : don’t forget that one Alan Zondagh is the de facto Boland Director of Rugby these days….

  • Comment 16, posted at 05.08.16 18:06:02 by robdylan Reply
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    BULLS 45 – 26 WP

  • Comment 17, posted at 05.08.16 18:51:43 by Ben Reply
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  • Good call on the Bulls, Rob…

  • Comment 18, posted at 05.08.16 19:11:55 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 17) : Was surprisingly an exciting game….was expecting a bore fest, but good running rugby from the bulls, with weepeee coming to the party eventually.

  • Comment 19, posted at 05.08.16 19:13:28 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 19) : Indeed, it was.

  • Comment 20, posted at 05.08.16 19:24:15 by Ben Reply
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