Currie Cup 2016: Round 7 preview and predictions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content on 15 Sep 2016 at 13:18
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Only three rounds to go and things are getting tight.

Once again, we have a Thursday game. I’m not sure why, but hey – it’s the way it goes.


Man, this is too good a game to be tucked away into a Thursday evening slot, but there you go. Big , important wins for both of these teams in the last round means that it’s hard to call this one based on form alone. The Lions seem to have shrugged off their early season malaise and are starting to look like a champion outfit, so the Cheetahs will do well to keep them out tonight. Franco Smith’s team have not lost yet and it’s frankly implausible that they’ll go through their campaign without stumbling. I have a strong feeling the Lions are going to upset their apple cart tonight. Lions to win by 10 points.

Free State Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Nico Lee, 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (c), 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Armandt Koster, 19 Tienie Burger, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Fred Zeilinga.

Golden Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Selom Gavor, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ross Cronjé (c), 8 Fabian Booysen, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Andries Ferreira, 4 JP du Preez, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Dylan Smith.
Subs: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Pieter Scholtz, 18 Martin Muller, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Dillon Smit, 21 Ashlon Davids, 22 Howard Mnisi.


Another huge games in terms of semi-final permutations plays out on Friday night at Loftus. Griquas are well in contention at the moment, but they have to win this game in order to stay in the hunt. The Bulls, if anything, will be even more desperate; they’ve played one game more than their opponents and are only a single point ahead. Losing this game pushes Nollis Marais and his team right back into the chasing pack and they will not want that to happen, even if they do have a few easier games coming up. Expect the Bulls to shade this one based on sheer desperation. Bulls by 5 points.

Blue Bulls – 15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 7 Nic de Jager, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Subs: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Martin Dreyer, 18 Jason Jenkins, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Andre Warner, 21 Joshua Stander, 22 Bjorn Basson/Divan Rossouw.

Griquas – 15 AJ Coertzen (c), 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Poerie van Rooyen, 8 Jason Fraser, 7 Sias Koen, 6 Wendal Wehr, 5 Jono Janse van Rensburg, 4 Mzwanele Zito, 3 Vlooi Kotzé, 2 AJ le Roux, 1 Steph Roberts.
Subs: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Devon Martinus, 18 Wandile Putuma, 19 Jonathan Adendorf, 20 Renier Botha, 21 André Swarts, 22 Eric Zana.


It’s all started to go very wrong for the Sharks in recent weeks, but even with all their injury disruptions, one fancies they cannot lose this. Right? Sharks to canter in by 20.

Sharks – 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Rhyno Smith, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Wandile Mjekvu, 10 Inny Radebe, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Francois Kleinhans, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 John-Hubert Meyer , 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle (c), 1 Thomas du Toit.
Subs: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Jean Droste, 19 , 20 Stefan Ungerer, 21 Patrick Lambie, 22 Neil Maritz.

EP Kings – 15 Lungelo Gosa, 14 Siwivive Soyizwapi, 13 Burton Klaasen, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Pieter Steyn de Wet, 9 Ricky Schroeder (c), 8 Christiaan de Bruin, 7 Brandon Brown, 6 Vincent Jhobo, 5 Sebastian Ferreira, 4 Dylan Pieterse, 3 Justin Forwood, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Barend Potgieter.
Replacements: 16 Warrick Venter, 17 Vukile Sofisa, 18 Etienne Oosthuizen, 19 Luke van der Smit, 20 Vian van der Watt, 21 Minenhle Mthethwa, 22 Alcino Isaacs.


Funny scheduling sees the plum matches take place on Thursday and Friday, with the lemons getting prime Saturday slots. Perhaps the thinking is everyone will be tired of rugby after the Boks game in the morning? Anyway, nothing to see here. Province are shit hot and just plain shit in equal parts this year, but will beat the Pumas easily at Newlands. WP by 20.

Western Province – 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Werner Kok, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Chris van Zyl (c), 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Mike Willemse, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Subs: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 JP Smith, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Scott van Breda.

Pumas – 15 Devon Williams, 14 Ruwellyn Isbel, 13 Hoffmann Maritz, 12 Hennie Skorbinski, 11 JP lewis, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Emile Temperman, 8 Renaldo Bothma (c), 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Brian Shabangu, 5 Jannie Stander, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Louis Albertse, 2 Frankie Herne, 1 Kwezi Mona.
Subs: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Dee-Jay Terblanche, 18 Hugo Kloppers, 19 Carel Greeff, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Heinrich Steyl, 22 Tyler Fisher.


  • JD, van Martin please give us your predictions as mine is slightly different than Robs this week, so I’m feeling confident

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.09.16 13:22:38 by Henkb Reply
  • Cheetahs/Lions close to call but if Lions forwards play like last week they will win…Cheetahs will push them though. Rest of the games should be pretty 1 sided.

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.09.16 13:44:28 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 2) : Actually think the Cheetahs can match the Lions scrum. They have a short front row, that gets under the taller one’s and they are scrumming well.
    Lions have tall locks, but the looses are relatively short. The Cheetahs will use their tall looses to get possession. Caesium, Venter and Jordaan.

    I am going to be brave and back the Cheetahs to sneak a win. Think we lost to a much better Lions team last year, but the Cheetahs team has progressed quietly

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.09.16 14:00:54 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 3) : Wasnt so much the set phases that the Lions forwards were good but it was in general play in the ruck and tackle as well as carrying the ball. Cheetahs will more than hold their own at scrum and lineout time. Could be a close one…

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.09.16 14:07:20 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Henkb (Comment 1) : going for:
    Cheetahs by 8
    Bulls by 16
    Sharks by 20
    WP by 20

  • Comment 5, posted at 15.09.16 14:47:33 by JD Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 3) : think Cheetahs should win.

  • Comment 6, posted at 15.09.16 14:51:17 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 4) : True! Though I think the Cheetas loosies have been combining and linking well. I think the nature of both teams play, makes for a try fest. Hope it will be an entertaining match.

  • Comment 7, posted at 15.09.16 15:00:53 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @JD (Comment 5) : Thanx :), we are the almost the same

  • Comment 8, posted at 15.09.16 15:01:03 by Henkb Reply
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 7) : could be the best one this week(end)!

  • Comment 9, posted at 15.09.16 15:06:40 by JD Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 7) : To be honest im not hoping for a try fest. Im hoping to see good attacking play but also want to see some sign that Sa sides are actually concerned about defense. Some defenses have been quite pathetic this CC

  • Comment 10, posted at 15.09.16 15:09:47 by SheldonK Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 7) : Good luck sir . may the best team win

  • Comment 11, posted at 15.09.16 15:20:03 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 10) : Agreed! Actually looked at that yesterday. Lions scored 33 tries and conveded 16.
    Cheetahs scored 27 and conceded 11.
    The rest doesn’t make for inspired reading, I am afraid:
    WP and Sharks were on 22 for and 18 against

  • Comment 12, posted at 15.09.16 15:23:15 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @Zibbie (Comment 11) : Sharks not playing tonight so that will not happen 😉

  • Comment 13, posted at 15.09.16 15:23:29 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 13) : unless you guys play the cheetahs 😛 😆

  • Comment 14, posted at 15.09.16 15:33:03 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 14) : ja ja ja shit happens!

  • Comment 15, posted at 15.09.16 15:35:47 by JD Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 12) : When you consider the opposition one of those defensive stats are good. Thought to ponder: does SA teams attack look blunt because of the defensive pressure applied by the opposition compared to how much pressure SA teams put on their attack.

  • Comment 16, posted at 15.09.16 15:43:05 by SheldonK Reply

  • @JD (Comment 6) : I am
    Hoping so Bud

  • Comment 17, posted at 15.09.16 15:50:20 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @Zibbie (Comment 11) : @KingCheetah (Comment 17) : ja good luck for both of your teams! Think it should be a good game!

  • Comment 18, posted at 15.09.16 15:52:08 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 16) : Well I think the WP derailed badly vs the Lions, and the Sharks conceding two fivers vs Cheetahs and WP skewed the stats a bit

  • Comment 19, posted at 15.09.16 15:52:54 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 19) : Keeping that in mind and looking generally over Super rugby and Bok rugby the last year or so…are those stats really skewed or do they actually show a true picture regarding SA teams defense generally speaking of course.

  • Comment 20, posted at 15.09.16 15:58:29 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 20) : @KingCheetah (Comment 19) : personally I think the loss of Omar is a huge blow for the Sharks and will for sure not help their defensive record. Is that not maybe the reason for those 10 tries that they conceded in two games?

  • Comment 21, posted at 15.09.16 16:22:35 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 21) : Perhaps a little but just because he isnt there to crap on guys shouldnt mean all goes to hell in a hand basket. i was referring more to Sa teams in general being poor defensively…perhaps too much emphasis on playing running rugby

  • Comment 22, posted at 15.09.16 16:24:08 by SheldonK Reply

  • @JD (Comment 21) : I guess, then again in the case of the match vs the Cheetahs, it was an anomaly in terms of injury disruptions too.

  • Comment 23, posted at 15.09.16 16:30:58 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 23) : Congrats and a great big thank you to the Cheetahs for giving Lions 0 log points!

  • Comment 24, posted at 15.09.16 20:42:22 by JD Reply
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  • And not to brag but that’s a perfectly predicted 8 point victory for the Cheetahs!!!

  • Comment 25, posted at 15.09.16 20:44:03 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 25) : Damn! Should have stayed with my Cheetahs by 10. Pleasure Boet, still a mountain to climb for your boys, but the door has been opened. Think the Bulls could get the other home semi final. So a tight race for the other two spots. Unless the Kwaste cause an upset.

  • Comment 26, posted at 15.09.16 21:06:12 by KingCheetah Reply

  • Not to take anything away from cheetahs victory, but the Lions don’t look like the team that so cleanly dispatched province.

  • Comment 27, posted at 16.09.16 07:00:54 by coolfusion Reply

  • Cheetahs were pretty average in the first 20min but then just got better and better. Shows that the Lions game plan is negated if they dont win the collisions. If Marais could kick the margin would be higher. Very nice to see Raymond Rhule get a lot more involved with ball in hand, he still struggles on defense but is now a bigger threat on attack- his handling seems to have improved. All big name Lions players were nowhere in 2nd half

  • Comment 28, posted at 16.09.16 07:53:25 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 28) : i’m sensing an anti- lions bias here Sheldon

  • Comment 29, posted at 16.09.16 08:36:37 by benji Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 29) : Not at all…just pointing out that they are fallible and their game plan is not the perfect specimen some people make it out to be. The Lions are still a bladdy good side and it takes a serious effort to get a result against them. I highly rate a lot of their players playing last night but they do seem to drop in form away from home…which is a slight concern when thinking of promoting them to be Boks.

  • Comment 30, posted at 16.09.16 08:48:54 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 28) : Benjamin impressed me more as he offloaded like a champ.

    Credit to the Cheetahs as they controll possession in the 2nd half and starved the Lions, pretty much the same as last week against the Sharks. With the non contest in scrums, the Lions lost a key strike weapon and I would have brought more mobile forwards on to replace the front rankers and combat the Cheetah loosies.

    The 22 squad is really a farce

  • Comment 31, posted at 16.09.16 08:53:00 by Kabouter Reply

  • @Kabouter (Comment 31) : Benjamin did also get involved a lot more you are right. Seems both the Cheetahs wings have been told to go look for work and not be afraid to handle the ball- its a good sign and hope other Sa wings take note. The uncontested scrums did benefit the Cheetahs…although i thought the ref benefitted the Lions a lot at the breakdown…he was very quick to penalise and didnt allow a contest. And at the end awarded a cheetahs scrum for a lions player not rolling away where as earlier in the game he yellow carded the same offense. So whilst it was a good game i thought the ref dragged the level down a bit.

  • Comment 32, posted at 16.09.16 08:56:46 by SheldonK Reply

  • @KingCheetah (Comment 26) : ja think if Sharks make playoffs they will play Cheetahs in semi’s. Bulls should take other home spot.

  • Comment 33, posted at 16.09.16 09:35:25 by JD Reply
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  • In afrikaans ‘n kwas is slang for a cows genitals. Just putting it out there. Most of us (except their fans) get a sly smile when people call them that KWASTE … same as calling them that C word the souties like to use.

  • Comment 34, posted at 16.09.16 16:25:45 by coolfusion Reply

  • Who the hell is this blue bulls player in the ref kit tonight? Griquas should file a grievance. 4 tries and counting that were not legit

  • Comment 35, posted at 16.09.16 20:16:37 by jdolivier Reply


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