Currie Cup Round 5: Golden Lions v Sharks Preview

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The Golden Lions host the Sharks in this weekends Currie Cup clash at the Emirates Airline Park on Saturday the 12th of August.

The Golden Lions, coming off their midweek bye, will be intent on bettering their early-season when they host the Sharks on Saturday evening. They have lost two of their three matches to date – the last coming in a 54-22 embarrassment at Loftus – but will back themselves to outperform a tiring Sharks brigade at Emirates Ellis Park.

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Golden Lions v Sharks | Emirates Airline Park | Johannesburg 19:30

To Win (80 Mins)
Golden Lions 11/10| Draw 25/1 | Sharks 7/10 

Golden Lions
While they were missing many of their big-name players to the Super Rugby playoffs in the opening rounds of this season’s Currie Cup, the Lions can have no excuses for how poorly they’ve performed thus far. They will again miss many first-choice players to the Springboks in the Rugby Championship, and this young team will simply need to pull themselves together and grind out some wins. They would have known what was coming.

Since their rather unconvincing opening round win over the Griquas, the Johannesburg outfit has slumped to consecutive losses to both the Pumas and the Bulls. Indeed they already seem to have a mountain to climb in order to qualify for this season’s playoffs. This weekend’s showdown with the Sharks offers them a shot at adding some stability to their campaign; something they will look to take with both hands.
The Sharks are yet to have had a bye, and their bruising midweek battle with the Bulls at Loftus would have taken its toll on the players. The Lions simply have to put the Natalians away this weekend and with the likes of several Super Rugby players set to come into the side, should do.

Sharks
Without a break yet in this year’s tournament and having come off the back of a gruelling Super Rugby campaign, the Sharks will be crying out for the chance at a well-deserved break. This weekend’s tussle with the Lions will be their last before they are granted their bye, and their tough-as-nails coach, Robert du Preez, will be unrelenting in his bid to push his side into the fray once more, just three-days after their last encounter.

The Durbanites’ 28-20 win over the Blue Bulls at Loftus on Wednesday was a fantastic result for the side, as they remained composed amidst a host of opposition mistakes to come away with the win. However, the Sharks’ fatigue was certainly evident at times; a host of unforced errors serving to remind us of that. While a victory in Johannesburg would be an absolutely massive result in the context of the away side’s season, they may just run out of gas for this one.

Verdict: Lions 11/10
The Lions, playing in front of their home crowd will want to make amends for their awkward start to the season with a win here. The Sharks may well run out of steam in the last forty, and record their second loss in the competition to date.

Written by Shaun Goosen for @Hollywoodbets.net

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