Western Province v Pumas: Currie Cup Round 3 Preview

We take a look at this weekends Currie Cup round three clash between Western Province and the Pumas, taking place in Newlands on the 5th of August.

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A full strength Western Province side will look to claim the full five-point haul when they host the plucky Pumas this Saturday.

Western Province v Pumas
Saturday 5 August
DHL Newlands

To Win (80 Mins)
Western Province 1/50 | Draw 35/1 | Pumas 9/1
Western Province 17/20 (-27.5) | Pumas 17/20 (+27.5)

DHL Newlands will get its first taste of 2017 Currie Cup action this Saturday. The hosts will welcome back a plethora of their big guns who were given a week off to recover from their Super Rugby exploits. The timing of their return could not be better as Province got their 2017 Currie Cup campaign off to a less than ideal start as they went down to the Cheetahs last week. As such, John Dobson’s men have a bit of catch up work to do if they are to challenge the Free Staters for a home final. A bonus point win over the Pumas would go a long way to in closing the gap to the pace setting Cheetahs.

Western Province
It was rather absurd to see Western Province given the favourites tag for last weeks clash with the Cheetahs. With their Super Rugby stalwarts being given the week off, Province were always going to struggle to beat what was essentially the Cheetahs’ Super Rugby side. It’s still early doors in the season however, and that 30-17 defeat will not make or break the Capetonians’ campaign but, like I said in the intro, they do need to start winning games if they want the hosting rights to a semi-final.

It will be a very strong Province side that takes to the field this Sunday. Their back three which of SP Marais, Dillyn Leyds, and Seabelo Senatla are likely to run the Pumas ragged, while their tight five will be way to powerful for their opponents. Speaking of the Province heavies, hooker Scarra Ntubeni is to make his return from a long injury layoff this Saturday. The all action number two has been named on the bench and you can expect to see him make a big impact when he gets on for the final 20 minutes.

The Pumas enjoyed a decent start to their Currie Cup campaign which saw them pick up a bonus point win over one of the big boys – they beat the Lions in the opening week. The men who call the Mbombela Stadium home would have been confident of giving the Sharks a run last weekend, especially after they impressed against the Lions the week prior. That proved not to be the case, however, with the Pumas going down 29-0 in Sharks territory.

The visitors will need their backs to show a lot more attacking intent this week if they are to remain competitive against a quality Province outfit. The man who could be the catalyst for an improved offensive showing is Stefan Ungerer. The former Sharks man is a constant threat at ruck time, with his snipes around the fringe very hard to stop.

Verdict: Western Province 1/50
This should be an absolute walk in the park for this Province side.

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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