Currie Cup Semi-Final: Sharks vs Blue Bulls Preview

Robert du Preez meets John Mithcell as the Sharks host the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup first semi-final on the 21st of October, Durban.

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Sharks v Blue Bulls
Date:
Saturday 21st October, Durban
Time: 14:30
Referee: Quinton Immelman

To Win Match
Sharks 2/7 | Draw 25/1 | Blue Bulls 51/20
Handicap
Sharks 9/10 (-8.5) | Blue Bulls 9/10 (+8.5)

Its winner takes all this weekend as the Sharks host the Blue Bulls for the second time in this year's Currie Cup, but, this time there's a whole lot more at stake.

Sharks
Last time out the Sharks were put to bed by Robert du Preez junior who scored 21 points when they lost 31 - 20 at home. That result didn't come as much of a surprise as the Sharks had already booked a home semi-final, and despite taking a commanding half-time lead, a lethargic second stanza ultimately cost them.

Coach Robert du Preez has meticulously matured his players over the season - now it's time to test them against a crop of raging Bulls coached by a master tactician.

Daniel and Jean-Luc du Preez will provide grunt and brawn, with Thomas du Toit and Ross Geldenhuys having to make an impact come scrum time.

The backline sees Bosch running things as the pivot with Marius Louw and Lukhanyo Am the preferred centre paring, while Garth April will be the last line of defence.

Blue Bulls
The Bulls played like men possessed in a try fest to claim a 52 - 32 win against the Pumas to secure a spot in the final four. In all fairness, Mitchell has produced progress on a weekly basis and with the little time he's been given it's incredible. The Bulls attacking style has seen them cross the whitewash 64 times, scoring 457 points. But on the contrary, their style of play has cost them 442 points scored against them.

It's well known, that, you watch the Bulls for entertainment, as more often than not they play ongoing running rugby, but a small downside is that - simultaneously their opposition will catch on and mimic their play.

Nonetheless, it will be a great start for the Former All Black to get a trophy in his cabinet in his first few months. Selection wise Pierre Schoeman and Conrad van Vuuren will start. While Edgar Marutlulle will have the lineout throw in duties.

Tim Agaba and Nic De Jager will collide with the du Preez twins - and the slick Ivan van Zyl will start at the base. JT Jackson and captain Burger Odendaal will make headway as the centre pairing. But The danger man is hands down Warrick Gelant with 10 tries under his belt and Travis Ismael by his side who knows what the electrifying utility back his in store for the Sharks.

Starting XV's

Sharks – 15 Garth April, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Sbu Nkosi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Subs: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Juan Schoeman,18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Tristan Blewett, 23 Odwa Ndungane

Blue Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Burger Odendaal (c), 12 JT Jackson, 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Tim Agaba, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Aston Fortuin/Jannes Kirsten, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Edgar Marutlulle,  1 Pierre Schoeman.
Subs: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Jano Venter, 19 Jannes Kirsten/Eli Snyman, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Tony Jantjies, 22 Duncan Matthews, 23 Jon-Roy Jenkinson

Verdict: Sharks 9/10 (-8.5)
Sharks at home and their defensive record is what I will base this bet on. The Bulls stand a good chance but their lack of discipline could be their downfall. I see the encounter either really firing and we see a try fiesta which might favour the Bulls or a boring kicking game which will play into the Sharks hands. 

Writtern by Lungelo Mdladla for Hollywoodbets

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