Currie Cup 2019: Round 5 Preview

Players engage in a scrum

There are just three sets of Currie Cup round-robin fixtures to go with the Round 5 action getting underway on Friday the 9th of August. Darry Worthington previews this weekend's three games.

It's crunch time for some of South Africa's biggest provinces with the Bulls, Sharks and Western Province in dire straits headed into Round 5. The men from the Cape have the easiest task this weekend as they play host to a hit-and-miss Pumas outfit. The Bulls and Sharks, on the other hand, face rather tricky encounters with the Natalians taking on the Cheetahs and the Bulls locking horns with the in-form Lions.

Western Province v Pumas
Friday 9 August
DHL Newlands
15:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Western Province 1/6
Draw 28/1
Pumas 4/1

Handicap
Western Province
Pumas

*Handicap to be added upon release


Western Province come into this weekend's action off the back of a bye week with their lat outing seeing them go down 28-30 to the Lions. That result has left them in fourth place on the log only two points better off than the last-placed Bulls. They do, however, have a game in hand over both the Bulls, Pumas and the log-leading Griquas.

The hosts were handed a massive boost this week with Springbok skipper Siya Koilisi set to make his return from injury.

The Pumas managed to bag their first win of the campaign as they came back from a half-time deficit to beat the Sharks  27-20 at the Mbombela Stadium. The win has left them in with a mathematical chance of qualifying for the semi-finals but a loss to Western Province would shatter their hopes.

Verdict: Western Province 1/6
The hosts desperately need the win here to remain in contention for a home semi-final. I can see them achieving this against a Pumas side that has often struggled in Cape Town. I'm actually expecting Province to win this one by more than 13 points.

Sharks XV v Free State Cheetahs XV
Saturday 10 August
Kings Park
15: 00

To Win (80 Mins)
Sharks 14/10
Draw 25/1
Cheetahs 11/20

Handicap
Sharks
Cheetahs

*Handicap to be added upon release

The Sharks and Free State Cheetahs will lock horns in Saturday's opener. Both teams head into this one having squandered half-time leads in Round 4 with the Sharks going down by seven points to the Pumas and the Cheetahs going down by two points to the Lions.

The duo will be kicking themselves after last week as the Sharks weren't clinical enough while the Cheetahs reluctance to kick at goal cost them a win. We could well see a cagey affair as both teams look to cut down on errors.

Verdict: Sharks 14/10
The Natalians put in a solid shift last time out at Kings Park beating a much-fancied Western Province outfit. I can see them putting in a similar display this coming weekend. 

Golden Lions v Blue Bulls
Saturday 10 August
Emirates Airline Park
17:15

To Win (80 Mins)
Lions 7/20
Draw 25/1
Bulls 22/10

Handicap
Lions
Bulls

*Handicap to be added upon release


We close out the round with a Trans-Jukskei derby between the Lions and the Bulls. The hosts have enjoyed a magnificent campaign winning all four of their fixtures with their latest victory coming against the Free State Cheetahs.

The Bulls, in contrast, have endured a dire Currie Cup with their only win being a 17-25 victory over the Pumas. Should they lose this game, then they are the likely big union that will miss out on the semi-finals.

Verdict: Lions (-)
This should be a thrill a minute with both sides likely to go chasing points. The Lions will be the more successful team in this area as they are far more settled than the Bulls, who are lacking combination play. My money is on the hosts taking this one by more than 15 points.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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