Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Currie Cup 2019: Final Preview

Currie Cup 2019: Final Preview

Shaun Reynolds of the Xerox Golden Lions during the Currie Cup
 Shaun Reynolds

It's the clash of 'The Cats' in this year's Currie Cup Final with the Free State Cheetahs taking on the Golden Lions on Saturday the 7th of September.

The new-look Currie Cup has been something of a revelation with the single-game Round-Robin phase throwing up some major upsets and ensuring every game held vital significance. Unfortunately, last weekend saw the fairytale run of the Griquas come to an end as they went down to the Lions in Johannesburg.

This result ensured the status quo of the countries bigger unions squaring off in the final will continue this year with the Lions travelling to Bloemfontein to take on the Free State XV.

Photo Copyright Steve Haag - Hollywoodbets 

Free State XV v Golden Lions
Saturday 7 September
Toyota Stadium 

17:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Free State 9/20
Draw 20/1
Lions 19/10


Handicap
Free State
Lions


*Handicap to be added upon release

Free State XV
The Free Stater's were back with a bang this term producing some marvellous rugby after what was a poor effort in 2018. The reason for their resurgence was the fact that the PRO14 and Currie Cup didn't run concurrently this season, which meant outgoing head coach Franco Smith was able to field a full-strength side unlike in 2018 where he was forced to play the youngsters in the Currie Cup and his first-choice XV in the PRO14.

With four wins from their six round-robin phase games and a healthy points differential of +72, the Cheetahs secured hosting rights to both a semi-final and the final.

Despite 51-30 scoreline, the Free Stater's were given a real run for their money by the Sharks up until the final quarter of the game where they took the ascendancy and ran in a number of five-pointers to put a hell-of-a-lot of gloss on what should have been a much tighter scoreline.

Golden Lions
The Golden Lions also fared well during the round-robin phase as they registered an identical amount of wins to the Cheetahs with both sides winning four of their six games. However, the Lions inferior points differential - they finished the regular season with a point differential of -3 - ensured the Lions would have to travel for the final.

Like the Cheetahs the Lions were given a real contest by the Griquas in their semi-final with Joburg's pride running out 34-19 victors with a few late tries adding a lot of gloss to the scoreline as well.

Last Saturday's semi-final saw the Lions take a far more conservative approach to the fixture than one would expect from the free-running Joburger's. If they decide to go this route again, then they will undoubtedly come unstuck against a Free State side who are red-hot on attack.

Verdict: Cheetahs *Handicap to be added upon release
The Lions are going to struggle here. They're still a young side with the majority of their squad having yet to experience a final. I can see the Cheetahs claiming a big win here.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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