Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Currie Cup: Blue Bulls v Golden Lions Preview

Currie Cup: Blue Bulls v Golden Lions Preview

Arno Botha of the Bulls

The Blue Bulls and Golden Lions will square off at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday the 16th of January in what should be a cracking Currie Cup semi-final. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

The Currie Cup enters its knock-out phase this weekend, and there are two cracking semi-finals in-store with Western Province and the Sharks locking horns in a coastal derby while the Bulls and Lions will square off in a trans-Jukskei derby. 

Below, we'll look at the clash between the two leading sides on the Highveld. 

Blue Bulls v Golden Lions
Saturday 23 January
Loftus Versfeld

To Win Match
Bulls 2/9
Draw 24/1
Lions 33/10

Bulls (-10.5) 9/10
Lions (+10.5) 9/10

Jake White and his Bulls side will go in search of their second trophy this season, with the former Springbok mentor looking to add the Currie Cup title to the Super Rugby Unlocked title the Bulls won just a few months ago. 

The Bulls have by far and away been the form team in South Africa since rugby resumed with White's men winning five of their six Super Rugby Unlocked fixtures and three of their five Currie Cup games, which has seen them take eight wins from their 11 fixtures. Their only defeats this term have come at the hands of the Cheetahs in Super Rugby Unlocked and the Sharks and Pumas in the Currie Cup.

It must also be noted that they sent a B side to tackle the Pumas, whom they went down 44-14 to a fortnight ago. The side that will take to the field against the Lions - who they beat 22-15 a couple days prior to their defeat to the Pumas - will be completely different, with some experienced heads and promising youngsters set to return to the fold for their semi-finals. 

The Lions have enjoyed something of a renaissance during the Currie Cup season as they have managed to register four wins from their five fixtures - this was actually the most wins registered by any side in the Currie Cup but the Lions missed out on a home semi as they struggled during Super Rugby Unlocked and the points accrued in that tournament were carried over to the Currie Cup. 

While the Bulls have been the dominant force this season and will also have home ground advantage this Saturday, you cannot write the Lions off. Their young side has started to click over the past couple of months and they also have some wise old heads in this squad who have won some big-name trophies. 

As touched on earlier, the Lions last game was a midweek fixture where they went down 22-15 to the Bulls at this weekend's venue. They actually were in with a very good shout of drawing that fixture, but an overthrow from a lineout late in the piece saw them fall seven points short. 

Verdict: Lions (+10.5) 9/10
I'm expecting a very tight game here. The Lions have come good over the past few months and they should run the Bulls close. I reckon the Bulls will just edge this exciting Lions side, however. 

Written by Darry Worthington.

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