The Currie Cup reaches its halfway point this weekend, and as always, we’ve got you covered with a preview.
The shock result of the round came at the Toyota Stadium as the Cheetahs surrendered an 11-point half-time advantage to go down 30-25 to the Griquas.
Are we in for yet another week of drama or will round 6 go according to script?
Speculative Live punters would have had an absolute dream of a weekend during the last round with some massive comebacks occurring. The sixth-placed Lions let a commanding half -time lead against the Sharks slip with the Natalians running riot in the second stanza. The Bulls, while not quite managing to overturn a large half-time deficit against Western Province, also managed to give Western Province a bit of a scare, going down by only 11 points at Newlands. It was quite the turnaround considering Province were up by 42 points to 12 at half-time.
To Win (80 Mins)
Western Province 1/3 | Draw 22/1 | Lions 22/10
Western Province (-7.5) | Lions (+7.5)
Western Province v Golden Lions | Friday 18 August | DHL Newlands | 19:00
Province will come into this one full of confidence after a solid attacking showing against the Bulls. The men from the West Coast of South Africa ran in 45 points with Baby Bok Damien Willemse being the star of the show. The win was just the tonic Province needed after they went down to the Griquas in the previous round.
The luckless Lions continued to fire blanks as they went down 31-47 to the Sharks at Emirates Airline Park. Swys de Bruins’ men, like Province, had built up a considerable lead at half-time and looked home and hosed when loosie Fabian Booysen crossed over just after half-time to give his side a 31-5 lead. A moment of madness from the officials or hooker Robbie Coetzee, it really depends on which way you view the incident, saw the Lions front-ranker red carded. After the big man left the field, the Sharks found their groove running in a plethora of tries and winning the game by 47-31.
Verdict: Lions (+) 9/10
The Lions will be desperate for the win here. And while I can’t see them pulling it off, I can see them going down by an extremely narrow margin. The Lions plus is my tip here.
To Win (80 Mins)
Bulls 1/1 | Draw 22/1 | Cheetahs 8/10
Blue Bulls v Free State Cheetahs | Saturday 19 August | Loftus Versfeld | 14:05
The Cheetahs will be looking to bounce back from their humbling at the hands of the Griquas when they travel to Loftus to take on a Bulls side who have blown hot and cold this term. The hosts come into this one off the back of a 45-34 defeat to Western Province, which illustrated just how defensively frail they are. The Cheetahs were also found wanting on defence last week as they went down 25-30 to the Griquas.
For a more in-depth preview, check out Shaun Goosen’s Bulls v Cheetahs full preview – Click Here
Verdict: Cheetahs 8/10
The Bulls are really struggling with injuries at present. And while the return of Warrick Gelant will be a significant boost, I don’t think it will be enough to see them over the line against a near full-strength Cheetahs outfit.
To Win (80 Mins)
Griquas 1/10 |Draw 30/1 | Pumas 5/1
Griquas v Pumas | Sunday 20 August | Tafel Larger Park | 14:30
The Griquas will be looking to claim their third successive victory when they host the Pumas at Tafel Larger Park in the battle of the minnows. The home side is likely to play in front of a packed house as their back-to-back wins over big boys, Western Province, and the Bulls, has brought that feel good factor back to Griqualand rugby.
To say the Griquas have turned things around in the last fortnight is arguably the understatement of the century. The men from Kimberley were winless heading into their fourth-round clash with Western Province, and not many were giving them a snowball’s chance in hell of upsetting the applecart. How wrong we all were as the Griquas overcame Province 44-34.
It was the exact same case the following week as the Griquas travelled to Bloemfontein with a massive price affixed to their name. Again, I honestly did not see the upset on the cards but the Griquas did as they ran out five-point victors in front of a shell-shocked Toyota Stadium.
The Pumas haven’t fared as well as their fellow minnows and have tailed off since they opened their campaign with a seven-point victory over the Lions. In fact, the men from Mpumalanga have only managed to claim one-point since the aforementioned victory, which came in round 4 against the Cheetahs where they ran in a try-scoring bonus point while going down 34-45. They currently prop up the log and look destined to take this year’s wooden spoon.
Verdict: Pumas (+) 9/10
The Griquas back-to-back wins over much-fancied opponents have seen the books move the handicap out to a very large margin. These games tend to become dogfights and I’m more than happy to have a punt on the Pumas plus which is in the mid-teens.