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Team Points
Premier Division
Xerox Golden Lions 10 10 48
Vodacom Blue Bulls 10 8 39
DHL Western Province 10 7 35
Toyota Free State Cheetahs 10 3 24
Cell C Sharks 10 4 22
Steval Pumas 10 3 17
Eastern Province Kings 10 2 12
ORC Griquas 10 1 8
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Currie Cup 2013: Round 1 preview and predictions


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content on 8 Aug 2013 at 10:07
Tagged with : , ,

It’s Currie Cup time, ladies and gents. Let’s have a look at this weekend’s match-ups and see if we can pick the winners, without the benefit of form to guide us.

Game 1: Sharks v Griquas (Friday 19h10)

This one is all about continuity versus change, but also about seeing whether Griquas have advanced at all in the mental stakes during the off-season. The Sharks have changed their coaches and welcome in a few new faces; Griquas are more settled from the perspective of playing and coaching personnel, but welcome a few fresh men themselves. The men from Kimberley have traditionally battled to be competitive in Durban, despite regularly winning the return fixture against the Sharks and it remains to be seen whether Pote Human has managed to instill enough belief in this year’s charges to avoid the annual Kings Park humiliation. For the Sharks, though, there’s a huge amount resting on this game. For John Smit and the men he has brought in, an opening loss against the likes of Griquas – at home – would be nothing short of disastrous. The Sharks have assembled a very decent squad and named pretty much their strongest available 22 for this match; they will chop and change as the season progresses but unlike other sides, appear to have the depth to do so. All the signs are pointing towards a convincing victory for the home side – Sharks by at least 15 points.

The Sharks: 15. Odwa Ndungane, 14. Sizo Maseko, 13. Louis Ludik, 12. Tim Whitehead, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Butch James, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Keegan Daniel (capt) , 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Brynard Stander, 5. Marco Wentzel, 4. Edwin Hewitt, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Dale Chadwick
Replacements: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Rayno Gerber, 18. Peet Marais, 19. Tera Mtembu, 20. Cobus Reinach, 21. Fred Zeilinga, 22. Jaco van Tonder.

Griquas: 15.Gouws Prinsloo, 14.Nico Scheepers, 13.JP Nel, 12.Howard Mnisi, 11.PJ Vermeulen, 10.Francois Brummer, 9.Jacques Coetzee, 8.Burger Schoeman, 7.Jaco Negpen, 6.Marnus Schoeman, 5.Ligtoring Landman, 4.Hilton Lobberts, 3.Lourens Adriaanse, 2.Ryno Barnes (capt), 1.Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16.Matthew Dobson, 17.Nick Schonert, 18.Jonathan Adendorff, 19.Carel Greeff, 20.Marnus Hugo, 21.Du Randt Gerber, 22.Rocco Jansen.

Game 2: Lions v Cheetahs (Saturday 15h00)

Saturday’s action starts off in Joburg and we are once again reminded that in the abbreviated Currie Cup Premier Division, there are no easy games. The Lions are the team that should benefit from continuity, given that they’ve been operating with pretty much the same squad throughout their Lions Challenge series; however, the loss of some really big names due to exodus and injury see them fielding an alarmingly inexperienced tight five for this encounter. The Cheetahs, on the other hand, have lost more men to the national cause than is accustomed but have also purchased wisely and boast the sort of depth at prop, in particular, to give other coaches sleepless nights. A lot will depend on who settles fastest and with the Cheetahs having lost badly against Griquas in a warm-up a week ago, they may again be vulnerable in the mental stakes. The Lions have been through a lot this season too and seem to have pulled together as a unit; that said, they were poor in losing to the Kings last week and will field a significantly weaker outfit than that on Saturday. My gut says the Cheetahs will take this, by around 6 points.

Lions: 15.Chrysander Botha, 14.Deon Helberg, 13.Stokkies Hanekom, 12.Dylan des Fountain, 11.Anthony Volmink, 10.Marnitz Boshoff, 9.Guy Cronje, 8.Willie Britz, 7.Warwick Tecklenburg, 6.Derick Minnie (capt), 5.Hugo Kloppers, 4.Stephan Greeff, 3.Ruan Dreyer, 2.Martin Bezuidenhout, 1.Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16.Francois du Toit, 17.CJ van der Linde, 18.Lambert Groenewald, 19.Jaco Kriel, 20.Tian Meyer, 21.Elton Jantjies, 22.Lionel Cronje/Robert de Bruyn

Cheetahs 15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Riaan Smit, 13. Johann Sadie, 12. Robert Ebersohn, 11. Raymond Rhule, 10. Elgar Watts, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Philip van der Walt, 7. Lappies Labuschagne, 6. Boom Prinsloo (Capt), 5. Waltie Vermeulen, 4. Lodewyk de Jager, 3. John-Roy Jenkinson, 2. Hercu Liebenberg, 1. Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16. Ethienne Reynecke, 17. Wian du Preez, 18. Teboho Mohoje, 19. Davon Raubenheimer, 20. Piet van Zyl, 21. Joubert Engelbrecht, 22. Piet Lindeque

Game 3: Western Province v Blue Bulls (Saturday 17h05)

The simple view here is to simply call a massive – and very easy – Province win. All of the signs point towards the Bulls – who have not so much lost players as hemorrhaged them – suffering a big opening loss, which certainly won’t be the last of the season for them. Running the rule over the two teams, we see that Province have themselves included a slew of young stars, but boast a level of steel and experience in the pack (and particularly the loose trio) that the Bulls simply cannot match. Halfback too is an area where Province have proven men and the Bulls only greenhorns. You also have to consider that the men from the Cape will be taking a big psychological advantage into this game; after all, it was the Stormers who humiliated the Bulls at the same venue just a few weeks back to effectively end their quest for a Super Rugby home final. In fact, about the only thing going for the Bulls here is the element of surprise, coupled with the fact that they truly have nothing to lose. Western Province by 20 points.

Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Pat Howard, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Alistair Vermaak, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Michael Rhodes, 19 Ruan Kitshoff, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Berton Klaasen.

Blue Bulls: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Travis Ismaiel, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudi Paige, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Morné Mellet.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Marcell van der Merwe, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Jean Cook, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Waylon Murray, 22 Clayton Blommetjies.



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