With the big showdown between the Springboks and the All Black at Ellis Park on Saturday one almost forget about the ABSA Currie Cup for this weekend.
Luckily we can use the ABSA Currie Cup as a starter before the Bok game.
It is really time for all teams to stand up or go home this weekend as this will give us a clear indication on who will make the semi-finals.
The Sharks and Western Province can both assure themselves a home semi-final this weekend by winning their crucial matches against the Blue Bulls and Golden Lions respectively.
Both teams have however tough games against two teams that will fight for their places in the semi-final.
The weekend will get underway at Loftus Versfeld with the Blue Bulls hosting the top of the log Sharks. The Blue Bulls will have to play a desperate game plan almost similar to the Springbok game. Loosing this game will almost surely put the Blue Bulls out of the running for a spot in the final four.
On Saturday we will see two games starting at an unusual slot of 14:00 in the afternoon when Griquas and the Cheetahs play in Kimberley and the Lions visit Newlands to take on Western Province.
Let’s take a closer look at the matches:
Friday, October 4
Blue Bull v Sharks
(Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria – Kick-off: 19.10; 17.10 GMT)
The young Bulls side had a tough season and will want to build on last weekend etheric win over the Griquas in Kimberley.
To play the high riding Sharks anywhere this year will be a difficult task for any team as they are showing to be the inform team at this stage. For the Bulls it will be playing a final from now on and no slip ups can be afford by them anymore.
This should help to put extra spice to the game tonight as the Sharks will want to pull away from Western Province to make sure of a top of the log ending to their season.
Blue Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Marcel van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Dean Greyling, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 Ulrich Beyers, 22 Sampie Mastriet.
Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Peet Marais, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Edwin Hewitt, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Andrew James, 22 Louis Ludik.
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Attie Buitendag
TMO: Deon van Blommestein
Saturday, October 5
Western Province v Golden Lions
(Newlands, Cape Town – Kick-off: 14.00; 12.00 GMT)
In Cape Town the Western Province will have the same mind-set as the Sharks and will want to secure a home semi-final and possible final this weekend by beating the Lions. They are the only unbeaten team still in the competition and will want to keep that record in tack against the Lions.
The lions had to make some changes in the backline but is seen as the most dangerous team in the competition due to their ability to run the ball from anywhere. One thing the Lions do not want to do is again give the Western province an early lead where they need to play catch-up rugby.
Defending champions Western Province stand as the only unbeaten side left in the competition, but they have yet to hit top gear in a season which has seen them edge a series of tight matches.
Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Michael van der Spuy, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Frans Malherbe, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Schalk Burger, 19 Josh Katzen, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Ryan Nell.
Golden Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Chrysander Botha, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Lionel Cronje, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Derick Minnie (captain), 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Willie Britz, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 CJ van der Linde.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Hugo Kloppers, 19 Warwick Tecklenberg, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Kobus de Kock, 22 Deon Helberg.
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert, Marc van Zyl
TMO: Shaun Veldsman
Griquas v Cheetahs
(GWK Park, KImberley – Kick-off: 14.00; 12.00 GMT)
The battle of middle earth!
With the Cheetahs having some inconsistent results this year, Griquas will give them a chance to take a win over their neighbours.
Griquas had some horrific injuries this year and kept competitive in all game except last week against the Blue Bulls. With the Cheetahs still fighting with the Bulls for that final number four spot they will not want to lose this game.
Griquas: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Richard Lawson, 13 JP Nel, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Leon Karemaker, 7 RJ Liebenberg, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Jaco Nepgen, 4 Dalton Davis, 3 Nico Pretorius, 2 Ryno Barnes (captain), 1 Steph Roberts
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dobson, 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Rory Arnold, 19 Patrick O’Brien, 20 Jacques Coetzee, 21 Du Randt Gerber, 22 Jean Stemmet.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Piet Lindeque, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Johannes Prinsloo (captain), 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Teboho Mohoje, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements:16 AJ le Roux, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Philip van der Walt, 19 Freddy Ngoza, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Joubert Engelbrecht.
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Louwrens van der Merwe, Francois de Bruin
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee
Their will be live updates during all the ABSA Currie Cup games on Ruggaworld