It is not easy for any team to play three games in 7 days and the Currie Cup teams will certainly feel the effect of it when the play this weekend.
The Cheetahs are still unbeaten and we have teams like Western Province struggling in the early stages of this years competition.
|1||Toyota Free State Cheetahs||3||3||0||0||122||63||59||15|
|2||Cell C Sharks XV||4||3||0||1||110||70||40||15|
|3||Vodacom Blue Bulls||3||2||0||1||125||95||30||10|
|4||Tafel Lager Griquas||4||1||0||3||135||174||-39||9|
|5||Xerox Golden Lions||3||1||0||2||106||140||-34||8|
|6||DHL Western Province||3||1||0||2||85||93||-8||6|
The first game up this weekend sees the champions, Free State Cheetahs against Griquas
The Free State Cheetahs will be looking for their fourth consecutive bonus-point win when they host Griquas on Saturday.
The Cheetahs have been playing some great rugby in the first few rounds and have not lost a game as they prepare to enter the PRO14 next month.
They have some of the most exciting players on the circuit this year in their group and all of them have shown great skills during their fist three matches.
They have won all three their matches with bonus points which put them on top of the log in the early stages of this years competition.
The Griquas is never an easy team and matches between the two neighbours have always been a close affair and exciting so we expect a great match-up
The high-flying Cheetahs have been a class apart so far, with new head coach Rory Duncan striking an excellent balance between youth and experience in his team selection.
Free State Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rosco Speckman, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Ryno Benjamin, 11, Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Ryno Eksteen, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Henco Venter 6 Neil Jordaan (c), 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Armand Koster, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2, Jacques du Toit, 1 Charles Marais.
Subs: 16 Ox Nche, 17 Joseph Dweba, 18 Rynier Bernado, 19 Chris Dry, 20 Zee Mkhabela 21 Sergeal Petersen 22 Malcolm Jaer.
Griquas – 15 Eric Zana, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Tertius Kruger, 12 Johnathan Francke, 11 Adriaan Coertzen (c), 10 Andre Swarts, 9 Christiaan Meyer, 8 Kevin Kaba, 7 Shaun McDonald, 6 Wendal Wehr, 5 FP Pelser, 4 Wandile Putuma, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Devon Martinus.
Subs: 16 AJ Le Roux, 17 Stephan Kotze, 18 Sintu Manjezi, 19 DeWet Kruger, 20 Renier Botha, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Christopher Bosch.
In the second match we move to Cape Town where the old rivals, WP and the Blue Bulls will take each-other on in their crucial match. It has been a good start for the Blue Bulls this year as they had their first lost on Wednesday against the Sharks.
Western Province however have only won one game and that was last week against the Pumas which they struggled in as well.
One have to start thinking if the boardroom problems at WP is not effecting the players as they have not shown much class so far in the competition.
The Blue Bulls is going into a new era with Micthell taking charge of the union and it looks better already since he came in to assist Nollis in the Currie Cup.
WP got a massive boots with the inclusion of Huw Jones in the team for this weekend match as Vermaak and the youngster Willemse will take the crucial rolls of halfback pair in this match.
This is going to be a hard match as it always are between the Blue Bulls and WP and hopefully we will see some great rugby as well.
The Bulls had made an encouraging start to their Currie Cup campaign, before losing to the Sharks on Wednesday. By contrast, Western Province have struggled to regain the form which lifted them to glory in the Provincial Rugby Challenge.
Western Province – 15 SP Marais, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (c), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Subs: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Michael Kumbirai, 18 Eddie Zandberg, 19 Steph de Wit, 20 Justin Phillips, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Dan Kriel.
Blue Bulls – 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Kefentse Mahlo, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Boom Prinsloo (c), 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Jan-Henning Campher, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Subs: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Matthys Basson, 18 Abongile Nonkontwana, 19 Shaun Adendorff, 20 Andre Warner, 21 JT Jackson, 22 Duncan Matthews.
In the last game of the weekend we move to Johannesburg as the Golden Lions host the Sharks. This is our main game of the weekend as we expect much better play from the Lions with the Super Rugby now completed.
The Sharks has a good start so far and have shown on and off that they are a really good team in this competition. They have some exciting players which make them and exciting team if they put it on.
New Lions coach Swys De Bruin have made 11 changes to his team as they look to host the Sharks and this will make this game much more exciting.
While this should be a closely-fought encounter, the Sharks’ recent form could spell trouble for the Lions.
Golden Lions – 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Ryan Kankowski (c), 7 Fabian Booysen, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Robert Kruger, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Corné Fourie.
Subs: 16 Michael Willemse, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Bobby de Wee, 19 Hacjivan Dayimani, 20 Marco Janse van Vuren, 21 Siya Masuku, 22 Aphiwe Dyantyi.
Sharks – 15 Garth April, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 S’busiso Nkosi, 10 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha (c), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Subs (TBC): Akker van der Merwe, Inny Radebe, Juan Schoeman, John-Hubert Meyer, Jean Droste, Louis Schreuder, Michael Claassens, Mzamo Majola, Wian Vosloo.