The Currie Cup is moving along to round 7 this week and we have again some exciting clashes this weekend as the teams starting to shape up.
Here is how the log looks after Round 6
|1||Toyota Free State Cheetahs||5||4||0||1||188||133||55||21|
|2||Cell C Sharks XV||5||4||0||1||157||101||56||20|
|3||DHL Western Province||5||3||0||2||169||130||39||16|
|4||Tafel Lager Griquas||6||2||0||4||186||226||-40||14|
|5||Vodacom Blue Bulls||5||2||0||3||199||181||18||13|
|7||Xerox Golden Lions||5||1||0||4||140||226||-86||9|
With the Cheetahs on top of the log we can expect that the rest will be pressing hard for that semi final spot.
Our “Friday Night Lights” game this weekend will be the Blue Bulls traveling to Nelspruit to face the Pumas who has been improving the last couple of weeks.
The Blue Bulls have made some management changes this week with John Mitchell taking over from Nollis as head coach which will have plenty of Bulls fans looking for an improved performance. We all know that one cannot change your ways around in one week but their are some expectation that Mitchell must now safe Bulls rugby.
The Pumas will be an difficult one for Mitchell and his men as it is firstly never easy to go to Nelspruit and win and secondly the Pumas have been getting better and better with each game they played the last couple of weeks.
It is not so much that the Blue Bulls have been losing badly it has been more a case that they just give more points away than what they score themselves, which makes it difficult to understand why they kept their defensive coach Pienaar but send Nollis on a forced vacation.
Whatever happened in the boardroom this week will mean nothing and the Blue Bulls just need to win this one.
Pumas: 15 Gerrit Smith, 14 JP Lewis, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Hennie Skorbinski (c), 11 Ruwellyn Isbell, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Francois Kleinhans, 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Mark Pretorius 1 Kwezi Mona
Replacements: 16 Frank Herne, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Cameron Lindsay, 19 Chris Cloete/Brian Shabangu, 20 Willie Engelbrecht, 21 Reynier van Rooyen, 22 Kobus Marais
Blue Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 JT Jackson, 11 Kefentse Mahlo, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Nic de Jager (c), 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Abongile Nonkontwana, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Jan-Henning Campher, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutllule, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 Clyde Davids, 19 Jano Venter, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Marnitz Boshoff, 22 Johnny Kotze
Next up will be Province that will host the Sharks in cape Town Saturday afternoon. This will defenitly be one of the matches this weekend to look forward to as both teams have been playing some great exciting rugby of late and both have been winning.
The Sharks have been with the Cheetahs the form team so far this season and they are looking set to make a stamp on the Currie Cup this year. They have been playing an exciting brand of rugby and dominated most teams so far with their strong huge pack.
This will be a huge clash on Saturday as the two teams have a similar approach to the game. The battle will start and end up front with these two and the back will enjoy the spoils that come their way as both teams have game-breakers at the back.
The scores have been high in the last couple of weeks were these two teams have been involved and Province have made some huge improvements since losing their first couple of matches.
Western Province: TBA
The Golden Lions sits at an unfamiliar place when you look at the log and after a very disappointing start to the Currie Cup the Lions needs a very good win against the Cheetahs to stay in the race this year. They are stone last on the log with 7 log points after 5 matches and a win will bring their campaign back on track.
The Cheetahs have been with the Sharks the trend setters this year so far but many believe them to slip away in the following weeks as they start their first Pro14 campaign on the 1 of September. The Lions have been struggling but were the only team that had to play two weeks without their Super Rugby squad available at the start of the season. Their coach also only joined them in week four which surely did not help but their mistakes have been their biggest problem this year so far.
They are coming off a huge lost against Province last week away from home Swys and his men will want to bounce back and bounce back good against the Cheetahs.
Bot teams tend to want to run the ball and it can be one of those classic Lions v Cheetahs clashes if they two teams can fix their handling mistakes this weekend. Griquas showed a few weeks ago the only way to stop the Cheetahs dangerous backs is to close down space as quickly as possible and the rest will come.
A must win for the Lions and the Cheetahs to stack up as much points as possible before the Pro14, makes this one to look forward to