Home Currie Cup 2017 Preview: Currie Cup Semi – Sharks v Blue Bulls

Preview: Currie Cup Semi – Sharks v Blue Bulls

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It is Currie Cup semifinals time and the time of the competition when the standard just goes up. The first semifinal will be from Durban where the Sharks will host the Blue Bulls.

The Sharks have been the inform team in the Currie Cup this year and coach Robert Du Preez have picked a very strong side as they aim to go all the way this year.

Win the semifinal this weekend against the Blue Bulls and the Sharks will have the luxury of hosting the final in Durban.

The Sharks have some of the most dangerous backs in the country and it will be good to see Van Wyk, Am, Louw and Nkosi going at it with ball in hand.

Add to that a very much improved Curwin Bosch and you have a back line of Super Rugby quality. Bosch have come a long way this year through Super Rugby, his first taste of Bok-rugby and most important Currie Cup rugby.

He has been great with ball in hand and with the boot, both for the uprights and to put his team on the front foot. The Sharks will want Bosch to be on top of his game this weekend.

In the forwards the Sharks have also had the bragging rights from most teams this year starting with their front row in Thomas du Toit, Marais and Ross Geldenhuys.

Du Toit must be so close to make Allister Coetzee end of year group and have been one of the best this year.

The Du Preez twins will also start this weekend which will add so much forward momentum for the Sharks. The Sharks bench are also quality from start to finish.

Micthell took over the Blue Bulls side in the Currie Cup and have worked hard to change the mindset and game of the team.

It took a while but they have finally shown the last few weeks how much they have improved as a side in this years Currie Cup.

What is the most promising for Mitchell is his youngsters that made the step up this year. It was always going to be a process for the Blue Bulls and they have come a long way to challenge the Sharks this weekend in the semifinal.

The Sharks will be looking out for guys like Gelant, Ismaiel, Odendaal and van Zyl who all had great matches leading up to the semifinal.

The one place were one feel the Blue Bulls still falls short is with their pack. They will have to stand up this Saturday and give it their all if they want to beat the Sharks.

This match will be decided by what the forwards do upfront and how many tries the exciting backs on both sides will score.

Prediction: This is madness as knockout rugby is not for the gambler anymore. On paper and on form the Sharks should take this by 10.

Teams:

Sharks: 15 Garth April, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Sbu Nkosi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Juan Schoeman,18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Tristan Blewett, 23 Odwa Ndungane

Blue Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Burger Odendaal (c), 12 JT Jackson, 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Tim Agaba, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Aston Fortuin/Jannes Kirsten, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Edgar Marutlulle,  1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Jano Venter, 19 Jannes Kirsten/Eli Snyman, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Tony Jantjies, 22 Duncan Matthews, 23 Jon-Roy Jenkinson.

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