By: Bunny (Jacques Nortier)
The second semi-final of this year’s ABSA Currie Cup will be at Emirates Airline Park between the high flying Golden Lions against the Free State Cheetahs on Saturday.
The first question that pops up in my mind is if there is any team in South Africa that can stop this Lions team?
The question is YES……Sport and especially the game of rugby can be cruel some days and twice in play-off matches. The Lions have been on the other end of the line the past few years when it came to play-off matches losing in a semi-final and last year in the final.
They have been a team that have taken rugby in South Africa to a total new direction which all teams what to follow now. They have been so good this year and are still unbeaten through the competition.
The Lions have not just won the other teams this year in the Currie Cup but have beaten them in each time they took to the field home and away. Having not have even one player in the World Cup squad has helped them to keep the core of their Super Rugby team for the Currie Cup.
The best part of this Lions team this year have been the way that they have improved in each game they have played. They are one of those teams that you look at them and think they are a complete team who will become one of those great teams who people will talk about for years to come.
The Free State Cheetahs have had a mixed year in the Currie Cup who had to pull a last minute try out of the bag last week against the Sharks to draw there last pool match and win a place in the play-offs.
They have had a few changes at the union with a new coach who took over from Naka in the last few game of the Super Rugby this year in Smith. The best way to describe the Cheetahs this year will be as a team in a building process.
That they have been improving is a fact the problem for them was just that it was inconsistent and struggled to put good performances in week after week. The signs are there of a team that is building to something great and they will get back to the Cheetahs team we all know and love.
This Saturday will be a huge occasion for this young Cheetahs team as they have a lot of up and coming youngsters in this squad this year.
The big question who will take it?
I really cannot see the Cheetahs winning this at all and this will be as a big upset if they do as when Japan got one over the Boks in the World Cup.
This will be one of those matches where the Lions will absorb the pressure and pull away as the game goes on. The Lions will be the one team that I believe will hold Sir Donald Currie’s trophy at the end.