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Carling Currie Cup Preview – Bulls, Griquas game cancelled with Lions taking on Sharks and Pumas host Cheetahs

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The weekend matches have again been affected by COVID-19. The Bulls v Griquas match that was suppose to be played in Kimberley this weekend have been called off.

This will result in the two teams both receiving two log points for the match.

Here is the current standings:

PosTeamPWLDPts
11283139
21273237
31273235
41264234
51265131
61238117
71201118

There are still two matches this weekend with the Cheetahs traveling to Nelspruit to face the Pumas and the Lions and Sharks taking each other one on Saturday.

Both the Pumas and Cheetahs have struggled to get wins under their belt and this weekend in Nelspruit we will see two desperate teams trying to get the win.

The Cheetahs have loss both their opening matches in the Currie Cup with the Pumas also loosing their opening matches against the Sharks and Western Province.

Sitting 5th and 6th on the log, the Cheetahs are the only one of the two side still with a realistic chance to make the playoffs but need to start wining matches.

With a poor performance last week at home against the Lions, coach Fourie decided to give Springbok Frans Steyn the number 10 jumper.

Steyn will combine with Ruben de Haas this weekend with Tian Schoeman who have been left out for the weekend.

On the wing Duncan Saal will get his first cap for the Cheetahs replacing Jaer. William Small-Smith will move to the other wing for this weekend.

With Steyn moving to 10, Mnisi will come in at centre with Dries Swanepoel.

In the pack Reniel Hugo takes Groenewald place at lock and Marnus van der Merwe will start at hooker.

Oupa Mohoje makes his return on the bench for the Cheetahs with Rhyno Smith and Chris Massyn.

Jimmy Stonerhouse has made a few changes to his side with Maqondwana coming in for Landsberg. Devon Williams will start again at ten with Taljaard back on the wing with Obi moving to the left side.

It is never easy in Nelspruit and we expect the Cheetahs to get a proper test from the Pumas.

Predictions: Cheetahs by 11

Teams:

Phakisa Pumas: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Etienne Taljaard, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Devon Williams, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Phumzile Maqondwana, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (captain), 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Ignatius Prinsloo, 2 Simon Westraadt, 1 Morgan Naude.

Replacements: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Dewald Maritz, 18 Wikus Groenewald, 19 Darrien Landsberg, 20 Ewart Potgieter, 21 Ginter Smuts, 22 Tiaan Botes, 23 Wayne van der Bank.

Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Duncan Saal 13 Dries Swanepoel 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 William Small-Smith, 10 Frans Steyn, 9 Ruben de Haas, 8 Jeandre Rudolph, 7 Aidon Davis, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Kutha Mchunu, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Boan Venter.

Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Cameron Dawson, 18 Erich de Jager, 19 Oupa Mohoje, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Reinhardt Fortuin, 23 Rhyno Smith.

 

The Lions, fresh of two great wins against Province and the Cheetahs will face the Sharks on Saturday in Johannesburg.

It has been a good start for the Lions in the Currie after they had to deal with a few cancelled matches during Super Rugby Unlocked.

Sitting nicely in 4th position, the Lions have a great change to move to second position if they can beat the Sharks on Saturday.

With the Bulls game cancelled the Sharks will know that they can close the gab between them and the Bulls who are seven points ahead.

Lions coach, Van Rooyen has named an unchanged starting XV for the Sharks match. There is however some injury concerns for Van Rooyen with Sti Sithole and Vincent Tshituka who have been included in brackets.

Both Odendaal and Ulengo have been included on the bench and will make their presence felt later in the game.

The Sharks have kept the same backline that beat the Bulls last weekend but coach Sean Everitt has made some changes to his pack.

Van Vuuren will start again at hooker with Dan Jooste left out of the match day squad for this weekend. Fez Mbatha will give cover on the bench.

With Thomas du Toit being ruled out for this weekend macth with a rib injury, Kumbirai will get a start.

In the second row we see JJ van der Mescht and Fortuin for this weekend, with Fortuin making his debut for the Sharks.

James Venter is also back in the mix and will come on later in the match.

This is going to be a massive match and one not to miss this weekend.

Prediction: Sharks by 7

Teams:

Lions: 15 Tiaan Swanepoel, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies (c), 9 André Warner, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka/Wilhelm van der Sluys, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole/Dylan Smith.

Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Morné van den Berg, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Jamba Ulengo, 24 Carlu Sadie, 25 Manuel Rass.

Sharks: 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (c), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche.

Replacements: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Thembelani Bholi 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Phepsi Buthelezi, 22 Jaden Hendrikse, 23 Jeremy Ward.

 

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