Weekend predictions

A nice little balance of games this weekend, with a mix of Bledisloe Cup, Currie Cup semi-finals and promotion/relegation. All the teams, times, refs and Tank Lanning predictions.

Promotion relegation matches are always worth a gander, but I would not squander a pink ticket this Friday night given that there is a second game to come, and that a SARU board decision might render these games meaningless in any case. All Blacks vs Aussies on a gym bike as you build up a thirst, WP vs Lions with a beer in hand as the fire burns down, perfect space between games to inhale a few boerrie rolls straight from the grid, then feet on the coolerbox and biltong in hand for the semi that could go either way … What a weekend!

Friday 18 October

19h10 – Griquas vs Pumas, GWK Park, Kimberley

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan

Assistant Referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Francois de Bruin

TMO: Johan Greeff

BetFlash odds: Griquas – 0.3, Pumas – 2.4, Draw – 21

The Pumas have absolutely cleaned up the 1st division, having not lost a match, so if they cannot cross the divide now, they never will. Unless SARU intervene and both the Pumas and EP join the Premier division, which looks likely to happen in December. Luckily for the Pumas, because I actually do not think they have it in them to beat the Griquas, be it at home or away. Griquas may have ended the season badly, but up front in the season, sans Boks, and with a full tank of fuel, they are actually pretty competitive in the Currie Cup, and there is a big jump between the 2 divisions.

My prediction: Griquas by 12

Griquas: Gouws Prinsloo, Willie le Roux, Jean Stemmet, Howard Mnisi, Rocco Jansen;  Francois Brummer, Marnus Hugo; Burger Schoeman, RJ Liebenberg, Marnus Schoeman, Jaco Nepgen, Ligtoring Landman, Lourens Adriaanse, Ryno Barnes ©, Steph Roberts

Bench: Matthew Dobson, Janro van Niekerk, Patrick O’Brien, Carel Greeff, Jacques Coetzee, JP Nel, Nico Scheepers

Pumas: Coenie van Wyk, JW Bell, Wilmaure Louw, Stefan Watermeyer, Rosko Speckman; Carl Bezuidenhout, Faf de Klerk; RW Kember, Renaldo Bothma, Corné Steenkamp ©, Eduan van der Walt, Rudi Mathee, Ivann Espag, Frankie Herne, Corné Fourie

Bench: Francois du Toit, Vincent Koch, Dee-Jay Terblanche, Giant Mtyanda, Uzair Cassiem, JC Roos, Dewald Pretorius


Saturday 19 October

08:35 New Zealand vs Australia, Dunedin

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Stuart Berry (South Africa)

TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

BetFlash odds: New Zealand – 0.1, Australia – 5.7, Draw – 28.5

That game against the Pumas was a one off for the men in canary yellow. Even without McCaw and Jane, this All Black side, especially at home, is basically unbeatable. The only thing that might trip them up is the fact that it is an absolutely nothing game. These guys should all be on the beach tanning a marshmallow!

My prediction: All Blacks by 14

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Charles Piutau, 13 Ben Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock

Bench: 16. Dane Coles, 17. Wyatt Crockett, 18. Ben Franks, 19. Brodie Retallick, 20. Steven Luatua, 21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22. Beauden Barrett, 23. Tom Taylor.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper

Bench: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Dave Dennis, 21 Nic White, 22 Mike Harris, 23 Bernard Foley


14h00 – Western Province vs Golden Lions, Newlands, Cape Town

Referee: Marius Jonker

Assistant Referees: Jason Jaftha, Marc van Zyl

TMO:  Shaun Veldsman

BetFlash odds: Western Province – 0.23, Golden Lions – 3.2, Draw – 24

There have only been 2 sides in the Currie Cup this year, and unless lightning strikes, both WP and the Sharks should make their way through to the final next week. Of course WP are fragile in the big games that count, Jantjies will have a point to prove and the Lions fought back to a 31 all draw last time they played at Newlands. So of course there is a chance. But overall, there is just too much class, power and speed in blue and white, especially up front. Although Kriel vs Fourie will tear some skin, and the Cilliers vs CJ tussle right up front might well be for Bok end of year tour honours!

My prediction: WP by 9

Western Province: 15. Gio Aplon, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Jean de Villiers, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Cheslin Kolbe, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Siya Kolisi, 6. Deon Fourie (captain), 5. De Kock Steenkamp, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff

Bench: 16. Frans Malherbe, 17. Brok Harris, 18. Michael Rhodes, 19. Schalk Burger, 20. Nic Groom, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Juan de Jongh

Lions: 15. Marnitz Boshoff, 14. Chrysander Botha, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Andries Coetzee, 11. Anthony Volmink, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Derick Minnie (captain), 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Chris van Zyl, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. CJ van der Linde

Bench: 16. Willie Wepener, 17. Jacques van Rooyen, 18. Julian Redelinghuys, 19. Willie Britz, 20. Warwick Tecklenburg, 21. Tian Meyer, 22. Robert de Bruyn


17h00 – Sharks vs Free State, Kings Park, Durban

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen

Assistant Referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Cobus Wessels

TMO: Deon van Blommestein

BetFlash odds: Griquas – 0.3, Pumas – 2.4, Draw – 21

It is Bok A vs Bok B right up front in the scrums and it is going to be truly mouth-watering to see how that pans out, especially given that the Bok A front row did not dominate WP last week, and the fact that they have had to replace Jannie with Herbst at tighthead. Herbst being overlooked for national honours given that the coach prefers Coenie just adds fuel to the fire. All eyes on Frans Steyn! Huge call to pick him from the wilderness, and against Sadie and Ebersohn, he will need to shed any rust (or unwanted kilos) pretty damn fast if he wants to keep those guys in check. It is on such selections that seasons are made or broken. Should be Sharks at a relative canter in Durban, but not a forgone conclusion …

My prediction: Sharks by 5

Sharks: 15. SP Marais, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Louis Ludik, 12. Francois Steyn, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Keegan Daniel (captain), 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Peet Marais, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Bench: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Danie Mienie, 18. Stephan Lewies, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Cobus Reinach, 21. Fred Zeilinga, 22. Heimar Williams

Free State: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen

Bench: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Teboho Mohoje, 19 Freddy Ngoza, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Johan Goosen, 22 Rayno Benjamin

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