Weekend teams and predictions

Lions and Sharks mostly unchanged. WP go fetcher free with a beefy pack, while the Bulls skip Jesse Kriel and play Pollard at 12. The weekend’s teams, times, refs, odds, weather and predictions!

Tank Lanning

Currie Cup semi-final time. The business end of a tournament that has dished up some fantastic, ball in hand, heads up rugby, especially from the 2 sides who have earned the right to host games on Saturday. The R1.9millon winner’s purse just adds fat to the fire!

The Lions host the Sharks in the first semi-final at Ellis Park at 14h30, while Western Province take on the Blue Bulls in Cape Town at 17h00.

The Lions are hunting their first final since 2011, the Sharks have their sights set on a fifth successive final, WP seek their third successive final, while the Bulls last played a final in 2009.

The weather looks good, so here’s to more running rugby, rather than conservative knockout rugby …

Both the Lions and Sharks won 7 of their 10 round-robin matches, but the Lions’ superior attack earned them 7 bonus points for tries and 1 for losing within 7 points, which handed the team a 3 point advantage on the table. The Lions have won the 2 teams last 4 match-ups at Ellis Park and are undefeated at home this season. An indestructible front row (which should see their props spending time with the Boks sooner rather than later) and a loose trio that has been outstanding should see them keeping this record intact.

The clash in Cape Town sees both teams having conceded 23 tries this season, but Western Province have scored 40 tries to the Blue Bulls’ 27. They really have played some scintillating rugby this year. The visitors will take comfort from the fact that they went down to the Cape side by only 5 points in their round-robin match in August. History favours the home team, though – the last time they suffered a defeat against the Blue Bulls in Cape Town was in 2009. WP have been all class at home this year, losing only 1 game – against the Sharks last week when they sent in an emerging team to rest the stalwarts. Not sure about Frans Ludeke’s call to play the country’s best fly half at 12 and not play Jesse Kriel – one of the country’s finest young attacking talents. They do have a fine fetcher in Deon Stegmann, though, who might cause havoc against a fetcher free WP. It will be tight.

To the weekend then:

Saturday, 18 October

14h30 – Lions v Sharks (Ellis Park, Johannesburg

Referee: Jaco van Heerden

Assistant referees: Ben Crouse, Sieg van Staden

TMO: Johan Greeff

Prediction: LIONS to beat Sharks by 3

SuperBru Community: LIONS (66%) to beat Sharks by 2

OddsChecker: LIONS (14/19) to beat Sharks (13/10)

Weather: 22 degrees, sunny, no chance of rain, Wind 13 km/h, 35% humidity

Lions: 15. Jaco van der Walt. 14. Ruan Combrinck, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Howard Mnisi, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Warren Whiteley (captain), 7. Derick Minnie, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Martin Muller, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Schalk van der Merwe

Bench: 16. Armand van der Merwe, 17. Julian Redelinghuys, 18. Willie Britz, 19. Warwick Tecklenburg, 20. Kwagga Smith, 21. Mark Richards, 22. Harold Vorster

Sharks: 15. SP Marais, 14. Tonderai Chavhanga, 13. S’bura Sithole, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Lionel Cronje, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Tera Mtembu (captain), 7. Etienne Oosthuizen, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Marco Wentzel, 4. Stephan Lewies, 3. Matt Stevens, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Thomas du Toit

Bench: 16. Monde Hadebe, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. JC Astle, 20. Khaya Majola, 21. Conrad Hoffmann, 22. Fred Zeilinga


17h00 – Western Province v Blue Bulls (Newlands, Cape Town)

Referee: Pro Legoete

Assistant referees: Marius Jonker, Linston Manuels

TMO: Deon van Blommestein

Prediction: WESTERN PROVINCE to beat Blue Bulls by 2

SuperBru Community: WESTERN PROVINCE (71%) to beat Blue Bulls by 4

OddsChecker: WESTERN PROVINCE (4/11) to beat Blue Bulls (13/5)

Weather: 22 degrees, sunny, no chance of rain, Wind 18 km/h, 42% humidity

Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh (captain), 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Alistair Vermaak

Bench: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 EW Viljoen

Blue Bulls: 15. Ulrich Beyers, 14. Akona Ndungane, 13. William Small-Smith, 12. Handrè Pollard, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9. Rudy Paige, 8. Jono Ross, 7. Jacques du Plessis, 6. Deon Stegmann (captain), 5. Grant Hattingh, 4. Paul Willemse, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 1. Dean Greyling

Bench: 16. Callie Visagie, 17. Marcel van der Merwe, 18. Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 19. Wiaan Liebenberg, 20. Piet van Zyl, 21. Sampie Mastriet, 22. Jesse Kriel


  1. “The Lions have won the 2 teams last 4 match-ups” The Lions last beat the Sharks in 2012.

  2. I’ve been a Bulls supporter for years. Totally frustrated at the style of rugby we played ay the start of the season. One man does not make a team, but one man can galvanize a team. I hope Pollard can do that tomorrow. I would love to see a “North” final at Ellis Park.

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