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by Baylion

Weekend Rugby Previews & Predictions – 18/19 October

October 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

The penultimate games of the Currie Cup are on hand and the top teams are in knock-out mode, the winners survive another week, the losers can take a break until the Super Rugby preparations start mid-November.

The bottom team is facing an even more serious task, surviving in the Premier Division, unless SARU votes in December for the Currie Cup Premier Division to be increased to eight teams and it was all just for fun.

Meanwhile back at the ranch:

Superbru:

Currie Cup:
Last week: 2/3
Overall: 16/30
Success rate: 53.33%

Join my November Internationals prediction game on SuperBru! It’s free and loads of fun. Just click here:

http://www.superbru.com/novemberinternationals/pool.php?p=11140328

Pool name: Sploggers
Pool code: sunscost

Sat, 19 October
14:30 – Western Province vs Golden Lions: Newlands, Cape Town – Semifinal

Defence versus attack, a full Super Rugby team versus a team full of Super Rugby rookies. The weather looks good and the field should be dry when unbeaten WP tries to extend that record and, going by the way the Lions tend to fall asleep for 20 minutes per game, they should. Unless the Lions can get an 80 minute game going, then all bets are off. Anything is possible in a knock-out match but WP should win this one.

WP by 9

17:00 – Sharks vs FS Cheetahs: Kings Park, Durban – Semifinal

Two Bok front rows facing each other, the first choice versus the second and the Sharks look to shuffle their backline to bring in their big names – a mistake, I believe, to play Frans Steyn at the cost of Heimar Williams and continuity. At least with Zeilinga not starting we won’t to listen to Andy Capp’s pretentious pronunciation for too long. The Cheetahs haven’t impressed this season but they have the players to cause problems for the Sharks especially now that the Sharks want to play a new backline. But, as I said, the Cheetahs have been unimpressive and that will probably be the case on Saturday too.

Sharks by 7

Friday, October 18 2013
19:10 – GWK Griquas vs Steval Pumas: GWK Park, Kimberley – 1st Promothions/Relegation

Serious stuff, this. The Pumas have been playing well, albeit against weaker opposition, and the Griquas weren’t as bad as their one win suggests, having played a number of teams close with six losing bonus points. Virtually impossible to predict this game but I think Griquas are going to scrape through and the Pumas will have to hope SARU expand the Currie Cup.

Griquas by 5

UDT Currie Cup Fantasy league top 5:
* = kicker

Outside backs: Anthony Volmink, Paymond Rhule, Lwazi Mvovo, Cheslin Kolbe, Gio Aplon
Centres: Johann Sadie, Damian de Allende, Robert Ebersohn, Heimar Williams, Juan de Jongh
Flyhalves: Fred Zeilinga*, Marnitz Boshoff*, Elgar Watts*, Elton Jantjies*, Kurt Coleman*,
Scrumhalves: Sarel Pretorius, Nic Groom, Charl McLeod, Cobus Reinach, Louis Schreuder
Loose forwards: Derick Minnie, Jaco Kriel, Deon Fourie, Boom Prinsloo, Keegan Daniel
Locks: Michael Rhodes, de Kock Steenkamp, Franco van der Merwe, Peet Marais, Lood de Jager
Front rows: Jacques van Rooyen, Kyle Cooper, Ruan Dreyer, Wiehahn Herbst, Pat Cilliers

Top 10 try scorers:

Raymond Rhule – 7
Anthony Volmink – 6
Derick Minnie – 6
Jaco Kriel – 5
Elgar Watts – 4
Deon Fourie – 4
Francois Venter – 4
Lwazi Mvovo – 4
SP Marais – 4
Boom Prinsloo – 3

Top 10 point scorers:

Fred Zeilinga – 91
Marnitz Boshoff – 90
Kurt Coleman – 72
Riaan Smit – 68
Elgar Watts – 63
Handre Pollard – 62
Elton Jantjies – 56
Nico Scheepers – 51
Butch James – 43
Francois Brummer – 38

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by Baylion

Semi final refs – the stats

October 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

Interesting stats I picked up in a Sharksworld comment. (I haven’t checked these stats). We love to think that certain refs hate our teams but perception isn’t always the truth.

Lions vs WP (Marius Jonker):

Since 2003, Jonker has reffed the Lions in 15 Currie Cup games, which they won 7. Of these 15 games, seven were at home (won four) and eight were away (won three).

Jonker reffing province is similar, 15 Currie cup games, province won seven. Five were home games (won four) and 10 were away(won three)

Interestingly, Jonker has reffed five Lions/province Currie Cup games, and the Lions have won four of those, the only province win coming in week 6, 2011.

In the last 10 years of Currie Cup, Lions have played province 21 times, Lions winning 11 of those, and province winning nine. There was one draw, back in 2003, at Ellis Park.

Of those 21 games, 11 were in Joburg, Lions won nine. province have only won once in Joburg in the last 10 years, week three of 2005, by 38-23. Lions have beaten province twice in cape town in the last ten years, this year, 22-9, and in 2004 by 35-26.

The one time we (the Lions) lost to province with Jonker as a ref was in cape town last year, by 26-28.

Sharks vs Bulls (Mark Lawrence):

Mark Lawrence in charge of a sharks/bulls game reveals the following:

Lawrence has reffed the sharks 25 times in Currie cup in the last ten years, of which they won 17! 11 were at home(won 9) and 14 away(won 8). He has reffed the bulls 23 times in the same period, of which they won 15. Eight were at home(won 7) and 15 away(won 8).

Lawrence handling a sharks/bulls encounter, sharks won five, and bulls one, the only bulls win coming at durban in 2006. 2007,2008,2009 and this year in durban were won by the sharks, as was 2011 in pretoria.

In ten years of currie cup action, sharks have met bulls 21 times, winning 13, with eight going the way of the bulls. Of these 21 games, 11 were played in durban, with the sharks prevailing nine times. The two blots on the record books are the 2006 Lawrence game(32-50), as well as in 2004(23-27).

http://www.sharksworld.co.za/2012/10/16/semi-final-refs-announced/

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by Baylion

And then there were four

October 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Currie Cup competition is into its final stages. Only four teams remain to fight it out for the top spot and only one team with no further interest in the competition. The Sharks, Golden Lions, WP and the Blue Bulls made it through to the semi finals while the Cheetahs has to face the Kings in promotion/relegation matches. The Griquas can put their feet up and watch the remaining matches from the sidelines.

Sharks vs Blue Bulls:

In one semi final the Sharks play host to the Blue Bulls in Durban. The Sharks had the luxury of resting some of their key players in their last match, assured of a home semi final while the Blue Bulls had to pull out all stops to avoid the relegation zone and were helped by a Lions team that imploded in the last quarter.

On the face of it it should be a relatively comfortable win for the Sharks but the record books show that the Blue Bulls can never be taken lightly in the knock out stages of the Currie Cup. Of the 17 semi finals the Sharks contested they only managed to win eight while the Blue Bulls have won 13 of the 16 they contested. That said, however, the Blue Bulls last beat the Sharks in Durnban in 2006.

So while the Sharks will call on the players they rested to strengthen their side the match will probably be a close one and, depending on the weather, could be decided by the boot.

There are some mouth watering matchups to look forward to. Up front

  • in the front row it will be Bok props vs discarded Bok bench props
  • a good second row faces the Bok second choice second row
  • in the back row we’ll probably see an all Bok backrow take on some serious young talent

And in the backline we have

  • the two form scrumhalves of the competition doing battle
  • behind them it is Bok #10 vs ignored Bok #10/15
  • some of the best young midfield players facing up
  • four Bok wings doing battle
  • the form fullback facing the incumbent Bok fullback

This match have the ingredients to be a great match but we’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.

Personally I’m going with a Sharks win but won’t be surprised if the Blue Bulls get their mojo back.

Golden Lions vs WP:

Last weekend the Lions, resting some key players, imploded in the last quarter against the Blue Bulls while WP, fielding their strongest available side, wiped the floor with the Cheetahs.

The Golden Lions face the most successful team in Currie Cup history, Western Province, in the other semi final but it is a WP side who last held a Currie Cup 11 years ago and have since been tagged as chokers and who will be desperate to change their recent record. Talking of history WP has won 13 out of the 18 semi finals they played while the Golden Lions have been less successful winning only eight out of 15 but the only time the two teams met in a semi final was last year and the Golden Lions won that encounter.

It remains to be seen if a full strength Lions side will be good enough to beat a full strength WP side but the matchups make for a good match.

Up front

  • one of the best frontrows in the country face up to some good youngsters
  • two war horses, young and old, do battle in the second row against a young Bok war horse
  • a couple of fetchers have to contend with a retreaded hooker/wing and the Bok number eight

And at the back

  • the Lions only scrumhalf match up to two in form youngsters
  • a Bok (young or old) face off against a young pretender
  • \a good journeyman and a rookie Bok to face two experienced Boks playing in their preferred positions
  • talented young wings do battle with a forgotten Bok and an unfulfilled talent
  • one of the finds of the year face a sometimes x-factor journeyman at fullback

On the day either side can take this match and both sides have something to prove, the Lions want to rub it in and WP wants some silverware. This makes the match a difficult one to predict and when it is a 50/50 decision I go with the Lions to win.