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Currie Cup Predictions – Round 12

Griquas, the Bulls and the Lions will be feeling the pressure in their crunch away assignments in the Currie Cup this weekend.

Currie Cup Bulls Lions

Griquas, the Bulls and the Lions will be feeling the pressure in their crunch away assignments in the Currie Cup this weekend, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

Outside of the top four, they can ill afford to come up short on the road with the playoffs fast approaching. 

The red-hot Sharks (38) have their sights set on the summit as they tackle the Griffons (9) in Welkom on Friday afternoon, followed by the clash between Western Province (31) and the Lions (26) in Cape Town. 

On Saturday, the log-leading Cheetahs (38) battle Griquas (28) in Bloemfontein and the Pumas (35) play host to the surging Bulls (27) in Nelspruit.

Griffons v Sharks

Friday, 26 May – 15:00

The Sharks are riding a tidal wave of momentum into Welkom, having won six on the trot to draw level with the Cheetahs, and with a golden opportunity to vastly improve their points difference and possibly end the round in first place, there won’t be any complacency on the Durbanites’ part, which will see them bank a comprehensive win. 

Prediction: Sharks by 22.

Western Province v Lions

Friday, 26 May – 17:05

Western Province made their title intentions known with their hard-fought 22-14 win over the Pumas last weekend. The way they dominated territory and possession was impressive and their front row has developed into a scrummaging machine. 

The Lions showed their fighting spirit to claw their way back against the Bulls, but Gianni Lombard’s missed drop goal at the death has put them in a perilous position down in seventh place. Fighting for survival, they’ll strive to eliminate the soft moments and slew of handling errors that cost them in the Jukskei derby. 

Fourth-placed Western Province have the pack to lay the platform for a tactical, set-piece-driven game to limit the Lions’ potency in open play. With sound decision-making and more patience with ball in hand, the hosts should narrowly hold off a desperate Lions side. 

Prediction: Western Province by 3

Cheetahs v Griquas

Saturday, 27 May – 13:30

The Cheetahs’ underwhelming form in recent weeks finally bit them on the backside last weekend. The lead they’d built up at the top of the log is now reduced to points difference – 96 to the second-placed Sharks’ 65 – and with the Durbanites primed for a big win in Welkom, the Cheetahs have to come good on Saturday. 

Fifth-placed Griquas grabbed the full house they needed against the Griffons to get back on track and stay in touching distance of the top four (they trail Western Province by three). This is a bad stylistic match-up for them, though, as their 42-19 opening-round loss at home showed. 

The Free Staters will feel that if they sort out their discipline (they conceded two yellow cards last weekend) and take a back-to-basics approach, they’ll do the Central derby double, and that’s exactly what I’m expecting.

Prediction: Cheetahs by 12.

Pumas v Bulls

Saturday, 27 May – 15:35

After slipping to third place last weekend, the Pumas are back home where they have their work cut out for them. While their defence was exceptional up until the last minute when Western Province scored to deny them a losing bonus point, the Lowvelders were starved of possession and I see the same happening here. 

The Bulls have a physical, hard-working and skilful pack of forwards who know how to protect the rock and provide quality ball to their backline. Marcell Coetzee was brilliant at the breakdown and forms part of a world-class back row that the Pumas simply cannot match. 

With revenge on their minds and a much-changed team to the one that endured a 63-15 thumping in the last meeting, the Bulls should turn the tables. 

Prediction: Bulls by 7. 

Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at and senior staff writer at, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

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