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Currie Cup Predictions – Round 3

A hotbed of up-and-coming talent and seasoned campaigners will look to leave their mark and help their teams over the line in the third round of the Currie Cup on Wednesday, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

Rugby Betting Handicaps

A hotbed of up-and-coming talent and seasoned campaigners will look to leave their mark and help their teams over the line in the third round of the Currie Cup on Wednesday, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

The action kicks off in Kimberley where Griquas play host to the Pumas. We then head to Pretoria for a battle between the Bulls and the Cheetahs and make a final stop in Durban for the coastal derby between the Sharks and Western Province.

Griquas v Pumas

Wednesday, 2 February – 15:30

It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog and the warrior spirit of these two teams should make for a riveting battle. It’s a key game for Griquas, who after back-to-back losses on the road, have an opportunity to get off the mark at home.

The Peacock Blues are still in the infancy phase of life under new coach Pieter Bergh and teething problems will follow them for most of the campaign. What’s promising is the improvement they showed from the opening round to the next and had they taken their opportunities against the Sharks, they could’ve caused another Durban upset.

The Pumas purred in their record rout at Ellis Park last time out, imposed their will as they lashed the Lions 50-9. As good as Jimmy Stonehouse’s men were, the Lions were equally listless and Griquas are notoriously tough to beat in Kimberley. Fuelled by the same amount of fight, it’ll boil down to continuity, extras (decision-making, discipline and flair) and execution and the Pumas have the advantage here.

Prediction: Pumas by 7.

Bulls v Cheetahs

Wednesday, 2 February – 17:45

The battle at Loftus is bound to be a barnburner. In the immediate aftermath of their recent shock loss to the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship, director of rugby Jake White said the respect the Bulls have for the legacy of the Currie Cup and the opportunity to achieve a rare three-peat was the reasoning behind mixing URC talent with newcomers in their two teams.

The 30-26 defeat came days after their 40-21 demolition of Western Province and the mixed fortunes, White intimated, won’t change how they approach the two-tournament challenge. Currie Cup mentor Gert Smal needs a few stars for this one as the Cheetahs are a settled side driven by decorated duo Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn.

The men from Bloemfontein didn’t get out of second gear in their 30-20 home win over Griquas and a bye in Round Two did them no favours in finding their rhythm. Smal’s early pacesetters have momentum and the chosen 23 will be tasked with making things right after the URC collective’s slip-up snapped a 25-match unbeaten streak at Loftus. They have the depth to see off the Cheetahs threat.

Prediction: Bulls by 5.

Sharks v Western Province

Wednesday, 2 February – 20:00

The mission of restoring pride will supersede the task of securing log points for Western Province after their humiliation at home. After the Bulls stampeded into a 40-0 lead, Province fought back in the final quarter to go down by 19, but that was no consolation for new coach Jerome Paarwater and spoiled the solid start they’d gotten off to (a 48-36 opening-round win over the Lions).

This should be a proper contest between what I expect will be more evenly-matched sides (teams were yet to be announced at the time of writing). The Sharks were rusty in their 24-23 win over the Griquas after their first-round bye, giving their new mentor Etienne Fynn a tense start to his tenure.

They should be much-improved, as should Province. Humidity will be a factor and you’d have to think the hosts will string together passes more fluidly to pick up the W.

Prediction: Sharks by 6.

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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