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Currie Cup Predictions – Round 9

Teams are determined to touch down on cloud nine in the ninth round of the Currie Cup this weekend, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

Currie Cup Ninth Round

Teams are determined to touch down on cloud nine in the ninth round of the Currie Cup this weekend, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

The action kicks off in Kimberley, where Griquas face off against the Lions on Friday afternoon. 

The first of three fixtures on Saturday will see the Pumas play host to the Griffons in Nelspruit followed by the Cheetahs taking on Western Province in Bloemfontein before the Bulls and Sharks close out the round in Pretoria.

Griquas v Lions

Friday, 5 May – 15:30

After managing just two wins from seven in the first half of the tournament, the Lions launched their real Currie Cup hunt last weekend. 

The 26-10 win over the Pumas showed they’re a different animal with their United Rugby Championship stars available and they’ll want to continue that momentum by taking out last year’s other finalists on Friday.

Griquas, in contrast, have a certain ceiling this season, which they hit in Durban last weekend, failing to cross the whitewash in their 24-6 defeat to the Sharks. 

They’ll find it just as tough to crack the Lions’ defence and are bound to struggle to contain the visitors. With their step up in class, expect the Lions to leave Kimberley with the win. 

Prediction: Lions by 10.

Pumas v Griffons

Saturday, 6 May – 13:00

The Pumas will be in a foul mood after the loss to the Lions saw them slip to second place. A poor performance littered with elementary errors, they just couldn’t get going and the focus this week will be to get the basics rights.   

After yet another drubbing by the Cheetahs, the Griffons will find it hard to be competitive in Nelspruit. Their defence hasn’t been up to scratch and against a Pumas side honed in on reclaiming their attacking mojo, that spells another tough afternoon for the Purple People Eaters.  

Prediction: Pumas by 22.

Cheetahs v Western Province

Saturday, 6 May – 13:00

With both teams coming off rousing victories, the battle in Bloemfontein is the pick of the weekend’s games. 

After inclement weather threatened to wash out the Free State derby, the sides eventually got out onto the field with the Cheetahs easing to a 33-10 win over the Griffons to move back to the top of the log, while Western Province blew a strong Bulls team away (31-7).  

While the Cape franchise have a two-squad system in place, with the URC quarter-final against the Bulls taking precedence, one has to wonder how well-prepared Province will be without John Dobson this week. 

That it’s the Cheetahs’ singular focus gives them the advantage, along with playing in their backyard. 

Prediction: Cheetahs by 7.

Bulls v Sharks

Saturday, 6 May – 17:10

The Bulls find themselves in a bind after their momentum came to a screeching halt in the worst way against Western Province last weekend. 

Loading up on URC stars made no difference and carries lingering effects as they have to make mass changes this week because of the URC quarter-finals.

The Sharks, on the other hand, have momentum and continuity on their side. Their comprehensive 24-6 win over Griquas was their second in a row and proof that their team of exciting rookies and a few experienced heads are gelling.

Continuity is king and the more settled Sharks should come out on top. 

Prediction: Sharks by 9.

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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