The race for the Currie Cup Premier Division play-offs intensifies this weekend with three matches eagerly anticipated matches between Lions and Bulls in Johannesburg, Western Prpvince and Pumas in Cape Town and the Sharks and Cheetahs in Durban.
The Bulls and Lions, who have a short turn-around of matches as they were in action on Wednesday, meet in the traditional and anticipated Jukskei Derby in at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.
The Bulls will be looking to stay on top of the log standings with a second successive win after they thrashed the Griquas 56-33 while the Lions will be looking to return back to winning ways after they played to a thrilling 44-44 draw with Cheetahs.
There are a further two matches on Sunday where the Sharks host bottom of the log Cheetahs at Kings Park Stadium in Durban while the highly unpredictable Pumas hot the road to the Mother City to take on Western Province.
Lions VS Bulls
Bulls coach Jake White has opted for the rotation with a total of nine changes to the starting XV for Saturday’s clash against the Lions with the bulk of the starters from the mid-week game providing cover from the bench this weekend.
White also announced that Arno Botha will captain a much-changed Bulls side that will take on the Lions in the Currie Cup at Ellis Park.
Both sides meet on the back of high-scoring mid-week fixtures which saw the Bulls emerge emphatic 56-33 winners over Griquas while their rivals from across the Jukskei River played to a scintillating 44-44 tie with the Cheetahs on Wednesday.
Among the changes is the half-back pairing of Keagan Johannes at scrumhalf and flyhalf Chris Smith who will receive starting berths.
There will also be a changed front row as props Simphiwe Matanzima and Jacques van Rooyen will buckle down alongside hooker Jan-Hendrik Wessels for the clash.
Lions scored six tries in their highly exciting 44-44- draw with the Cheetahs midweek with exciting winger Rabs Maxwane touching down twice and coach Ivan van Rooyen will be asking for more of the same from his attackers.
Pick: Bulls Wins by 0.11 at BetXChange
Western Province VS Pumas
The final match of the weekend will be this potentially explosive match-up between Western Province and the Pumas on Sunday afternoon in Cape Town.
The Lowvelders are clinging to fourth spot on the log and if they hope to make it to the semi-finals, a win at Newlands will go a long way in ensuring they remain in the top four.
But the Capetonians, who are currently sitting sixth spot on the log and two points behind their opponents this weekend, will be desperate to repeat their round seven win in Nelspruit to move up in the standings as the competition moves towards the business end.
Pick: Western Province Wins by 0.37 at BetXChange