We’re down to the last four in the Currie Cup and there’s a familiar look to the semi-final contestants this time round as all four who made it to this stage will once again feature. This time, however, reigning champions Western Province will be taking on the fourth-placed Blue Bulls.

Currie Cup Semi Final: Western Province v Bulls Prediction

The reigning champions and the team with the best record in this competition have been handed the easiest of the semi-final assignments as a reward for topping the Premier Division and will entertain the fourth-placed Blue Bulls at a packed Newlands Stadium.

Head to Head 

This will be the second week in a row that the Blue Bulls will meet Western Province, after the reigning champions rounded off their Premier Division campaign with a 34-7 win at Loftus Versfeld. It will also be their fourth semi-final meeting in five seasons.

Western Province have had the better of this fixture in recent years, winning eight out of ten against the Blue Bulls, including both matches last season and the semi-finals in 2015 and 2014. But the Blue Bulls have had their moments, most notably in 2016, when they won 45-26 during the Premier Division stage before overcoming Western Province 36-30 in the semi-final.

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Form

Western Province have been in sparkling form all season, winning all six of the Premier Division matches without ever being troubled. In fact, their smallest margin of victory this campaign was 22 points, in their final game against Saturday’s opponents. For the Blue Bulls this has been a tough season. Hard-fought wins against Griquas and Pumas in the middle of the season put them in a good position, but they are the only semi-finalists to have conceded more points than they’ve scored.

Team News

Western Province will have a more-or-less full squad to choose from, with Jano Vermaak the only injury doubt. Hooker Bongi Mbonambi may start the game, but Scarra Ntubeni would be unlucky to be benched after a string of impressive performances. There is also a dilemma at inside centre for coach John Dobson, where Dan Kriel may return at the expense of Daniel du Plessis. For the Blue Bulls, versatile Springbok star Trevor Nyakane is likely to move to loosehead prop for this game, after Matthys Basson was withdrawn with a calf injury.

Read: Sharks versus Lions Prediction

Betting Prediction

It is hard to see how the Blue Bulls can overcome the reigning champions. Western Province’s brand of attacking, running rugby has been irresistible this season, and if any Blue Bulls fans were under the illusion that their side might have a slight chance if the weather turned unfavourable, those ideas were dispelled last weekend as Western Province’s pack bullied the Bulls out of the game. Odds of 1/20 may not flatter the favourites, but they don’t make much appeal, so the call is to opt for Western Province to overcome the handicap.

Back Western Province -18.5 at 17/20

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Please note betting odds quoted are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

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