We are getting into the home stretch of the 2022 Currie Cup season. Round 10 of the Premier Division sees Western Province on a bye and none of the Bluee Bulls, Cheetahs, or Sharks playing each other. All three teams will be looking for a maximum five points from their games to open up a gap on fourth place and keep the pressure on each other.
Here is a look at some of the matches on tap this weekend.
Sharks VS Pumas – Wollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban
The first match up this weekend sees the Sharks host Pumas in Durban. Sharks are third on the log, but they are seven points behind second-placed Cheetahs. They are still looking over their shoulders at Punmas, the team in the fifth spot – the first place outside of the finals – and nine points behind the Sharks. Pumas do, however, have a game in hand as they have only played seven to eight by Sharks. If they can in here, then they will control their own destiny moving forwards.
Sharks head coach Etienne Fynn clearly understands this as he has named a very strong team for this one. This includes a number of United Rugby Championship players that haven’t been in the Currie Cup squad much in 2022. There are four changes in the pack, with the likes of hooker Kerron van Vuuren and eight-man Sikhumbuzo Notshe getting starts. CHanges in the backs included Noeta Chamberlain starting at No. 10 and Jeremey Ward sliding into the 13 channel.
It is hard to look past this SHarks team at home. Take them -8.5 with BetXchange.
Golden Lions VS Free State Cheetahs – Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
On paper, this one doesn’t even need to be played. The Free State Cheetahs are the only undefeated team in the comp as they have won all seven of their matches to date. They sit in second only because the Blue Bulls have picked up one extra point from one extra game. The Gold Lions, on the other hand, have been terrible in 2022. They are in seventh and last spot, with zero wins and just three losing bonus points to their name.
The Golden Lions were competitive last weekend. They lost by just six to Griquas, but their inability to turn even close defeats into wins is troubling. Cheetahs also had a relatively narrow win, this time by seven points in Cape Town against Western Province. The Lion’s team of most U20 players is gaining experience, but it has been a hard road to tow so far.
Against Griquas, they had URC players making up their front row and the pivotal 9 and 15 positions. They are doing this again this weekend, adding the in-form Emmanuel Tshituka in the back row. These stars will be enough to help them cover the 18.5 here.
Blue Bulls VS Griquas – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
The Blue Bulls were awarded two points last weekend (as were Sharks) when their match was called off due to the devastating and tragic floods in KwaZulu-Natal. The fourth-placed Griquas – as noted above – beat Pumas in a tight one with a try as time expired.
Griuqas have done a good job this season in beating the teams below them on the log. If they do make the playoffs, this will have to continue to be their strategy as it’s hard to see them getting anything out of this one against the rested Bulls. Take the favorites to win, but Griquas do have the ability to cover with the +19.5 they are getting with BetXchange.