We have reached Round 4 of the Currie Cup, and we still have two undefeated teams and two that are yet to pick up a win.
Here is a look at some of this week’s games with odds from BetXchange.
Griffons VS Blue Bulls – North West Stadium, Welkom
When: Friday, March 31
Griffons have clearly had a rough slog in their first year back in the Premier Division of the Curre Cup. The team has lost all four matches played so far and has been unable to pick up a single losing bonus point. This puts them bottom of the log on zero points, though it is worth noting there were signs of life offensively in their 41-26 defeat at the hands of the Golden Lions last weekend.
Those signs of life really can’t be said about the Blue Bulls. They are seventh on the log, ahead of the Griffons only by virtue of the bonus point they picked up in defeat by scoring 33 points against Western Province in Round 2. Their other two games saw them score 15 and seven points, and they actually have a worse points differential than the Griffons (-81 to -71.)
Some of the faith in the Blue Bulls – they are 17.5 point favorites – comes from the return of fly-half Johan Goosen and flanker Nizaam Carr. Even so, 17.5 points is a massive line, given that the Blue Bulls haven’t done much of anything on the pitch so far this season. They should win, but I like the Griffons to cover unless the visitors have a dramatic week-on-week improvement.
Western Province VS Griquas – Newlands, Cape Town
When: Saturday, April 1
Wester Province hosts Griquas in the Western Cape in a Round 4 match that feels pivotal in deciding how these teams will play out the rest of the season.
The hosts have made a good start to their Currie Cup campaign. They sit fourth on the log with two wins and on defeat, picking up two bonus points in the process. They are tied for third with 10 points, sitting behind the Sharks on a point difference. They did lose last time out, going down 20-7 to the Sharks in Durban in a game where they couldn’t get their attack going.
Their visitors have – frankly – been a little disappointing in 2023. Griquas stormed to the Currie Cup final in 2022, using their home form in Kimberley to propel them to the top of the log. It feels like they haven’t recovered from that defeat to the Pumas, with the Cheetahs dealing a further blow in Round 1 this year as they crushed Griquas 42-19 on their own patch.
They were able to beat the Sharks in Round 2, but another defeat at the hands of the Pumas last week means they sit sixth on the log with just five points from three games. They need to start winning in a hurry.
This is a game Griquas will think they can win. They have won four on the bounce in the Currie Cup over WP. I expect it to be close and like Griquas to cover.