We are up to Round 6 of the Currie Cup, and after three blowout wins in the four matches last weekend, fans of the competition will be hoping for some closer contests this time around.
Here is a look at some of this week’s games with odds from BetXchange.
Sharks VS Bulls – Kings Park, Durban
When: Friday, April 14
Two winners from Round 5 face off in Durban as the Sharks beat the high-flying Pumas 19-12 last weekend, handing them their first defeat of the season. It was the type of game the Sharks want to play, using their size and power to overcome their opponent in a physical battle.
The Blue Bulls also won one week ago, smashing Griquas 40-3 at home. The win was every bit as convincing as the score suggests, and it was a big way for the home side to win their first match of the year. The question is, was this a one-off win over a Griquas team that has fallen hard from their final defeat in 2022, or was this the start of an upswing in results for the men from Pretoria?
The Bulls benefited from the Heineken Cup last weekend as they were able to finally field some of the frontline players against Griquas in this competition. That is not a luxury they will have here, with both they and the Sharks having their stars playing against Zebre and Benetton, respectively, in the URC.
The difference is that the Sharks face this same issue in Round 5 when their stars were in Toulouse in a losing effort. I like their continuity and ability to select a settled team so I would take them and the points here.
Western Province VS Cheetahs – DHL Stadium, Cape Town
When: Saturday, April 15
The second game we are looking at also features two winners from Round 5. Western Province beat a Griffons team that has been more spirited in this competition than most expected 47-28 in Bloemfontein, while the Cheetahs got back to winning ways with a 52-15 whipping of the Golden Lions away from home in Johannesburg.
It was a big win for the Cheetahs that they needed after dropping their first game of the season against the Pumas one week prior (albeit with a significantly weaker team than usual). They sit second on the log with four wins and one defeat, while WP is five points behind them in third with 15 points (three wins and two defeats) to date.
It will be interesting to see what WP do with their side here. It is a double-header alongside the Stormers URC match against Munster, meaning that any fringe frontline players not used in that game will be available here.
Cheetahs have announced several changes to their side as they try to keep players fresh and firing in what is a long Currie Cup journey, but I like them to have enough to win again and make it five victories out of six games on the season. THe line is high, but their firepower has been unmatched in the comp so far, and I think they can cover.