The Currie Cup draws to a conclusion this weekend, with Western Province hosting the Sharks at Newlands in the final on Saturday afternoon. Province went through the round robin undefeated, but were a tad lucky to edge the plucky Blue Bulls in their home semifinal. They however had to play 100 minutes against Pote Human’s side, and those extra 20 minutes of rugby may count against some of their players in the latter stages of this final. The Sharks were in control for most of their semifinal against the Lions, but managed to overcome a second half comeback from the men from Transvaal.
Province beat the Sharks in Round-Robin, but Currie Cup finals between these two sides in recent years have shown an unusual trend- the visitor tends to the victor. However the bookies clearly seem to favour Province, whose coach John Dobson has chosen to play Damian Willemse at inside centre. This is therefor a WP squad with Josh Stander at 10, Willemse at 12, goal kicker SP Marais on the wing, and Dillyn Leyds at 15. Somewhat surprisingly, there is no place for Juarno Augustus in the Match Day 23. However Trokkie’s fellow JWC 2017 stars– the likes of Bosch, Van Rhyn, Willemse and Moerat, will all feature in this final. Continue reading “Currie Cup Final Odds- Western Province vs Natal Sharks 2018 (WP Sharks)”
We’re down to the business end of the Currie Cup and as usual, it’s the big four unions- the ones who are South Africa’s Super Rugby representatives, who will square off in the semifinals.
Natal Cell C Sharks v Golden Lions (SF 1)
Sharks- 7/15, Golden Lions 15/18
The Sharks have home advantage for this, and coach Robert du Preez has chosen to restore his son Rob jnr to flyhalf after playing him at inside centre in the previous game. That means a return to full back for Curwin Bosch, who played at 10 against Griquas. Scrumhalf Louis Schreuder will captain the team.
The Lions have some of their key Super Rugby personnel back, with the likes of Aphiwe Dyantyi, Warren Whiteley and Elton Jantjies all starting at Kings Park this weekend. Like the Sharks, they have a scrummie as skipper in Nic Groom (despite the availability of regular SR leader Whiteley for this clash)
Western Province vs Blue Bulls SF 2
WP- 1/10, Bulls at 41/4
As convincing odds in favour of Western Province that you’d see, and this is a semifinal. Province romped through the group stages, beating everyone in the competition, and got the better of the Bulls at Loftus in a rain affected encounter last week.
The mighty Crusaders are being favoured to retain their Super Rugby title when they host the Lions from Johannesburg in Christchurch on Saturday.
The game is a repeat of last year’s final, which the Saders won at Emirates Airline Park, aided by Jaco Peyper’s decision to red card Kwagga Smith for his collision with opposition full back David Havilli.
There is no room for sentiment for the Crusaders, who have chosen not to included the record setting Wyatt Crockett in their 23. Nobody would’ve really criticised Scott Robertson had Crockett being included, but the 200 cap veteran will have to watch from the stands, with Tim Perry and Joe Moody preferred to do duty at loosehead. Continue reading “Super Rugby Final 2018 Odds- Crusaders favourite to retain crown”
On paper it’s a David v Goliath clash. The table topping Crusaders, who have lost only two games all season vs an inconsistent Sharks outfit who only sneaked into the playoffs because the Melbourne Rebels absolutely bottled their chances at the business end of the tournament.
The Sharks have been dreadful travellers this season, but their solitary win on the road was against a New Zealand team (the Blues). They also ran the Canes close in Napier (albeit a Canes side without TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett), and lost by one point after the hooter.
The Durban based outfit are also without star blindside flanker Jean-Luc du Preez, who leads the competition this season for offloads- the Sharks are the competition’s top offloaders, but have struggled to score tries.
All stats seem to point to a Crusaders win, and few expect the Sharks to do an encore of their famous 2014 win in Chch.
94% of those on SuperBru have predicted a Crusaders win, at the time of writing.
Best odds on the Crusaders- 1/10 (BetVictor)
Best odds on the Sharks- 16/1 (SkyBet)