Currie Cup Preview: Semi-Final Province vs LionsAuthor: Shaun | Filed under: Currie Cup, Match Previews
Match Date: Saturday 19 October
It’s that time of the competition where the famous rubber meets the famous road (and where some famous faces meet the turf!). Semi-final number 1 takes place under what should be the sunny skies of Cape Town as Province host the visiting Lions for all out battle! The Lions have been largely unpredictable all season and Province have been nothing short of resolute but you can take form and throw it out the window – Saffas love to “donner” the hell out of each other and this match will be no exception.
Province maintained their unbeaten run in the round robin matches this season by swimming with the Sharks last weekend. The match was a serious drought when it came down to the Fantasy score sheet but the conditions on the field resembled anything but a drought – Province probably felt like they were playing at home! It wasn’t a pretty match to watch with “Knock-On” being named man-of-the match and spectators having to spend the majority of their time running for cover! But, even though there was no champagne rugby on offer, Province were able to take positives away from the match – a scrum that operated like an angry congress of fat people, a
lineout Etzebeth that is pretty much untouchable and a defense that is as bullet proof as Jacob Zuma. Province have made a habit this season of setting a lead and defending it for the rest of the match and their only concern will be if they find themselves trailing come Saturday – but they won’t be thinking about that. Nope, they have their eyes firmly set on back-to-back Currie Cup titles and this game should be nothing more than a formality.
The Lions were thoroughly tested in their final match against Griquas and to be honest – it’s probably the best team that Griquas have fielded all season! Seriously! The Lions played some enterprising rugby but they were matched step-for-step the whole way through the match until the dying stages when they finally managed to flex the muscles and land the roundhouse kick to the face of the Griquas effort. This weekend they will need quite a few roundhouse kicks as well as a cement truck to break through the iron defense of the Province outfit and it’s not like they don’t possess it. The Lions have a back 3 made of steel wool and concrete – they are tough as all hell and it will make for an interesting encounter against an equally angry Province back 3. However, when it comes to backline moves, it’s clearly disadvantage Lions – it’s not like they don’t have the gusto but when matched against the Blue & White hoops, they are a few bricks short of a house. In summary, if the Lions want to take this one, they need an exceptionally strong forward performance and they will need their 9 / 10 combination to burn like Tiger Woods’ credibility. (Note: The Lions have made a few changes to their team including the return of everyone’s favourite haircut in the number 10 jersey)
It’s Currie Cup rugby and anything is possible – add a side serving of semi-final and you’ve got a recipe for a big batch of unpredictable. However, having said that, Province are on the cusp of going the whole season without a loss…..PROVINCE to march on to the main event!
Probably less than 5 points – splitting hairs!
Trio Duo of Terror – Aplon, Kolbe and De Jongh! The amigo’s have been split up yet again and this time it’s De Jongh making way for “de” other Springbok centre – De Villiers! Needless to say, most Fantasy Managers’ will probably have all 3 in their teams!
Dimitri Cantstopthis – As we saw last weekend, he has BMT and loads of it! Kicking in the shitstorm that was the weather at Kings Park last weekend, he didn’t put a foot wrong!
Eben Etzebeth – Dominates the lineout like a drunk oke dominating McDonalds at 3 in the morning!
Anthony Volmink – Has regained his chair at the top of the try scoring throne, if the Lions want to show the home side up then this guy needs to show up himself!
Marnitz Boshoff – Dominated the flyhalf sweepstakes last weekend courtesy of a solid kicking performance. Probably more of the same coming this weekend but there is the possibility that the Lions could make the ludicrous decision of letting the Haircut kick for posts!
Derick Minnie - Expect this oke to be leading the charge! You may also want to consider the versatile Willie Britz (bench warming) or the not so subtle Jaco Kriel.
Don’t joke – the bookies will only put their sorry story out tomorrow. Expect the Lions to get a 3 point head start and you in turn can expect to earn odds of 1.9:1 for your wares.
The result will definitely go the way of Province and it’s likely that a scrooge-like set of odds will go with it. Backing Province will probably get you less than 1.5:1 but backing the Lions could put you in the region of 2.3:1.
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