The first action in the final round of the Currie Cup regular season sees the Pumas host the Golden Lions in Nelspruit on Friday and the aim for both sides is to secure a place in the play offs.
Pumas v Lions, Friday 12th October, Nelspruit, Kick Off 19:00
Weather Forecast: - Nelspruit
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Johre Botha
Television match official: Marius Jonker
This is do or die for the Pumas who are 4 points behind the Lions in the standings. Their points difference is also 18 inferior to that of their opponents here but nonetheless they are still in the running after a 42-14 win away to the Cheetahs in their most recent outing. That victory in Bloem came on 21st September and the Pumas return to Nelspruit where earlier results include a 42-19 win over the Griquas and a 57-28 hiding off Western Province. Other results include defeats away to the Bulls (39-29) and the Sharks (28-12) and although they just about stayed within plus handicaps in those 2 losses, they haven’t threatened to turn over any of the teams above them in the standings.
Any king of log points return will secure a play off place for the Lions whilst a bonus point win could see them finish as high as second, but only if other results go their way. The Lions have lost their last 2 matches, crashing 65-38 to Western Province in Johannesburg and then 37-21 to the Sharks in Durban. They did edge out the Blue Bulls 38-35 in an earlier away fixture and they are boosted by the return of Lionel Mapoe and Elton Jantjies from Springbok duty
Recent Head to Head
2017 Lions 29-28 Pumas
2017 Pumas 43–36 Lions
2016 Lions 68-26 Pumas
2015 Pumas 11-41 Lions
2015 Lions 44-27 Pumas
2014 Lions 29-15 Pumas
Pumas – 15 Devon Williams, 14 Morné Joubert, 13 Neil Maritz, 12 Ryan Nell (c), 11 Ruwellyn Isbel, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Francois Kleinhans, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Marné Coetzee, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Morgan Naudé
Subs: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Andrew Beerwinkel, 18 Stefan Willemse, 19 Jeandré Rudolph, 20 Abri Griesel, 21 Kobus Marais, 22 Henco Marais.
Golden Lions: 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Wandisile Simelane, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom (captain), 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 James Venter, 6 Hanko de Villiers, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Corne Fourie, 1 Sti Sithole
Substitutes: 16 Pieter Jansen, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Chergine Fillies, 19 Driaan Bester, 20 Len Massyn, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Shaun Reynolds
Pumas +8.5 points 9/10 WSB. GGGaming
Lions -7.5 points 9/10 BetXchange
Note, odds quoted are correct at the time of last update but are subject to change.
The Lions have been below par for much of the tournament and they will face a Pumas side who are sure to be fired up. My concern with the Pumas is that they haven’t been able to lay more than a passing glove on the teams above them in the standings thus far and they were taken to pieces by a talented Western Province back line in an earlier home game.
With the Lions bolstered by a couple of returning Boks I’ll go with the minus but not with huge confidence.
Chris's Bet: 4 units (1 to 10 scale) Lions -7.5 points 9/10 BetXchange
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