The final action in a busy week of Currie Cup rugby comes from Loftus on Sunday where the Bulls clash with the Lions
Bulls v Lions, Sunday 25th July, Pretoria, KO 15:15 (South African time)
Referee: Paul Mente
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen
Weather Forecast – Pretoria
Although the Bulls put up a sterling display in a 17-14 victory in a hastily arranged game against the South African “A” side in Cape Town last week, we haven't seen them in Currie Cup action since they hosted the Pumas in Round 2. They came through that game with a 32-27 win, earning a bonus point with 4 tries but it was hard work as the Pumas refused to buckle despite going into half time 17-3 down.
The Bulls defence of the Currie Cup title started in unusual circumstances in Round 1 when their first teamers were not available for a home fixture against Western Province due to their involvement in the Rainbow Cup final in Italy. The Bulls lost the game 48-24 but they did pick up a consolation bonus point for scoring 4 tries.
Bulls Currie Cup Fixtures and Results
WP (h) lost 48-24, Pumas (h) won 32-27, Cheetahs (a) cancelled, Griquas (a) cancelled, Sharks (a) cancelled, Lions (h), WP (a), Sharks (h), Griqaus (h), Lions (a), Pumas (a), Cheetahs (h)
The Lions were in action in midweek when they were 7.5 point favourites for a home game against the Griquas. They lost the match 41-31, conceding the opening try in the first minute and they were 17-12 down at half time. The Lions cause wasn't helped by a red card early in the second half and a late yellow saw them finish the game with 13 men and Griquas were home and hosed.
The Lions scheduled matches away to the Sharks and at home to the Cheetahs were cancelled whilst their first 2 Currie Cup outings delivered 1 win and 1 defeat. They were hammered 39-10 by the Pumas in Nelspruit in the opening round where they were missing a number of players who were isolating after a Covid outbreak. Next time out the Lions made amends with a 38-32 home win over Western Province.
The Lions lost twice to the Bulls at Loftus in this competition last season, 22-15 in the regular season and 26-21 in the semi finals.
Lions Currie Cup Fixtures and Results
Pumas (a) lost 39-10, WP (h) won 38-32, Sharks (a) cancelled, Cheetahs (h) cancelled, Griquas (h) lost 41-31, Bulls (a), Pumas (h), Griquas (a), Cheetahs (a), Bulls (h), WP (a), Sharks (h)
Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Richard Kriel, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Muller Uys, 6 Marcell Coetzee (Captain), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Jacques van Rooyen, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima
Replacements: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Mornay Smith, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Sibongile Novuka, 24 Jan-Hendrik Wessel, 25 Ruan Delport, 26 Johan Mulder, 27 FC du Plessis
Lions: 15 Wandisile Simelane, 14 Rabz Maxwane, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan; 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Andre Warner; 8 Francke Horn (captain), 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 FP Pelser, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 PJ Botha, 1 Ruan Dreyer.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Ruhan Straeuli, 21 Sibusiso Sangweni, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Stean Pienaar
Recent Head to Head
2020 Bulls 26-21 Lions (Semi final)
2020 Bulls 22-15 Lions
2019 Lions 26-31 Bulls
2018 Bulls 35-28 Lions
2017 Lions 36-33 Bulls
2017 Bulls 54-22 Lions
2016 Bulls 31-17 Lions
2015 Bulls 28-36 Lions
Bulls -13.5 points at 0.88/1
Lions +14.5 points at 9/10
Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.
The money is coming for the Bulls and I think rightly so. The panel were all in agreement on the -12.5 on last nights betting show show and that has now disappeared. They have named a strong team and the Lions have been poor and may still have Wednesdays game in their legs.
The Bulls can win this one by a big margin
Bet: 6 units Bulls -13.5 at 0.88/1 at BetoLimp
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