Currie Cup

Bulls: Easy ride out of peril?

2012-10-09 15:52
Dewald Potgieter (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Defending champions the Golden Lions are likely to be the most “chilled” outfit on a closing weekend of Currie Cup round-robin activity which will otherwise be mostly tension-filled for the remaining five teams.

That is because, unless Griquas manage to upset a Springboks-infused Sharks side in Durban on Friday night, Johan Ackermann’s charges will enter their Highveld derby clash with the Blue Bulls in Johannesburg the next evening knowing that second place on the log is their assured finish, regardless of what happens at Coca-Cola Park.

Should the admirably tenacious but not exactly star-laden visitors from Kimberley pull it off at Mr Price Kings Park, the Lions will suddenly have something significant to play for - the opportunity to seize top spot from the Sharks and potentially set up a second successive home final should they make it past the semis.

But don’t count on it: Griquas tend to be at their giant-killing best when playing a few stones’ throws from the Big Hole and have only won once away from home this season.

So if the Lions, as expected, have little at stake on Saturday, it ought to only aid the Bulls’ quest to win and move off the dreaded bottom spot on the table.

Coach Ackermann has already hinted that he may do some “rotation” if the game becomes a largely meaningless exercise for them.

Less affected by Bok call-ups than most other sides, the Lions have fielded reasonably settled combinations for the bulk of the Currie Cup campaign and been plugging away solidly for nine weeks, so any opportunity to give a break - or only partial game involvement? - to core players like JC Janse van Rensburg and Franco van der Merwe should be gratefully grabbed.

Whether he decides to rest regular first-teamers or not the Lions may, consciously or subconsciously, lack fullest urgency against the Bulls, which plays nicely into the hands of opponents with not only the opportunity to avoid a promotion/relegation scrap but also climb enough places by winning to sneak a semi.

The likeliest scenarios for the three matches are as follows:

Sharks v Griquas, Durban, Friday 19:10:

Sharks win, and clinch top place, with four-try bonus point not even necessary. Griquas probably end fifth (no semi but, importantly, also no need for promotion/relegation matches against EP Kings.

WP v Cheetahs, Cape Town, Saturday 17:05:

Especially boosted by returning Boks, Province prove too strong for Free Staters and condemn them, in turn, to probable finish in sixth and spectre of having to meet Kings.

Lions v Blue Bulls, Johannesburg, 19:10:

Significantly stiffened by Boks to give them more of a “Super Rugby” look once more, Bulls see off opponents who have little and stake and one eye on home semi a week later. If all three results pan out as suggested, Sharks host Bulls in one semi-final; Lions entertain WP in the other.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    currie cup  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
28 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

South African woman learns to surf at aged 70

Anthea Petzer just wants to learn how to stand on her yellow Australian surfboard and carve up the waves.

 
 

Outdoor

Extreme Kiteboarding in Pumping Conditions!
The Arctic becomes an unlikely surfing hotspot
A romantic holiday to beat the winter blues
Why should you do a 5k?
Fixtures
06 May 2016
Griffons v SWD Eagles, Welkom 17:00
EP Kings v Blue Bulls, Port Elizabeth 18:00
07 May 2016
Leopards v Boland Cavaliers, Potchefstroom 14:30
Xerox Golden Lions v Free State XV, Johannesburg 15:00
ORC Griquas v Border Bulldogs, Kimberley 15:00
Pumas v Windhoek Draught Welwitschias, Nelspruit 15:00
Cell C Sharks XV v Western Province, Durban 17:30
13 May 2016
Blue Bulls v Pumas, Pretoria 15:00
Border Bulldogs v Leopards, East London 19:00
SWD Eagles v Hino Valke, George 19:00
14 May 2016
Free State XV v Cell C Sharks XV, Bloemfontein 14:15
Boland Cavaliers v Griffons, Wellington 15:00
Windhoek Draught Welwitschias v ORC Griquas, Windhoek 15:00
Western Province v EP Kings, Cape Town 15:00
20 May 2016
Hino Valke v Boland Cavaliers, Kempton Park 15:00
EP Kings v Free State XV, Durban 17:00
Pumas v Western Province, Nelspruit 19:00
21 May 2016
Leopards v Windhoek Draught Welwitschias, Potchefstroom 14:30
ORC Griquas v Blue Bulls, Kimberley 15:00
Cell C Sharks XV v Xerox Golden Lions, Durban 15:00
Griffons v Border Bulldogs, Welkom 15:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

The new-look Currie Cup format for 2016 is,

 
 
/News
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

SuperBru Super Rugby challenge

Enter and challenge Sport24's staff!

Featured

As the Absa Premiership nears the Christmas break, a little over half the season remains. Who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Which teams will be relegated? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.