Griquas (@1.8) vs Lions (@2.1)

Our Prediction:

Griquas will win

Griquas – Lions Match Prediction | 22-08-2019

Such is the talent in their squad that they are possibly favourites to win the game, with their main weapons coming in the form of Affies loose-forwards MJ Janse van Rensburg and Adolph Visser as well as Garsfontein lock Raynard Roets and Menlopark wing Nsuku Baloyi. I have the Bulls to win this one, but by no means am writing off an excellent Border team. The Bulls come into the tournament with a much better squad than last year, when they failed to win a single match. Border once again have a team packed with Selborne players, and if the game is to be won up front, one senses that they will be reliant on hooker Jacques Goosen and flank Jarrod Taylor as well as lock Cullen Opperman and No 8 Raidan Masters. One of the highlights of day two.

The Lions went down by 7 points to the Pumas away last week in a high scoring encounter. It was a game in which the lead changed hands several times but in the end this youthful Lions side wasnt able to get up for the win. They remain without their star players who are involved in Super Rugby action and this game will be curtain raiser to the big semi-final later in the day.

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Golden Lions vs Sharks Head to Head

Look out for Griquas No 8 Stefan Swart, a Diamantveld pupil, as well as Noord-Kaap wing Elzandro Fredericks. With most of their squad coming from either Noord-Kaap or Diamantveld, the boys from the Northern Cape should have far too much firepower for the Limpopo side, who will be well coached and competitive but ultimately not able to keep up in the second half. The Griquas are the favourites in day twos opener.

As it is, they come up against a Lions team with plenty of firepower of their own, particularly in lock Connor van Buuren, and flanks Zander du Toit and Izan Esterhuizen, while they will also look to the centre pairing of Henco van Wyk and Joseph Iye to give them go-forward in the backline. A tough one to call, but if the Lions get momentum, they should bag the win. This is a fascinating clash. Players such as hooker Keagan Blanckenberg, flyhalf Kian Meadon, flank Jarred Cairns and wing Javier Farmer, to name but a few, could all have made the Western Province team. Even though the Golden Lions are playing a WP B side, there are plenty of players in that squad who could count themselves unlucky to miss out on selection for the A squad.

The first of a few tough games to call after the Blue Bulls XV surprisingly beat the Lions XV in a warm-up game before the tournament. Keep an eye on the Monument front row of Dehan Niemand, Franco Prinsloo and Heiko Pohlman as well as Helpmekaar centres Frans Weideman and Melbert van der Spuy. However, the Lions side, with a total of eight players from Monument mixed with a few from KES, Jeppe and Helpmekaar, should win this one. The Bulls XV squad is a bit mix-and-match, with no one school providing a majority of players, which should make it interesting to see how quickly they gel.

Western Province gave themselves a timely boost with a 45-14 home win over the Pumas last week. They ran in 7 tries on their way to easily covering a minus handicap which had been set in the mid teens. Province finished the round in fourth place with 12 points, level with the third placed Cheetahs who boast the best current points difference.

Currie Cup Preview Tafel Lager Griquas v Xerox Golden Lions

With the exception of the visit to Bloemfontein Griquas have done nothing wrong, they have won matches where they have been given given a bigger start on the handicap than is on offer here and whilst Province also have plenty riding on the outcome, I go with the plus. With the strength of the Province line up affected by Bok call ups this is a real opportunity for Griquas and the current best plus looks good enough to me.

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