Tank’s weekend predictions

OK – Job done. By beating Samoa 13-5 today, the Boks have topped Pool D, and will thus play the runner up of Pool C at 07h00 on Sunday the 9th of October at the Wellington Regional Stadium.

It was not called the ‘Group of Death” for nothing … That they got a little lucky against Wales, and will be sporting a few proper bruises from the Samoan game is almost superfluous … It’s knockout time now, and the Boks have proved themselves to be not half bad at that in past World Cups.

A few warning bells would have been sounded, though, as Samoa made severe inroads in the second half, often breaking tackles via the big men running at pace. Jacques Neinaber will certainly be earning his keep, and skipper John Smit might want to sit out the post match video session, but that was a very tough, physical game, and the Boks came out on top.

Samoa are the side, to my mind, that have made the most progress in the four years since the last World Cup. That they are now ranked above Six Nations side Italy, bears testament to that. With structure, patience and a solid scrum now very much part of their game, they are no pushovers.

So as said in my last post, the business end of the Rugby World Cup is without doubt upon us, with at least three of the weekend’s fixtures being pool deciders.

Pool C is a real scramble … Australia will go top after their mismatch against Russia, but then Ireland could sneak ahead of them if they beat Italy. Lose to Italy, though, and it’s home time for the Irish, and a quarter final against the Boks for Mallett’s marauders!

There is a potential banana skin for the French in the form of Tonga while the England vs Scotland result will determine the fate of both teams …

My RWC predictions:

Saturday:
04h30 – Australia v Russia – Australia by 68
07h00 – France v Tonga    – France by 14
09h30 – England v Scotland – England by 11

Sunday:
02h00 – Argentina v Georgia – Argentina by 15
04h30 – New Zealand v Canada – New Zealand by 86
07h00 – Wales v Fiji – Wales by 24
09h30 – Ireland v Italy – Ireland by 11

And locally …. With three rounds to go before the Absa Currie Cup play-offs, only the Pumas and Leopards are out of the running for a spot in the semi-finals.

The log-leading Golden Lions, fresh off a defeat to the Bulls, face the tough prospect of having to take on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, with the Bloem boys having recorded comprehensive victories in the last two weeks.

The injury ravaged Western Province team travel to Durban to take on The Sharks and are in real danger of losing their third consecutive match and placing their semi final chances in a real pickle.

In the other two matches this weekend, the Blue Bulls, also on the back of two good victories, host the Pumas in Pretoria and Griquas take on the Leopards in Potchefstroom.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30

Blue Bulls v Pumas, Pretoria – 19:10
Referee: Sindile Mayende
12 August: Blue Bulls won 16-12 in Nelspruit

My prediction: Blue Bulls by 14

Blue Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Gerhard van den Heever, 10 Louis Fouche, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Gary Botha (captain), 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Dustin Jinka, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Jurgen Visser

Pumas: 15 MJ Mentz, 14 Wilhelm Loock, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Siviwe Magaba, 11 Johan Jackson, 10 Coenie van Wyk, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Doppies le Roux, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Corné Steenkamp (capatain), 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Boela Serfontein, 3 Ashley Buys, 2 Pellow van der Westhuizen, 1 Dawie Steyn.
Substitutes: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Brett Nel, 18 Eduan van der Walt, 19 JP Mostert, 20 Hendrik van der Nest, 21 Dewald Pretorius, 22 Carl Bezuidenhout.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1

Free State Cheetahs v Golden Lions, Bloemfontein – 15:00
Referee: Marius Jonker
13 August: Golden Lions won 17-10 in Johannesburg

My prediction: Cheetahs by 7

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Ryno Benjamin, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Philip Snyman, 11 Cameron Jacobs, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Marcel van der Merwe
Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Andries Strauss

Golden Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Doppies la Grange, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 David Bulbring, 19 Warren Whiteley, 20 Burton Francis, 21 James Kamana, 22 Dylan des Fountain

Leopards v Griquas, Potchefstroom – 15:00
Referee: Pro Legoete
12 August: Griquas won 32-18 in Kimberley

My prediction: Griquas by 8

Leopards: 15 Hofmann Maritz, 14 Jovan Bowles, 13 Charl Weideman, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht (captain), 11 Vainon Willis, 10 Wesley Dunlop, 9 Johan Laker, 8 Robert Kruger, 7 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 6 Philip de Wet, 5 Bradley Mockford, 4 Brendon Snyman, 3 Dewald Coetzee, 2 Gavin Williamson, 1 Jean-Jacques Rossouw.
Substitutes: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Alfred Wauts, 18 Christo van Niekerk, 19 Siya Mdaka, 20 Spanner Pretorius, 21 Liam Slatem, 22 Clayton Durand.

Griquas: 15 Rudi Vogt, 14 Dusty Noble, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Matthew Rosslee, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Riaan Viljoen, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Jonathan Mokuena (Captain), 7 Justin Downey, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Jaco Nepgen, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Ivann Espag.
Substitutes: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Steph Roberts, 18 Edwin Hewitt, 19 Leon Karemaker, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21 Hanno Coetzee, 22 Monty Dumond.

Sharks v Western Province, Durban – 17:05
Referee: Mark Lawrence
13 August: The Sharks won 21-19 in Cape Town

My prediction: Sharks by 9

Sharks: 15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Marius Joubert, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Eugene van Staden, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Substitutes: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18, Jan Andre Marais, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Conrad Hoffmann, 21 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22 Adrian Jacobs

Western Province: 15. Heinrich Steyl, 14. Danie Poolman, 13. Berton Klaasen, 12. Marcel Brache, 11. JJ Engelbrecht, 10. Lionel Cronje, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Siya Kolisi, 6. Nick Fenton-Wells, 5. De Kock Steenkamp, 4. Adriaan Fondse, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg (captain), 1. JC Kritzinger
Substitutes: 16. Deon Fourie, 17. Frans Malherbe, 18. Tertius Daniller, 19. Nick Koster/Pieter Louw, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Johann Sadie, 22. Conrad Jantjes

Absa Currie Cup First Division

The final round of the Absa Currie Cup First Division is a mathematician’s dream, with various permutations meaning any of the six teams can still qualify for the semi-finals.

The permutations:

EP (currently on 42 log points) will finish top of the log if the Cavaliers lose and don’t get any bonus points from their match against SWD, otherwise they will be second.

Boland (41) will finish top of the log if they beat SWD (with or without a bonus point) or lose but score one bonus point (for losing with fewer than eight points or scoring four tries). If they lose without scoring a bonus point, they will be second.

Griffons (18) will finish fourth on the log if SWD lose without scoring two bonus points and the Valke and Bulldogs draw and they don’t score four or more tries each.

SWD (16) will finish third on the log if they beat Boland or score two log points, either from a draw or two bonus points. If they lose, they will be out of the semi-finals.

Valke (16) will be third on the log if they beat Border and SWD lose to Boland, or fourth if they beat Border and SWD beat Boland. They will be fourth on the log if they draw with Border and SWD lose, but they will not make the semi-finals if they lose.
Border (15) will finish third if they beat the Valke and SWD lose to Boland.

Weekend’s fixtures:

SWD vs Boland
Date: Friday, 30 September 2011, Kick-off: 17:05
Venue: Outeniqua Park, George
Referee: Rasta Rashivenga
19 August: Boland won 49-24 in Wellington

Border vs Valke
Date: Friday, 30 September 2011, Kick-off: 19:00
Venue: Buffalo City Stadium, East London
Referee: Jason Japtha
19 August: Valke won 57-42 in Kempton Park

Saturday is going to make for some pretty industrial rugby watching …. Best to catch one of the games while on a gym bike, lest that couch actually become attached to your bum! But keep one pick ticket back for that Ireland vs Italy game on Sunday morning …

Enjoy
Tank

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