Sharks vs Griquas
The Sharks will have revenge on their mind when they play Griquas in the second semifinal. They were embarrassed by Griquas in the league phase although Griquas played with 12 men at one stage. The Sharks are the most erratic team in the country as they can be sublime one week and awful the next. If this trend continues then they should be great this week as they were awful last week. Griquas were not great themselves but still managed a draw that got them into the semis. They seemed to buckle when the pressure was on and committed many unforced errors. This could be the difference in the teams as the Sharks players have been in knockout games at the highest level while Griquas have many inexperienced players. The return of Curwin Bosch to the Sharks team has meant that there will be a lot more kicking. It is always a gamble with Bosch especially in a semifinal and the Sharks will be hoping he delivers a virtuoso performance that he is capable of.
TIP: The forward battle is key in any match and more so in knockout rugby. Both these teams struggled in the scrum in their last match but will look to massive improvements from their front rows. The Sharks like to play expansive rugby and if Lionel Cronje can ignite the backline then they will be in the final. The Griquas have shown all season that they have a dogged defence and can be a difficult team to score against. I’m sure the Sharks have learnt from their mistakes and will kick for goals in this match rather than kicking for touch. Points will be at a premium as this is knockout rugby and there are no bonus points. The bookies have the Sharks as favourites and I am also tipping them for the victory. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.33, Playabets 1.27 and Sunbet 1.30
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Sharks vs Griquas
- In the last five matches between the sides the Sharks have three wins to the Griquas two.
- Four of the last five matches have been won by the away team.
- Griquas won 37-27 the last time they played in Durban.
Latest results for both teams
The Sharks lost their last match to WP 35-24 while the Griquas drew 13-13 with the Pumas.
These teams have shown a tendency to run the ball during the league phase but I expect a much tighter game in the semis. The Griquas have the advantage in the loose trio as they have arguably the best trio in the competition. The Sharks will need their captain and number 8 Phepsi Buthelezi to be at his best. He needs to pass the ball more often as he always prefers to take the contact. The Sharks have Sanele Nohamba at 9 and he will be keen to show the national selectors that they were wrong in overlooking him. The battle of the wingers will be the highlight for me as Eduan Keyter and Thaakir Abrahams have been the form wingers in the Currie Cup. This battle has even further implications as they could potentially be fighting for the same spot next season as Keyter has signed for the Sharks. The overall experience and balance of the Sharks team makes me predict a home victory by more than 10 points.
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Werner Kok, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (captain), 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.
15 Ashlon Davids, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 Chris Hollis, 12 Johnathan Francke, 11 Eduan Keyter, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Ruan Steenkamp (captain), 7 Hanru Sirgel, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Stefan Willemse, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Erich de Jager, 2 Janco Uys, 1 Nqobisizwe Mxoli.
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Bulls victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Sharks handicap victory :
The complete odds on the Sharks handicap victory:
Worldsportsbetting (-8.5) 1.90
Sunbet (-8.5) 1.92
Playabets (-8.5) 1.83
Predictions and Odds in details
Griquas will need to overcome their nerves in this match to have a chance of victory as they froze up in their last match. The Sharks fell away badly in the last quarter against WP and no doubt they will want to fix that in this match. They have selected a strong bench and will look to them to take them into the final. Griquas as always will need their general George Whitehead to control proceedings while the Sharks have players like Werner Kok who are excellent at getting his team on the front foot. The Sharks have selected a huge lock combination and Griquas will do well to stop these big men before they get into their running stride. Griquas have had a great season but I cannot see past a convincing win for the Sharks. Punters get meager returns on the Sharks outright victory therefore I suggest the home team on the handicap. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (-8.5) 1.90, Sunbet (-8.5) 1.92 and Playabets (-8.5) 1.83
Sports crazy fan that follows all major sport but the game with the oval ball is my real passion. Was an age level rugby coach and a huge supporter of the Springboks and diehard Liverpool man. I’m an experienced punter and sports writer whose predictions/tips are sure to stir up the emotions. I love the occasional wager on the underdog.