Griquas vs Sharks
This is the start of South Africa’s premier domestic competition, the Currie Cup and also the oldest rugby competition in the world. The Currie Cup will test the depth of the big provinces as they will be without their Springbok players. The Sharks have been the hardest hit losing nine players to the Bok but they have excellent back up players. The form of Phepsi Buthelezi in the past few matches has been refreshing as he has shown plenty of pace and power. He has been rewarded for this by being made captain for the Currie Cup. The man with the most to prove for the Sharks is Curwin Bosch and he will look to regain the form he showed last season. The old running Bosch needs to return as I feel he kicks away possession too much. The Griquas are always a tough team to beat at home and will no doubt be looking to ambush the Sharks in Kimberly. The Sharks seem to have white line fever this season as they have squandered numerous tries by dropping the ball so close to the try line. Coach Everitt will need to address this problem as soon as possible otherwise his team will not win anything. The Griquas also have dangermen in Masixole Banda and Ederies Arendse who can be devastating with their speed. The Sharks have struggled at scrum time throughout the season and Griquas will look to exploit this apparent weakness with the visitors. Another man who always seems to perform well against the Sharks is their former player Stefan Ungerer. He will look to put pressure on his opposite number Jaden Hendrikse. The youngster has been brilliant for the Sharks although this will be his biggest test against the experienced Ungerer.
TIP: There have been a few occasions where the Griquas upset the Sharks in the first round and they will again be looking to catch the Durban team off guard. The Sharks will look to put the disappointment of the Rainbow Cup behind them and I expect them to come out firing for this match. The front row will have the most to prove and Griquas must be ready for a fierce battle at scrum time. Both teams possess fly half’s who have huge boots but the number 10 that can fire up their back line will come out on top in this encounter. The Sharks loose trio are formidable and they will get the better of the home team and they all have pace so expect them to control this match. The bookies have the Sharks as favourites and I agree with this. The best odds on the Sharks victory are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.33, Playabets 1.31 and Sunbet 1.34
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Griquas vs Sharks
- In the last seven matches between these teams there has been one Griquas victory and six for the Sharks.
- Four of the last five matches have been won by the away team.
- Griquas last beat the Sharks at home in 2016.
Latest results for both teams
Griquas won their last match against the Cheetahs 23-19 while the Sharks lost their last game against the Bulls 34-22.
The Griquas have had only one warm up game before the Currie Cup while the Sharks team is battle hardened. The Sharks have great replacements coming into the team like Werner Kok and Mannie Libbok and these players will be too strong for the Griquas. I also feel that the desire of the Sharks will be greater as they will look to start their campaign with a bonus point win. The Griquas will miss the fanatical home support in these Covid times and this will further bolster the Sharks. The accurate boot of Bosch will no doubt drive the home team deep back into their half and although they love to run, this could play into the Sharks hands. The overall strength of the Sharks team makes me predict a comfortable away victory by more than 12 points.
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Masixole Banda, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 Ederies Arendse, 12 Andre Swarts, 11 Eduan Keyter, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Ruan Steenkamp, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Andries Schutte, 2 Alandre van Rooyen, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel.
15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Mannie Libbok , 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Juan van der Mescht, 3 Khuthazani Mchunu, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Sharks victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Sharks handicap:
The complete odds on the Sharks handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (-8.5) 1.90
Sunbet (-7.5) 1.83
Playabets (-7.5) 1.82
Predictions and Odds in details
The forward battle will be keenly contested as is always the case with the local derbies and I feel the Sharks have a much stronger forwards pack. The loose trio of Phepsi Buthelezi, Thembelani Bholi and James Venter are formidable and they all possess power and pace. The Griquas will do well to keep them quiet. The threats don’t end there as the backline of the Sharks are also very deadly but that will depend of Bosch and Hendrikse igniting them. The home team will want an arm wrestle of a match while the Sharks will want a fast paced, ball in hand style that suits them. The odds on the Sharks outright victory are not great therefore I suggest the Sharks handicap. The best odds on the Sharks handicap are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (-8.5) 1.90, Sunbet (-7.5) 1.83 and Playabets (-7.5) 1.82
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.