Sharks vs Western Province
This is a do-or-die match for WP as a defeat for them and they are out of the Currie Cup playoff. The Sharks are guaranteed a home semifinal but a bonus point win and a loss for the Bulls could see the Sharks top the log and get a potential home final. The Sharks have struggled to settle on their strongest possible team and once again they have selected some regulars and also some players that have not played in a few weeks. If the Sharks selection is baffling then the WP selectors are even worse. Throughout the season Coach Dobson has left out the best players and persisted with out of form ones. If WP doesn’t make the semis then the blame should lie squarely at the coach’s feet. The non-selection of WP’s standout player Evan Roos is the biggest mystery. It was said he is being rested and now apparently he has a minor niggle.
TIP: The Sharks realistically speaking won’t be expecting the Bulls to lose to the Cheetahs especially in Pretoria. They will just be looking for a victory to maintain the momentum they have built. WP need five tries and the win to have a chance to go through depending what happens in the other matches. They will be looking for tries and this won’t be easy as they have struggled on attack. They have superb attackers like Edwill van der Merwe and
Sergeal Petersen but the ball seldom goes to them and this can be attributed to the kicking away of possession by Tim Swiel. The flyhalf will hopefully keep the ball in hand in this match and try to link his backline. The bookies have the Sharks as favourites and I’m also tipping them for the win. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.33, Playabets 1.28 and Sunbet 1.32
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Sharks vs Western Province
- In the last five matches between the sides there have been three wins for the Sharks and two for WP.
- The Sharks have lost three of the last five home matches to WP.
- The last time WP won in Durban was in 2017.
Latest results for both teams
The Sharks beat the Cheetahs 38-31 in their last match while WP lost 46-25 to Griquas in their last match.
WP have been plagued this season with injuries and players been selected out of position. This continues in this match as Ruhan Nel is selected on the wing yet had two super matches playing in the midfield. The Sharks have brought Curwin Bosch back in the team but not at 10, this match he is at 15. He will have a lot to prove after having a nightmare Currie Cup thus far. His tackling has to improve to be competitive at the highest level. The Province team certainly has the edge at scrum time and will look to gain penalties and then use their powerful rolling maul to score tries. The Sharks defence of the maul will be crucial and if they nullify this threat then they will win this match. The Sharks strength lies in their backline and Lionel Cronje will look to unleash players like Werner Kok and Thaakir Abrahams. The Sharks will have too much strength in the end and expect them to win a tight match by less than 8 points
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Werner Kok, 12 Murray Koster, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (captain), 7 Henco Venter, 6 James Venter, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu
15 Sergeal Petersen, 14 Ruhan Nel, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Marcel Theunissen, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Johan du Toit, 4 Ernst van Rhyn (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Leon Lyons.
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Sharks victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Western Province handicap:
The complete odds on the Western Province handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (+8.5) 1.90
Sunbet (+8.5) 1.87
Playabets (+8.5) 1.84
Predictions and Odds in details
The Sharks have been spoilt with scrumhalves this season and having lost two to Springbok duty they still have another Bok 9 in the team. Sanele Nohamba will have a point to prove as he was leapfrogged by Grant Williams into the Bok team. His partnership with Cronje will be vital especially their kicking game as there is heavy rain forecast for the match. The Province team will welcome the wet weather as they have the stronger scrum. The kicking game becomes all the more important and Tim Swiel is well experienced with wet conditions after his time in the England Premiership with Harlequins. The Sharks will want to beat WP and have the satisfaction of knocking their arch rival out of the competition. The returns for punters on the Sharks outright victory are poor therefore I suggest WP on the handicap. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+8.5) 1.90, Sunbet (+8.5) 1.87 and Playabets (+8.5) 1.84
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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.