Western Province vs Sharks
The coastal rivals battle it out in this encounter with Province looking to bounce back after their shock defeat to the Lions. The Sharks are in a healthy position having won their first game away to the Griquas. WP has struggled to win their home games in all competitions this season at their new home. They surely are missing Newlands, their home for so many decades. The Sharks welcome back Curwin Bosch and will have a lot to prove after being left out of the Springbok squad. He must improve his defence as this has been his Achilles heel for some time. The Province team will look to attack at scrum time as this has been an area of weakness for the Durban side. The player that has impressed most observers this season is the Sharks number 9 Jaden Hendrikse who has been electric in attack. He is destined for higher honors. The Sharks will need to be more physical against WP otherwise the home side will dominate in the forwards. Bosch will need to be accurate with the boot as Province has deadly runners like Sergeal Petersen and Seabelo Senatla. We have not seen the best of Senatla in the XV man game and he would love to replicate his Sevens form. The Sharks Sevens star Werner Kok has taken much better to the XV man game and was in superb form against Griquas in the first game. The team that is better disciplined will win this match as I expect it to be a very close game. Both these teams have accurate goal kickers so discipline will be the key.
TIP: This match should hopefully be an open game as both teams have shown the tendency to run the ball. This will suit the wingers from both sides as they have loads of pace and Kok showed us his skills when he has ball in hand. The battle between the loose forwards will be the highlight of this contest. The number eights Phepsi Buthelezi and Juarno Augustus are two of the best young players in the country. They will test each other especially in defence as both of them love running from the base of the scrum. The bookies have the Sharks as slight favourites and I also tip them to win a tight contest. The best odds on the Sharks victory are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.65, Playabets 1.52 and Sunbet 1.52
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Western Province vs Sharks
- In the last five matches between the sides there have been three Sharks victories with WP winning two.
- The Sharks have won the last three meetings.
- In the last four home matches against the Sharks, WP has only won once.
Latest results for both teams
WP lost their last match against the Lions 38-32 while the Sharks beat Griquas 30-16 in their last match.
Province moved Tim Swiel to full back in their last match to allow Abner van Reenen to continue at flyhalf. The experiment did not work as van Reenen has continued to struggle and is unable to stamp his authority on the match. This is an area that the Sharks have the definite advantage with Bosch and Hendrikse. I’m certain all Sharks supporters will be hoping that we get to see Bosch running more with the ball. When he was younger he had a great attacking mindset but these days he seems intent on kicking for territory. Province has a deadly rolling maul and if the Sharks give away penalties then they could be in trouble. The Sharks will need to watch Rikus Pretorius closely as he is the one player that can spark the dangerous Province backline. This match will be close but I predict the Sharks to win by 7 points.
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Tim Swiel, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Rikus Pretorius, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Abner van Reenen, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Evan Roos, 6 Marcel Theunissen, 5 David Meihuizen, 4 Ernst van Rhyn (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 JJ Kotze, 1 Ali Vermaak.
15 Manie Libbok, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (captain), 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Fez Mbatha, 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 (-3.5) 1.90
Sunbet (-4.5) 1.87
Playabets (-4.5) 1.88
Predictions and Odds in details
The continued absence of crowds means that WP will not have that big an advantage although they are playing at home. This will no doubt even the playing fields and the Sharks seem to have better continuity in their attack while WP struggled to gain any fluency. This has got a lot to do with the halfback pairings and this is one of the main reasons I believe that the Sharks will overcome Province. However this match will be decided by the forwards and although Province may have a slight edge in this department, the Sharks have the more powerful bench. This match will be tightly contested but I expect the Sharks replacements to win it for them in the last quarter. The bookies are offering decent money on the Sharks outright victory but I suggest the value bet on the Sharks handicap victory. The best odds on this best are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (-3.5) 1.90, Sunbet (-4.5) 1.87 and Playabets (-4.5) 1.88
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.