The Armchair critic's "topsy turvy" Currie Cup review
What a great weekend of rugby action we had! The Springboks were impressive against Australia, Argentina made the All Blacks work hard for their win and domestically, the Currie Cup didn't disappoint either with three quality games on Saturday.
Ok, so my predictions for this past weekend's games were off ... again, but this season's Currie Cup has already dished up its fair share of surprises, so it's really difficult to get it spot on.
I predicted that Western Province would taste defeat for the first time following an indifferent season thus far, but they were really impressive against the Sharks, securing a richly deserved win. Again, the four try bonus point eludes the 'Streeptruie' and their second half performance still remains their biggest problem. Leading 15 - 0 at the break, Province allowed the Sharks to score somewhat easy tries to end 25 - 19 and secure a losing bonus point which they really didn't deserve. WP should've won by a much bigger margin; they should've scored four tries and with their notoriously stingy defence should never have allowed the Sharks to score three tries. But with all that said, WP still remain undefeated and top the log, with just five games to go before the playoffs.
Despite the defeat, The Sharks remain real title contenders, only one log point behind WP. Those two losing bonus points in their two defeats will surely come in handy at the end of the competition.
Down in Kimberley, the Lions and Griquas produced a pulsating 80 minutes of rugby in a match which either side could've won. But yet again, like they've done many times this season, the Lions were impressive in the second half and eventually walked away with five points. And to use an old sporting cliché, the Lions show that the best form of defence is attack. They've been involved in a number of high scoring games this season, proving that they are the most lethal side on attack in the Currie Cup.
The Bulls' season seems to be on the mend following their win over the Cheetahs. Or are they really? Well an unbeaten WP side lie in wait for them and if they are to make a late surge for a semi -final spot, they'd have to beat Province. Against the Cheetahs, there were obvious improvements in their game, but they'll have to step up if they're to beat Western Province and really turn the Currie Cup on its head in the second round.