Currie Cup rugby gets underway on Friday 12th July and we take in an outright betting show and the fixtures and team news for each side.
The format of the tournament is unchanged from last season with 7 teams playing each other once with the top 4 contesting the semi finals.
Outright Winner Betting:
Best book with odds correct as of 06:00 on Tuesday 9th July but are subject to change.
Currie Cup Outright Winner
Western Province 5/2 Hollywood
Sharks 4/1 Sportingbet, Sunbet
Blue Bulls 9/2 WSB, Sportingbet, Sunbet
Golden Lions 11/2 WSB
Cheetahs 12/1 Hollywood
Griquas 22/1 Hollywood
Pumas 40/1 Hollywood
Note, odds are correct at time of last update but are subject to change
Teams and Fixtures:
More information will be added as and when it becomes available.
The Sharks come into the tournament as the defending champions having beaten Western Province in the 2018 final at Cape Town. Their only defeat last season had come at Newlands in Round 6 as they finished with a record of 5 wins and 1 defeat before seeing off the Lions in a home semi l. Sean Everitt is head coach of the Currie Cup side this season.
Forwards: Bandisa Ndlovu, Coenie Oosthuizen, Craig Burden, Cullen Collopy, Dylan Richardson, Fez Mbatha, Gideon Koegelenberg, Hyron Andrews, Jacques Vermeulen, JJ van der Merscht, John-Hubert Meyer, Juan Schoeman, Kerron van Vuuren, Khutha Mchunu, Kwanda Dimaza, Luke Stringer, Michael Meyer, Mzamo Majola, Phepsi Buthelezi, Ruben van Heerden, Tera Mtembu (co-captain).
Backs: Aphelele Fassi, Boeta Chamberlain, Cameron Wright, Curwin Bosch, Gerald Williams, Ilunga Mukendi, Inny Radebe, Jeremy Ward (co-captain), JP Pietersen, Kobus van Wyk, Leolin Zas, Louis Schreuder, Lwazi Mvovo, Marius Louw, Muller du Plessis, Murray Koster, Rhyno Smith, Sanele Nohamba
Fixtures: R1 Griquas (h), R2 Western Province (h), R3 bye, R4 Pumas (a), R5 Cheetahs (h), R6 Lions (a), R7 Blue Bulls (a),
Western Province won all 6 of their matches in the 2018 regular season to top the log 4 points clear of the Sharks. They finished with a points difference of +163 and were favourites heading into the play offs. However they couldn’t confirm that dominance in knockout rugby and extra time was needed to edge past the Blue Bulls in a home semi final. Province were subsequently turned over by the Sharks (17-12) at Newlands in the final. John Dobson is coach for the Currie Cup campaign.
Squad: Juarno Augustus, Kwenzo Blose, Craig Barry, Jaco Coetzee, Paul de Wet, Johan du Toit, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Neethling Fouche, Corne Fourie, Liam Hendricks, Michael Kumbirai, Dan Kriel, Wilco Louw, Godlen Masimla, Chris Massyn, SP Marais, David Meihuizen, Salmaan Moerat, Ruhan Nel, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Scarra Ntubeni, Sergeal Petersen, Justin Phillips, Marno Redelinghuys, Ramone Samuels, Carlu Sadie, JD Schickerling, Seabelo Senatla, Chad Solomon, Josh Stander, Edwill van der Merwe, Ernst van Rhyn, Chris van Zyl, Jano Vermaak, Ali Vermaak, Nama Xaba
Fixtures: R1 Blue Bulls (h), R2 Sharks (a), R3 Lions (h), R4 bye, R5 Pumas (h), R6 Griquas (a), R7 Cheetahs (a),
The Blue Bulls finished fourth on the log last season with 3 wins and 3 defeats against their name before they gave Western Province a mighty scare in a semi finals which went into extra time. Pote Human continues as the coach and Burger Odendaal will captain the side. In a recent warm up the Bulls beat the Pumas 42-7 with tries from Johan Grobbelaar (2), Jade Stighling, Rosko Specman, Roelof Smit, Manie Libbok.
Backs: Divan Rossouw, Earll Douwrie, Cornal Hendricks, Rosko Specman, Jade Stighling, Burger Odendaal, Dylan Sage, Johnny Kotze, Stedman Gans, Manie Libbok, Marnitz Boshoff, Embrose Papier, Ivan van Zyl, Andre Warner.
Forwards: Tim Agaba, Fred Eksteen, Wihan Vosloo, Jaco Bezuidenhout, Ruan Steenkamp, Eduan Lubbe, Roelof Smit, Jean Drotste, Andries Ferreira, Ruan Nortje, Adri Smith, Marius Verwey, Wiehahn Herbst, Conraad van Vuuren, Madot Mabokela, Simphiwe Matanzima, Matthys Basson, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Jaco Visagie, Johan Grobbelaar
Fixtures: R1 Western Province (a), R2 Cheetahs (h), R3 Pumas (a), R4 Griquas (h), R5 Lions (a), R6 bye, R7 Sharks (h),
The Golden Lions finished third on the log last season with 4 wins and 2 defeats before they exited the competition away to the Sharks in the semi finals. They finished 9 points behind Western Province, 5 shy of the Sharks and 4 better off than the fourth placed Bulls.
Fixtures: R1 Pumas (h), R2 bye, R3 Western Province (a), R4 Cheetahs (a), R5 Blue Bulls (h), R6 Sharks (h), R7 Griquas (a),
The Cheetahs resources were stretched to the limit in 2018 with priority given to the Pro 14 and they lost all 6 of their matches, picking up just 2 bonus points along the way. Having finished with the wooden spoon they had to contest the promotion / relegation play off, hosting SWD Eagles in Bloem and the Cheetahs avoided the drop with a 36-5 victory.
Fixtures: R1 bye, R2 Blue Bulls (a), R3 Griquas (h), R4 Lions (h), R5 Sharks (a), R6 Pumas (a), R7 Western Province (h),
The Pumas made a winning start at home to the Griquas last season but their only other win came away at the Cheetahs in Round 6 and they finished in fifth spot, 5 points shy of the fourth placed Blue Bulls.
Fixtures: R1 Lions (a), R2 Griquas (a), R3 Blue Bulls (h), R4 Sharks (h), R5 Western Province (a), R6 Cheetahs (h)
The Griquas won just 1 match last season, at home to the Cheetahs. They were involved in a number of high scoring matches and they had all sorts of problems defensively, conceding a total of 37 tries and 252 points in finishing sixth of the seven teams. This season the Griquas did win the recently concluded Supersport Rugby Challenge, beating the Pumas in the final.
Fixtures: R1 Sharks (a), R2 Pumas (h), R3 Cheetahs (a), R4 Blue Bulls (a), R5 bye, R6 Western Province (h), R7 Lions (h),
The shorter format deployed for last season’s tournament should lead to a scramble for play off places and that will certainly be the case if the bottom 3 in the betting have better tournaments than their current best quotes suggest.
Hanrick, one of the regular guests on our weekly rugby betting show, The Handicap, was quick to point out value about the Pumas and also the Cheetahs and Griquas who’s odds with Hollywoodbets have subsequently shortened but are still significantly better than other books and could well be the way forward for those looking for an outright play.
Super Rugby may be over but we will have individual match previews of every Curie Cup and Rugby Championship game as we continue our build up to the Rugby World Cup.
Remember you can have your own say on all this week’s matches on our discussion forum