Saturday's action in Round 6 of the Currie Cup sees the Cheetahs head to Nelspruit to take on the Pumas, an opportunity for the visitors to strengthen their hand in the race for play off places.
Pumas v Cheetahs, Saturday 17th August, Nelspruit, Kick Off 14:00
Weather Forecast - Nelspruit
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Jaco Pretorius, Eduan Nel
Television match official: Christie du Preez
This is the final game of the campaign for the Pumas who are no longer in contention for a play off place. Last week's 45-14 defeat away to Western Province leaves the Pumas with a record of 1 win and 4 defeats and they are currently bottom of the log with 7 points, 2 shy of the sixth placed Blue Bulls.
The Pumas only win this season arrived in Round 4 at home to the Sharks. Despite being given an 8.5 point start on the handicap by the bookmakers they caused a surprise in winning the game 27-20. The Pumas trailed 17-9 at half time but turned things around in the second half.
In earlier results the Pumas lost 25-17 at home to the Blue Bulls in Round 3, 37-29 away to the Griquas in Round 2 and 38-37 away to the Golden Lions in Round 1.
Free State Cheetahs:
After winning their first 2 matches in handsome style the Cheetahs have stumbled, losing their 2 most recent outings. Last week they went down 27-20 away to the Sharks in Durban, a game they started as favoutites to win whilst in Round 4 they coughed upa 19-0 lead to lose 24-22 at home to the Golden Lions
In earlier rounds the Cheetahs thrashed the Griquas 68-14 in Bloem, running in 10 tries. They began their campaign away to the Blue Bulls in Round 2 where they came away with a 43-27 victory.
The Cheetahs finished last week in third place in the standings with 12 points from 4 matches, 3 behind the top 2 sides, Griquas and Golden Lions. Earlier this week the Cheetahs were trading at a top price of 33/10 to win the trophy with Hollywoodbets
Remaining Fixtures: Western Province (h)
Recent Head to Head
2018 Cheetahs 14-42 Pumas
2017 Cheetahs 33-32 Pumas
2017 Pumas 34-45 Cheetahs
2016 Pumas 10-52 Cheetahs
2015 Pumas 37-37 Cheetahs
2014 Cheetahs 17-31 Pumas
2014 Pumas 28-21 Cheetahs
Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Morné Joubert, 13 Alwayno Visagie, 12 Henko Marais, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Christopher Smith, 9 Ashlon Davids, 8 Jeandre Rudolph, 7 Hermanus du Preez, 6 Jeandre Rudolph (captain), 5 Stefan Willemse, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Marne Coetzee, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Hilton Lobberts, 19 Phumzile Maqondwana, 20 Ginter Smuts, 21 Jacobus Marais, 22 Ruwellyn Isbell, 23 Ngonidzashe Chidoma.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Tian Meyer (captain), 10 Louis Fouche, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 JP du Preez, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Schalk van der Merwe
Substitutes: 16. Joseph Dweba, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Erich de Jager, 19 Sitnu Manjesi, 20 Abongile Nonkontwana, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Dian Badenhorst, 23 Tapiwa Mafura
The Betting - Handicap
Pumas +12.5 points at 9/10 widely available
Cheetahs -12.5 points at 9/10 widely available
Note, odds quoted are correct at the time of last update but are subject to change.
The Pumas focus turns to avoiding the wooden spoon and a promotion / relegation play off so this is no dead rubber for the home side. Meanwhile the Cheetahs will want a 5 log pointer from this trip to strengthen their hand ahead of a crunch home fixture against Western Province so it should be aa decent contest even though calling the handicap is troubling me.
I'll work on the assumption at some stage later in the game one side will have to throw caution to the wind to achieve their onbjective and we will see more points in the second half than we do in the first.
Bet: Highest scoring half, 2nd half 5/6 with WSB
(Unit scale 1-5)
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