The first of Saturday's Currie Cup matches comes from Loftus where the log leading Bulls take on the Cheetahs.
Blue Bulls v Cheetahs, Saturday 5th December, Pretoria, KO 16:30 (South African time)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron and Paul Mente
TMO: Johan Greeff
Weather Forecast – Pretoria
The Bulls won the Super Rugby Unlocked title and carried on the good work in last week's Currie Cup opening round with a 22-20 win away to Western Province. The Bulls started that game slight underdogs but the betting suggested it would be close and so it proved with WP leading 10-5 at the break and a converted try 3 minutes from the hooter saw the Bulls edge it.
It was some achievement for the Bulls who had been reduced to 14 men due to a harsh red card. They have a 3 point lead over the Sharks at the top of the standings and they now take aim at the Cheetahs who were the only side to beat them in Super Rugby Unlocked.
Bulls SRU Results
R1 Griquas (h) won 30-23, R2 Cheetahs (a) lost 19-17, R3 Sharks (h) won 41-14, R4 Stormers (h) won 39-6, R5 Lions (a) won 30-25, R6 bye, R7 Pumas (h) won 21-5.
Blue Bulls Currie Cup Fixtures and Results
R1 Western Province (a) won 22-20, R2 Cheetahs (h), R3 Sharks (a), R4 Griquas (a), R5 Lions (h), R6 bye, R7 Pumas (a)
The Cheetahs were on a bye last week and they have plenty to do to defend the Curie Cup title they won in 2019. With SRU log points carried forward they come into this game 10 points behind the Bulls but they do have a game in hand. They have an even split of home and away fixtures to make up the ground after the SRU campaign delivered 3 wins, 2 defeats and 1 draw from a cancelled visit to the Lions.
Cheetahs SRU Results
R1 Pumas (h) won 53-31, R2 Bulls (h) won 19-17, R3 Lions (a) cancelled, draw, R4 bye, R5 Sharks (a) lost 19-13, R6 Stormers (a) lost 30-13, R7 Griquas (h) won 28-9.
Cheetahs Currie Cup Fixtures and Results
R1 bye, R2 Bulls (a), R3 Lions (h), R4 Pumas (a), R5 Sharks (h), R6 Western Province (h), R7 Griquas (a)
Bulls: 15 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 14 David Kriel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Marnus Potgieter
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rhyno Smith, 13 Howard Mnisi, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 Victor Sekekete, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Carl Wegner (captain), 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Boan Venter.
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Cameron Dawson, 18 Erich de Jager, 19 Chris Massyn, 20 George Cronjé, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Reinhardt Fortuin, 23 William Small-Smith
Recent Head to Head
2020 Cheetahs 19-17 Bulls (Tries 1-1) (SRU)
2017 Pretoria Bulls 20-14 Cheetahs (Tries 2-1)
2017 Bloemfontein Cheetahs 34-28 Bulls (Tries 4-3)
2016 Bloemfontein Cheetahs 17-43 Bulls (Tries 2-5)
2016 Pretoria Bulls 23-18 Cheetahs (Tries 3-2)
2019 Blue Bulls 27-43 Cheetahs
2018 Cheetahs 12-34 Blue Bulls
2017 Cheetahs 36-64 Blue Bulls
2017 Blue Bulls 40-41 Cheetahs
2016 Cheetahs 36–16 Blue Bulls (Final)
2016 Cheetahs 43–20 Blue Bulls
Bulls -8..5 points at 17/20
Cheetahs +10.5 points at 9/10
Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.
I set this handicap at -7.5 in my weekly handicapping exercise and although the cap is set very much where I expected I find myself leaning towards the Bulls on the minus. Their comeback last week in Cape Town was seriously impressive and I feel the Cheetahs are a bit stretched and will struggle to live with the Bulls over 80 minutes.
My main focus will be on the points lines when they are out but for now I am snapping up some -85 Bulls as have a feeling that won't be available tomorrow,
Bet: 4 units (of 10) Bulls -8.5 at 17/20 at Playabets
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