Midweek Currie Cup action: Lions desperate to win at Kimberley
The Lions’ Currie Cup side will be hoping to build on the efforts of their United Rugby Championship and U20 sides and try to clinch their first victory of the competition against Griquas at Kimberley on Wednesday afternoon (kick-off 3.30pm) .
The Lions’ URC side ended a five-game losing streak with victory over Cardiff on Sunday, while the U20 side continued their winning streak with a third straight win in the junior competition, this time against Province of the West, to remain the only undefeated. side in the competition.
The Lions Currie Cup side will therefore be eager to get some of that feeling of victory as well with them at the bottom of the log, having lost all four games so far.
And it doesn’t get any easier for the Joburg-based team. They face a tough challenge in a strong side from Griquas, who on their home turf in Kimberley are still extremely dangerous, but the visitors will hope to capitalize on the momentum provided by URC and juniors.
They have also been bolstered by the arrival of experienced prop JP Smith, loose forward Emmanuel Tshituka, winger Rabz Maxwane and full-back EW Viljoen.
The team will be led by experienced Jannie du Plessis, with regular captain Asenathi Ntlabakanye playing on the bench this week.
In Bloemfontein and Pretoria
The day’s other games see the table-top Cheetahs host Western Province at Bloemfontein (5.45pm), while second on the paper Sharks travel to Pretoria to take on third-placed Bulls at Loftus (8pm).
The Cheetahs, who have had a superb start to the competition, will be the heavy favorites to earn another win over Western Province and will likely be looking for a bonus point to go along with that result.
The Bulls game against the Sharks will be interesting as both teams have shown their willingness to play their URC stars in the Currie Cup. Among the URC regulars in action for the Bulls are Kurt-Lee Arendse, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Madosh Tambwe, Arno Botha and Cyle Brink, back from injury.
On this occasion though, the Sharks will be pushing a team minus their URC regulars into battle, as they, like the big four franchises, have a big URC game this coming weekend.