Dillyn Leyds and his WP are up against 'Cheetahs-lite' this weekend. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Dillyn Leyds and his WP are up against 'Cheetahs-lite' this weekend. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Round 1 of the MTN8 Semi's are on Saturday and Sunday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Round 1 of the MTN8 Semi's are on Saturday and Sunday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

DURBAN – Yes, the Currie Cup has started, but the main contenders only start their campaigns this week. It’s a new format this year, which has made it pretty tasty – with each game being practically a knockout game.

Lions v Griquas kick-off the Lions’ season, and they are keen on revenge after coming up short in the semi-finals against the eventual champions Western Province last year. Bank on a win fresh out the gates for the manne from the city of gold.

Sharks host the Bulls, and this is the pick of the weekend. I’m sure senior Du Preez is eyeing this one for sure, and will rotate his squad accordingly, less the local Bok boys. 

I must go against the grain here and favour the blue boys to give ‘us’ the wake up we may need first up – and provide the season’s first upset.

Province are up against Cheetahs-lite, and you should go with Prooooooovince, spread and all.

Siya and his Boks need to build momentum in Mendoza on Saturday. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Siya and his Boks need to build momentum in Mendoza on Saturday. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Our Boks are off to Mendoza and, as a young side, it will be great for momentum to go there and notch up a win before heading to Australia.

The team should hopefully galvanize on the tour of South America and, should they get a win, it may go a long way in putting up their best performance in the competition that could potentially lead into a great World Cup in 2019.

Let’s back our boys here at 5/10 for the win and with the spread at -7 points. That’s also a go at 9/10.

Talking Australia, they lost their way in the second half, but true to form the All Blacks made them pay with a killer second period.

Those puzzlers who panicked after 40 minutes, welcome to the waar!

This weekend should be no different, and the home team should be more disciplined and bring on their dazzling bench later in the game. I say ‘over’ on the total points of 56 points at 8/10 and the spread is 23 points. 

Bank on the Kiwis to do the business, and then send half a side to Argentina. They will send their big boys to Loftus.

The early-bird call from the Bones is the Boks to contend in at least one game against the All Blacks. Let’s hope it’s the first one, away, where it really counts. Rassie needs to go for broke in Wellington come September 15, one of three times we have to test ourselves against the best before the 2019 World Cup final.

Wink, wink!

Crusaders prop, Owen Franks, will play his 100th test for the All Blacks on Saturday. Photo: David Rowland/EPA
Crusaders prop, Owen Franks, will play his 100th test for the All Blacks on Saturday. Photo: David Rowland/EPA

New Zealand needs contenders, so it is up to the Boks to play that role in the next two years. Test rugby is in dire need for the best to be pushed.
Hell, world rugby needs it, now that England have clanged it.

In domestic Kiwi action, Bay of Plenty could be the team to watch and Canterbury have a whole new setup and may struggle, so look out for some nice prices on teams to upset the former giants. I’ll keep you in the know ska’wari (don’t worry).

Onto football, both local and in England look like they may be quite a treat this weekend. Starting local, Eric Tinkler – the interim coach specialist – is back for another stint as he replaced Dan Malesela at Chippa United this week.

Madness!

There is no PSL this week – which is absurd, considering we just got the season kicked off. But the big money MTN 8 semi-finals are on.

With no KZN teams in the mix, we are hoping for an upset here, there and anywhere!

Cape Town City host the Mamelodi boys who never let the sun go down, and the home side will have to make the most of their advantage. The second semi is so far away, they may need a reminder that they are still in the competition! How useless is that, playing a second leg semi so far apart from the first semi?! 

Sorry Safa or MTN, make a plan and review this nonsense asseblief?

'Get in the hole!' They shout. Tiger's on the prowl at the Northern Trust. Photo: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
'Get in the hole!' They shout. Tiger's on the prowl at the Northern Trust. Photo: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Otherwise, the Tiger noise is back on full blast – and the Big Cat disciples will hope he makes the right noises at the Northern Trust Open this weekend.

In other messy business, the Indians are making a comeback in their Test series in England, which should make the last two Tests very tasty. Don’t be a woggler on this one – bank on Virat and his cronies to give the colonialists one hell of a scare!

The Bones – freezing cold – are over and out like the Pommie top order!

 Sanele Tshabalala


The Mercury

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