Tyler Paul of the Sharks scores a try evades challenge from Dillyn Leyds of Western Province. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

DURBAN – The Currie Cup semifinals are upon us, after average matches last week. 

These games will be enhanced with the boost of returning Boks, which should raise the tempo. The Sharks play hosts to the Lions, in potentially their last home game. Sharks' young team looks good this year and shouldn’t disappoint come tomorrow afternoon, where I see them winning by 8 to 15 points.

In the second knockout game, Province is playing against the Bulls. The hosts are the form side and it will take a hell of an effort to stop them hosting this year’s final. The Bulls may suffer an over fifteen point loss here, and should concentrate on getting a new coach for 2019.

Kobus van Wyk of the Sharks in action against Western Province. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Kobus van Wyk of the Sharks in action against Western Province. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

It’s also the Mitre 10 Cup semifinals out of New Zealand, where this morning Tasman is hosting Canterbury. The hosts have looked the business this year, but the returning All Black players may tip this one the way of the visitors.

The other Premiership game is Auckland playing Wellington, which can go either way. The hosts deserve this win after the season they have endured, but The Lions may be stronger with their All Blacks returning.

In the Championship, it’s Waikato versus Northland. Waikato should put a couple tries past their visitors, as they have one foot in the door to promotion. The other game is Otago playing Hawkes Bay, where I see the visitors getting up in a close game.

Waisake Naholo (centre) of the All Blacks is tackled by Dane Haylett-Petty (left) and Bernard Foley of the Wallabies during the first Bledisloe Cup rugby match. Photo: Dan Himbrechts/EPA
The availability of All Blacks will strengthen the team in the Mitre 10 Cup semi-finals. Photo: Dan Himbrechts/EPA

Moving right along to the local football, where we have some tasty Telkom Knockout action this weekend. In some classic match ups, we have Baroka versus Golden Arrows, which could very likely be a stalemate situation with extra time.

Then Sundowns play hosts to Celtic, where the visitors won’t lie down. Given the team strengths, the venue and a knockout, I’d bank on Sundowns doing the business here. Then locally we have Maritzburg taking on Highlands, where you can bank on the capital team to gain promotion.

There is also Pirates playing Chippa, in a game that will give some drama. You can back the boys in black to come through. Then on Sunday Chiefs play Black Leopards, where the home team should win but beware of the visitors, who potentially could cause an upset.

Promise Mkhuma of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Denwin Farmer of Maritzburg United in their September match. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Promise Mkhuma of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Denwin Farmer of Maritzburg United in their September match. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

In the English Premiership, it’s a weekend full of intriguing football. Kicking it all off is Chelsea hosting United.

This will be an interesting game with all the controversy surrounding the visitors and a manager under the pump. Chelsea is flying high and should be confident of winning this game. The bookies have Chelsea as odds on favourites and Man U at a ridiculous price of almost 4/1.

In other games Bournemouth play Southampton and Spurs visit West Ham, in a London derby. Look for goals at both ends in both fixtures with Bournemouth and Spurs being the likely winners.

Lastly the NBA is back! It’s hard to go against Golden State Warriors doing a 3-peat this year, but let us see if King James and his new Lakers team can shake it up.

Sangoma Out!


The Mercury

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