Sharks slip into fourth, but Currie Cup still wide open

2014-09-01 00:00

THE Currie Cup moves into the midway mark of the group stages this week and the tournament is still wide open for the top five sides.

Most coaches will say the Currie Cup is not won in August, but September has arrived and the top five teams on the log are only separated by six points.

As it stands, Western Province rule the roost with four wins in as many games, while the Lions are biting at their heels in second place on the log with just one loss in their four matches.

The Sharks have unfortunately slipped into fourth place after losing 32-22 to a strong and spirited Pumas outfit on Friday night, who moved into third place.

The Cheetahs, Bulls, Griquas and EP Kings slot into the last four spots on the log respectively.

Province are clearly the team to beat in the competition and have not looked like losing so far. Their defence has been solid and they have some of the most exciting backs in the tournament. A particular stand-out is young Blitzbok Seabela Senatla.

The Lions have also been strong in the opening rounds and their loose trio has been a big part of their success, with captain Warren Whiteley, Derick Minnie and Jaco Kriel leading the charge in that respect.

The Sharks have also been front runners up until their loss on Friday night. The young and exuberant side were somewhat shell-shocked by a determined Pumas side who were playing in front of their home crowd at Mbombela Stadium.

Nevertheless, Brad Macleod-Henderson’s Sharks have still only lost one game and will take stock of areas where they struggled. They will still be confident having a settled backline and will be looking for better ways to utilise their mobile forward pack.

The Cheetahs are in the middle of the pack and are beginning to find their form. As the Currie Cup progresses, they will no doubt pose a big challenge.

The remaining three sides have had a tough time and one has to feel for Griquas, who have not won a match despite putting in some quality performances.

The Bulls have struggled in the opening rounds having only won one of four games. They seem to be finding their feet though and lost narrowly to Western Province this weekend.

EP Kings have had a torrid start to the season. They have not been whipping boys, but have lacked some fire upfront and looked a bit lost without their captain Luke Watson, who has missed two games so far and will miss more after suffering a concussion two weeks ago.

Six rounds remain in the Currie Cup before the knockout stages in October. The Sharks host the Griquas in Durban this Saturday.

Currie Cup Results

Pumas 32 Sharks 22

Griquas 25 Free State 36

Bulls 18 Province 23

EP Kings 22 Lions 41.

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