This weekend promises to satisfy all rugby lovers. We have nearly 31 hours worth of rugby from Thursday through to Sunday. The Rugby Championship enters week two while the Currie Cup race starts to heat up. Add the ITM Cup, French Top 14 and Currie Cup 1st division and you have enough variety for all to enjoy. Everything from forward dominated rugby to the flair of back line rugby. No excuse if you are not happy with you see.
THE RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
The All Blacks and Wallabies will play each other in Auckland on Saturday, 25 August 2012, with kick-off at 09:35 South African time. Australia will miss both David Pocock and Sekope Kepu for this match due to injury. Quade Cooper does return, but this will not be enough to upset the All Blacks. The All Blacks has only made one change with Crocket coming in at prop. This is going to be the match of the weekend and should make for good attacking rugby. The All Blacks to win this with ease by 14 points.
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Ma’a Nonu, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Wyatt Crockett Substitutes: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Brodie Retallick, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Aaron Cruden, 22 Ben Smith
Australia: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Drew Mitchell, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia (captain), 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Nathan
Sharpe, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Benn Robinson Substitutes: TBC
At 21:10 Saturday eveni9ng Argentina welcomes the Springboks to Mendoza for their match. Both teams have made minor changes to their starting line-ups. It still promises to be a good battle up front with Argentina wanting to dominate this facet of the play. Do however expect some flair from the backs and if it opens up we are in for a treat. The Springboks do have the backs to run circles around Argentina, but the Pumas themselves can produce some flair as shown recently against France.
Argentina: 15 Martin Rodriguez, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Santiago Fernandez, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 TBA, 9 Nicolas Vergallo, 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Alvaro Galindo, 6 Julio Farias Cabello, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 Rodrigo
Roncero Substitutes (from): Marcos Ayerza, Martin Bustos Moyano, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Juan Imhoff, Martin Landajo, Tomas Leonardi, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Bruno Postiglioni, Nicolas Sanchez, Leonardo Senatore, Tomas Vallejos
South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner; 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss), 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Ruan Pienaar, 21 Patrick Lambie, 22 JJ Engelbrecht
CURRIE CUP PREMIER DIVISION
GWK Griquas will host the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Kimberley. Griquas are yet to win a game and will target this game to do just that. This is promising to be a good game as the rivalry between the two teams are big. The Cheetahs will welcome back Johan Goosen and this might just be the down fall of Griquas. it will be a game full of running as both teams posses brilliant backlines with lots of flair and ability. Kick-off at 15:oo on Saturday. The Cheetahs should win this one by 10 or more.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Robert Ebersohn (captain), 12 Barry Geel, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Kabamba Floors, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 Andries Ferreira, 4 Izak van der Westhuizen, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Trevor Nyakane. Substitutes: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Francois Uys, 19 Davon Raubenheimer, 20 Tewis du Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Nico Scheepers.
Griquas: 15. Willie le Roux, 14. Jannie Boshoff, 13. Stefan Watermeyer, 12. Walter Venter, 11. Rocco Jansen, 10. Francois Brummer, 9. Jacques Coetzee, 8. Leon Karemaker, 7. Justin Downey, 6. Wesley Wilkins, 5. Martin Muller, 4. Ligtoring Landman, 3. Lourens Adriaanse, 2. Ryno Barnes (captain), 1. Steph Roberts. Substitutes: 16. Matthew Dobson, 17. Janro van Niekerk, 18. Ivann Espag, 19. Frikkie Spies, 20. Chase Minnaar, 21. Marnus Hugo, 22. Marnitz Boshoff
Embattled Golden Lions will play hosts to Western Province at 17:00 on Saturday. The Lions have it all to play for and will welcome back Elton Jantjies at 10 with Butch James moving to inside centre. Western Province welcomes back Juan de Jongh and Siya Kolisi, with Dimitri Karakilis at flyhalf. WP should be able to win this game with ease, but the Lions are playing for pride if not anything else. They need this win to keep them motivated and focused with all that is happening of the field. I will be at the game and hope that it will be entertaining as these teams can make it.
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 JR Esterhuizen, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Butch James, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Joshua Strauss, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (captain)Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Willie Britz, 19 Jaco Kriel, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Deon Helberg, 22 Ruan Combrinck
Western Province: 15. Gio Aplon, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Juan de Jongh (vice-captain), 12. Marcel Brache, 11. Ederies Arendse, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Tyrone Holmes, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. De Kock Steenkamp, 4. Don Armand, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Deon Fourie (captain), 1. Steven Kitshoff. Substitutes: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 JP du Plessis, 22 Kurt Coleman
The Sharks will travel to Loftus Versfeld to take on the Blue Bulls at 19:00 on Saturday. The Sharks are unbeaten in this year’s Currie Cup and will look to extend that to 3 matches. The Bulls will want to come back from the lost they suffered last week. This has become a local derby that is always good to watch and is probably only outranked by the Bulls vs WP clash. The Sharks will come to play running rugby and by the look of it the Bulls can do the same. The Bulls are however known to draw into their shells should they be under pressure. The important facet of this game will be field kicking and forward play. The Sharks are favourite to win this one.
Blue Bulls: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Clayton Blommetjies, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 7 CJ Stander, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Dawie
Steyn. Substitutes: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Cornell Hess, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Rudi Paige, 21 Lionel Cronjé, 22 Jan Serfontein
Sharks: 15. Louis Ludik 14. Odwa Ndungane 13. Paul Jordaan 12. Marius Joubert 11. S’bura Sithole 10. Riaan Viljoen 9. Charl McLeod 8. Jacques Botes 7. Jean Deysel (Captain) 6. Francois Kleinhans 5. Anton
Bresler 4. Steven Sykes 3. Wiehahn Herbst 2. Monde Hadebe 1. Dale Chadwick. Substitutes: 16. Franco Marais 17. Julian Redelinghuys 18. Jandre Marais 19. Lubabalo “Tera” Mtembu 20. Brynard Stander 21. Cobus Reinach 22. Gouws Prinsloo
23 August 2012
Hawke’s bay vs Auckland – Auckland to win by 7
24 August 2012
Manawatu vs Wellington – Manawatu by 5
Tasman vs Canterbury – Canterbury by 12
Bay of Plenty vs Taranaki - Bay of Plenty by 6
25 August 2012
Otago vs Northland- Otago by 10
North Harbour vs Waikato – Waikato by 4
26 August 2012
Counties Manukau vs Southland – Southland by 10
FRENCH TOP 14
24 August 2012
Bordeaux Begles vs Perignan - Perpignan by 6
25 August 2012
Racing Metro 92 vs Toulon – Racing Metro 92 by 8 Montpellier vs Claremont Auvergne – Clermont Auvergne by 8
Toulouse vs Mont-de-Marsan - Toulouse by 8
Castres vs Grenoble – Castres by 7
Bayonne vs Stade Francais - Stade Francais by 9
Agen vs Bairritz – Biarritz by 6
CURRIE CUP 1ST DIVISION
24 August 2012
Regent Boland Kavaliers vs Ford Pumas – Boland by 7
SWD Eagles vs EP Kings – EP Kings by 14
25 August 2012 Leopards vs Griffons - Leopards by 10
Valke vs Border Bulldogs – Valke by 9
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