The Currie Cup season has reached its climax and the undefeated Cheetahs take on the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup final on Saturday 22 October 2016.
The Cheetahs are one game away from a perfect season. They are in incredible form notching up their 9th win of the season, after winning 8 from 8 in the round robin phase, with an impressive victory over the defending champions. The Lions had no match for the Cheetahs intensity and attacking style of play. The Cheetahs won the semi-final 55-17 running in 6 tries, with Sergeal Petersen scoring a hat trick.
The Bulls are second on the Currie Cup log with six wins from eight matches. Their two losses this season came against the defending champions the Lions and the log leading Cheetahs. The Bulls won a very tight semi-final 36- 30 against Western Province and will travel to Bloemfontien as underdogs, but quietly confident that they have the fire power to upset the Cheetahs at home.
The Cheetahs played the Bulls in round 2 of the competition and won comfortably 43-20, outscoring the Bulls by 6 tries to 2.
The Blue Bulls last won the Currie cup in 2009, when they defeated the Cheetahs 36-24. The Cheetahs last lifted the trophy in 2007 when they beat the Golden Lions.
These two teams have played each other 4 times in Currie Cup finals in the last 12 years, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009. The Bulls have won 2, the Cheetahs one and there has been one draw.
Blue Bulls v Free State in Currie Cup finals:
1973: Northern Transvaal 30-22 Orange Free State
1975: Orange Free State 6-12 Northern Transvaal
1977: Northern Transvaal 27-12 Orange Free State
1978: Orange Free State 9-13 Northern Transvaal
1981: Northern Transvaal 21-6 Orange Free State
2004: Blue Bulls 42-33 Free State Cheetahs
2005: Blue Bulls 25-29 Free State Cheetahs
2006: Free State Cheetahs 28-28 Blue Bulls
2009: Blue Bulls 36-24 Free State Cheetahs
“South African derbies tend to be tough and uncompromising and seeing that we are playing for the ultimate prize in domestic rugby, this one will be even more so. We are determined though to reward our hard work during the season and to reward our fans with a performance we all can be proud of.” Blue Bulls captain Arno Botha
The Bulls will head into the final as underdogs, but have the team to cause an upset. The Bulls still rely on their traditional strength of a forward dominance but have developed a new attacking style of play, led by the strong ball carrier in Burger Odendall, dynamic Jamba Ulengo and all-rounder Beyers at full back.
The Cheetahs are playing an attractive, attacking style of rugby and are in tremendous form. Their back three of Petersen, Blommetjies and Rhule are deadly on attack. The whole team are full of confidence and will head into the Final as favourites.
With an undefeated season, home ground advantage and a team full of confidence we predict the Cheetahs to win by 8.
Here are the betting odds for Final this weekend.
|Free State Cheetahs (7/20)||v||Blue Bulls (5/2)||Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein|
Please note betting odds quoted are correct at time of publication and are subject to change. View the latest currie cup betting odds
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais
Substitutes: Jacques du Toit, Ox Nche, Armandt Koster, Henco Venter, Tian Meyer, Fred Zeilinga, Rayno Benjamin, Conrad van Vuuren
15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Arno Botha (captain), 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Substitutes: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Martin Dreyer, 18 Pierre Schoeman, 19 Nic de Jager, 20 Hanro Liebenberg, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 Bjorn Basson
Date: Saturday, October 22
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Assistant Referees: TBA