Rugby: ABSA Currie Cup: Week Three Preview

Graham LevertonContributor IJuly 29, 2011

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 16: Western Province centre Tim Whitehead attempts to break through Griquas lock Hendrik Roodt and Griquas prop Steph Roberts' tackle during the Absa Currie Cup match between DHL Western Province and GWK Griquas at DHL Newlands Stadium on July 16, 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

Week three was an interesting week indeed, with some notable "upsets" taking place. Firstly, the win by the Lions against Griquas was not entirely unexpected.

However, what was unexpected was the massive margin of victory put forth by the men in red and white. They made it look easy in racking up a 11-49 scoreline in one of the hardest venues in the country was impressive.

The Lions have definitely made a massive statement with this win.

The Bulls also somewhat surprisingly won against the more fancied Cheetahs outfit, winning with a close fought 33-30 encounter at Loftus.

What was impressive was the spirit and way the Bulls rallied back to win from 3-17 down. The win will definitely settle the nerves among this young side for the rest of the competition.

Western Province showed glimpses in their 9-47 victory against the Leopards, easily picking up the bonus point in the process.

The Sharks were also given a major scare against the Pumas, who have definitely been the unluckiest team in the competition so far.

The Sharks, like the Lions a week earlier, will consider themselves fortunate to come back from Mpumalanga with the win. Still, a "win is a win" as the old saying goes, and they will take it.

Here are my previews/predictions for this weekend's action:

Friday, 29 July

Pumas vs Griquas, 7pm

The Pumas will be confident coming off the back of two very narrow defeats. However, it won't be enough to stop a Griquas outfit who will be wanting to bounce back after their mauling to the Lions. Griquas to win a close encounter by less then ten points.

Saturday, 30 July

Sharks vs Cheetahs, 3pm

The Cheetahs have been regarded as the Sharks' "bogey" team, and expect this to continue on Saturday with the Cheetahs winning a very close encounter by about five points.

Lions vs Leopards, 5pm

The Lions will be brimming with confidence after their demolition last week. Expect the Leopards to get the same treatment with the Lions cruising to a win by about 25 points.

Western Province vs Bulls, 5pm

By far the hardest choice of the weekend, the North/South rivalry will be its usual bruising affair. It could really go either way. The Bulls will be tough to beat, but home ground advantage will swing it. Province to win by less then seven points.