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Nic Ladds 30th Oct 2009 - 10:04

A spicy finale awaits in the Currie Cup

Through 58 gruelling matches just two teams remain in the quest for the Currie Cup and it is the Blue Bulls at odds of 2/9 who hold favouritism over the determined, scrappers at 17/5 the Cheetahs.

Both these sides had to contest their semi-final matches away from home with the Cheetahs edging out first place finishers, the Sharks, while the Bulls saw off Western Province after a kicking masterclass by international fly-half, Morne Steyn.

History tells us that this is going to be very close indeed and punters may want to look to a winning margin to the Bulls of 1-5 points at 6/1 rather than the favoured 11-15 at 9/2, while the narrowest winning margin to the Cheetahs is 15/2.

When you look at the previous Currie Cup clashes between these two you will see why they are too close to call. The pair met in a trio of clashes from 2004-2006, where the Bulls came off the best the first time around, after which the Cheetahs levelled at Loftus Versfeld when a last minute error from the Bulls handed the Cheetahs a last minute try to win 29-25 and the final clash ended in a 28-28 draw.

A few quid on the 20/1 draw this time could catch some punters' eye, while with the handicap giving the Cheetahs a 9 point head start at 10/11, it looks a margin that they can stay within.

The Bulls of course do have a host of Springbok internationals in their side which could be the difference as with Bryan Habana (9/1 for first try) on the wing, Morne Steyn (20/1) taking the kicks, a number 8 of the calibre of Pierre Spies (16/1) and a second row pairing of Bakkies Botha (40/1) and Victor Matfield (40/1) is shows that they have huge strength in virtually every area.

The Cheetah's are no mugs though and Jacque - Louis Potgieter (33/1 to go over first) also kicked his side to glory last time and will want to be remembered in his last game for the side.

Heinrich Brussow (25/1) is going to be a key man in the Cheetah's pack, while number 8 Ashley Johnson (25/1) can match Spies in athleticism, while any front row that has South African legend Os du Randt coaching them are going to be a match for anyone and there are some intriguing battles to be had.

Discipline could be paramount and whoever gives away the least penalties could come off best and interestingly it is the outsiders who have given away the least penalties this season, just 129 - 23 less than their rivals.

As said before, this should be a lot closer than the odds suggest with these two old rivals battling once again for supremacy. With so many crucial clashes in different areas of the pitch it could be a war of attrition and while the Cheetahs should be able to stay in the handicap of 9, a victory by 1-5 points to the Bulls at 6/1 looks the call but the plaudits could well be going once again to the boot of Morne Steyn.


Bulls to win by 1-5 points - 6/1


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