ABSA Currie Cup First Division Preview – Semi-finals

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THE race for Absa Currie Cup First Division honours reaches the do-or-die stage on Friday when the four best teams in this year’s expanded eight-team competition meet in the semi-finals, both of which will be televised live.

The stakes couldn’t be higher, as this year’s finalists will not only have a chance of being crowned First Division champions but also earn the right to play in a promotion-relegation match against the bottom team in the Premier Division.

In the first semi-final, the Ford Pumas, who finished second on the final log behind the EP Kings, whom they drew against home and away, host the Griffons in Nelspruit in a repeat of last week’s round-robin match at the same venue.

The Griffons came away from Mbombela Stadium with a morale-boosting 39-29 win last Friday to take them to third on the log and so ensure the men from Welkom would return to the Lowveld for a shot at playing in next Saturday’s final.

In the second semi-final, the unbeaten EP Kings host the fourth-placed Leopards in Port Elizabeth, having beaten them 23-20 in Potchefstroom last week and 20-12 in the first-round match played at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in August.

Leopards flyhalf André Pretorius finished top of the First Division point-scoring log after the round-robin stages, with 154 points made up of 44 conversions, 20 penalties and two drop goals. Behind Pretorius in second place on 147 is Ford Pumas flyhalf JC Roos, with SWD Eagles fullback third on 133.

Leopards wing Allister Kettledas finished top of the try-scoring table after the round-robin stages, with 13 touchdowns. Behind him in second place was EP Kings eighthman Luke Watson with 12, with Ford Pumas centre JW Jonker third on 10.

This weekend’s fixtures – Semi-finals:

 

Ford Pumas vs Griffons

Date: Friday, 5 October

Kick-off: 16:30

Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge

Assistants: Joey Salmans, Stefan Breytenbach

Television Match Official: Johan Greeff

Last meeting: Last Friday (28 Sept) in Nelspruit (Second round): Griffons won 39-29

EP Kings vs Leopards

Date: Friday, 5 October

Kickoff: 19:10

Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

Referee: Sindile Mayende

Assistants: Quinton Immelman, Christie du Preez

Television Match Official: Johann Meuwesen

Last meeting: Last Friday (28 Sept) in Potchefstroom (Second round): Kings won 23-20

Round 14 results:

 

Leopards 20-23 EP Kings

SWD Eagles 45-11 Valke

Ford Pumas 29-39 Griffons

Regent Boland Kavaliers 43-24 Border Bulldogs

 

 

Round 13 results:

 

Border Bulldogs 40-43 Leopards

EP Kings 26-26 Ford Pumas

Griffons 50-49 SWD Eagles

Valke 52-52 Regent Boland Kavaliers (world record for a draw in first-class rugby)

 

Round 12 results:

 

Regent Boland Kavaliers 38-42 SWD Eagles

Ford Pumas 41-10 Border Bulldogs

Leopards 57-22 Valke

EP Kings 60-19 Griffons

 

Round 11 results:

 

Border Bulldogs 19-35 Eastern Province Kings

SWD Eagles 64-34 Leopards

Valke 22-29 Ford Pumas

Griffons 54-37 Regent Boland Kavaliers

 

Round 10 results:

 

Border Bulldogs 33-53 Griffons

EP Kings 45-24 Valke

Leopards 39-34 Regent Boland Kavaliers

Ford Pumas 70-27 SWD Eagles

 

Round 9 results:

 

Regent Boland Kavaliers 33-36 Ford Pumas

SWD Eagles 7-29 EP Kings

Valke 38-36 Border Bulldogs

Leopards 32-38 Griffons

 

 

Round 8 results:

 

Ford Pumas 38-27 Leopards

EP Kings 57-19 Regent Boland Kavaliers

Border Bulldogs 27-33 SWD Eagles

Griffons 36-39 Valke

Round 7 results:

 

Griffons 34-67 Ford Pumas

Border Bulldogs 32-39 Regent Boland Kavaliers

Valke 22-47 SWD Eagles

EP Kings 20-12 Leopards

 

 

Round 6 results:

Leopards 53-28 Border Bulldogs

Regent Boland Kavaliers 79-26 Valke

SWD Eagles 20-13 Griffons

Ford Pumas 30-30 EP Kings

 

Round 5 results:

 

Griffons 10-34 EP Kings

 

Valke 22-51 Leopards

 

SWD Eagles 21-21 Regent Boland Kavaliers

 

Border Bulldogs 18-51 Ford Pumas

 

 

Round 4 results:

 

EP Kings 56-5 Border Bulldogs

 

Regent Boland Kavaliers 20-23 Griffons

 

Leopards 68-35 SWD Eagles

 

Ford Pumas 36-35 Valke

 

 

Round 3 results:

 

Valke 20-37 EP Kings

SWD Eagles 22-16 Ford Pumas

Griffons 29-24 Border Bulldogs

Regent Boland Kavaliers 21-23 Leopards

 

Round 2 results:

 

EP Kings 38-15 SWD Eagles

 

Border Bulldogs 11-33 Valke

 

Ford Pumas 33-10 Regent Boland Kavaliers

 

Griffons 41-20 Leopards

 

 

Round 1 results:

Regent Boland Kavaliers 20-25 EP Kings

SWD Eagles 46-8 Border Bulldogs

Leopards 32-23 Ford Pumas

Valke 27-37 Griffons

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