Absa Currie Cup First Division Preview – Round 9

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The Pumas taken on the Boland Kavaliers and will want to keep the Eastern Province Kings under pressure at the top of the log. Photo by Hilton Kotzé /Rugby15.

THE Ford Pumas will want to keep the pressure on log leaders the Eastern Province Kings when they travel to Worcester on Friday to play defending champions the Regent Boland Kavaliers in the first of four crucial Absa Currie Cup First Division matches this weekend.

The Pumas, with five wins from their eight matches to date, have 28 log points – seven behind the unbeaten Kings – and the men from Mpumalanga will be hoping to come away from Boland Park with a full haul of five log points to stay within striking distance of the leaders.

The Kavaliers, meanwhile, looked to have recovered from a nightmare start to their title defence when they posted morale-boosting victories over the Valke and Border Bulldogs after losing their first four matches and drawing the fifth.

However, they were brought down to earth last week in Port Elizabeth, going down 57-19 to the Kings, and nothing less than victory in Worcester is likely to keep the Kavaliers in the play-off hunt.

In Friday’s other match, the third-placed SWD Eagles host the Kings in George in an all-Southern Kings affair – a match which will surely be watched with much interest by, amongst others, the Pumas.

Saturday’s action sees the fourth-placed Leopards at home in Potch to the fifth-placed Griffons, while the Valke entertain the Border Bulldogs in Kempton Park in a bottom-of-the-table encounter.

Eastern Province Kings flyhalf George Whitehead tops the First Division point-scoring log after Round 8, with 91 points made up of three tries, 17 conversions and 14 penalties. Breathing down Whitehead’s neck in second place is Leopards flyhalf Andrè Pretorius on 81, with the Pumas’ JC Roos third on 71.

Leopards wing Allister Kettledas still leads the try-scoring stakes with eight touchdowns, while Leopards teammates Danie Dames and Philip de Wet, as well JW Bell of the Valke each have seven tries to their name.

This weekend’s fixtures – Round 9:


Regent Boland Kavaliers  vs Ford Pumas

Date: Friday, 24 August

Kickoff: 15:00

Venue: Boland Park, Worcester

Referee: Jason Jaftha

Assistants: Rasta Rasivhenge, Linston Manuels

Television match official: Johan Meuwesen

Last meeting: 7 July in Nelspruit (First round): Pumas won 33-10

SWD Eagles  vs Eastern Province Kings

Date: Friday, 24 August

Kickoff: 19:10

Venue: Outeniqua Park, George

Referee: Quinton Immelman

Assistants: Joey Salmans, Daniel Fortuin

Television match official: Deon van Blommenstein

Last meeting: 6 July in Port Elizabeth (First round): Kings won 38-15

Leopards vs Griffons

Date: Saturday, 25 August

Kickoff: 15:00

Venue: Profert Olën Park, Potchefstroom

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan

Assistants: Gerrie de Bruin, James van Oudtshoorn

Last meeting: 7 July in Welkom (First round): Griffons won 41-20

Valke vs Border Bulldogs

Date: Saturday, 25 August

Kickoff: 15:00

Venue: Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park

Referee: Tiaan Jonker

Assistants: Lesego Legoete, Pieter de Villiers

Last meeting: 6 July in East London (First round): Valke won 33-11

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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