ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division Preview – Final Round

Oct 11 • General News, South Africa • 2693 Views • Comments Off on ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division Preview – Final Round

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Raymond Rhule of the Toyota Free State Cheetahs on the run. Photo by Jako Pienaar.

THE final round of the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing in years, with the spectre of possible relegation hanging over the same four teams who are still in the running for the two remaining semi-final places.

In an unprecedented scenario, even DHL Western Province, currently in third, could find themselves last on the six-team log by the end of the weekend, should they lose at home to the Toyota Free State Cheetahs on Saturday and the results of the other two matches conspire against them.

In contrast, the Sharks, on 30 points, and the second-placed MTN Golden Lions, on 28, are guaranteed of hosting home semi-finals in Durban and Johannesburg next weekend, but who their opponents will be is impossible to predict – as is the identity of the wooden-spoonists, who will have to fight for their Premier Division lives against the Eastern Province Kings in a promotion-relegation battle.

Only two points separate WP (20) and the bottom-placed Vodacom Blue Bulls (18) heading into the final round. And such is the range of permutations that not even a win for the Blue Bulls, or the fifth-placed Cheetahs for that matter, will guarantee that they don’t finish last.

The Sharks will want to seal top spot on the log – and a possible home final, should they get that far – when John Plumtree’s men host Griquas in Durban on Friday night. For the visitors, tied on 20 points with WP but with a poorer points differential, victory will tie up one of the remaining semi-final slots, leaving WP, the Cheetahs and Blue Bulls to fight it out for the other on Saturday.

A win for Griquas, coupled with a victory for WP against the Cheetahs in Saturday’s first game, in Cape Town, will confirm the four semi-finalists but leave the final match, between the defending champion Lions and Blue Bulls in Johannesburg, as a possible battle to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon.

But the above is but one of a number of scenarios, with a Cheetahs or Blue Bulls victory – or both! – leading to a completely different outcome. And if this season’s matches to date are anything to go by, nothing is certain and no team is safe.

Vodacom Blue Bulls flyhalf Louis Fouché tops the Premier Division point-scoring log after Round 9, with 135 points made up of 12 conversions, 35 penalties and 2 drop goals. Behind Fouché in tied second place on 110 is GWK Griquas flyhalf Francois Brummer, with Sharks centre Meyer Bosman third on 106.

Cheetahs wing Raymond Rhule tops the try-scoring table after Round 9 with eight touchdowns, with Sharks wing Odwa Ndungane and Griquas wing Rocco Jansen tied for second place, with seven tries apiece.

TEAM

P

W

L

D

PF

PA

TF

TA

BP -7

BP T

PTS

Sharks

9

6

3

0

250

230

27

18

2

4

30

Lions

9

6

3

0

256

229

24

23

0

4

28

WP

9

4

5

0

236

211

23

17

2

2

20

Griquas

9

4

5

0

247

271

28

30

1

3

20

Cheetahs

9

3

6

0

253

269

24

28

4

2

18

Blue Bulls

9

4

5

0

230

262

19

29

1

1

18

This weekend’s fixtures – Round 10:

Sharks vs GWK Griquas

Date: Friday, 12 October

Kickoff: 19:10

Venue: Mr Price Kings Park, Durban

Referee: Jaco Peyper

Assistants: Ben Crouse, Reuben Rossouw

Television Match Official: Shaun Veldsman

Last meeting: 8 September in Kimberley (First round): Griquas won 22-15

DHL Western Province vs Toyota Free State Cheetahs

Date: Saturday, 13 October

Kickoff: 17:05

Venue: Newlands, Cape Town

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan

Assistants: Marius Jonker, Linston Manuels

Television Match Official: Deon van Blommenstein

Last meeting: 8 September in Bloemfontein (First round): WP won 29-22

MTN Golden Lions vs Vodacom Blue Bulls

Date: Saturday, 13 October

Kickoff: 19:10

Venue: Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg

Referee: Craig Joubert

Assistants: Lourens van der Merwe, Stefan Breytenbach

Television Match Official: Johan Greeff

Last meeting: 8 September in Pretoria (First round): Lions won 32-23

Round 9 results:

 

Vodacom Blue Bulls 26-13 DHL Western Province

GWK Griquas 37-21 MTN Golden Lions

Toyota Free State Cheetahs 30-37 Sharks

 

 

Round 8 results:

 

Sharks 13-12 Vodacom Blue Bulls

Toyota Free State Cheetahs 35-20 GWK Griquas

DHL Western Province 9-22 MTN Golden Lions

 

 

Round 7 results:

 

DHL Western Province 45-21 GWK Griquas

Vodacom Blue Bulls 34-30 Toyota Free State Cheetahs

MTN Golden Lions 28-22 Sharks

Round 6 results:

 

Sharks 43-27 DHL Western Province

Toyota Free State Cheetahs 23-38 MTN Golden Lions

GWK Griquas 49-34 Vodacom Blue Bulls

 

Round 5 results:

 

Toyota Free State Cheetahs 22-29 DHL Western Province

Vodacom Blue Bulls 23-32 MTN Golden Lions

GWK Griquas 22-15 Sharks

 

 

Round 4 results:

 

MTN Golden Lions 32-42 GWK Griquas

Sharks 34-32 Toyota Free State Cheetahs

DHL Western Province 42-6 Vodacom Blue Bulls

 

Round 3 results:

 

Vodacom Blue Bulls 42-31 Sharks

MTN Golden Lions 26-23 DHL Western Province

GWK Griquas 16-29 Toyota Free State Cheetahs

 

Round 2 results:

Toyota Free State Cheetahs 32-18 Vodacom Blue Bulls

 

Sharks 30-14 MTN Golden Lions

 

GWK Griquas 20-25 DHL Western Province

 

 

Round 1 results:

Vodacom Blue Bulls 35-20 GWK Griquas

MTN Golden Lions 43-20 Toyota Free State Cheetahs

DHL Western Province 23-25 Sharks

 

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