ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division Preview – Round 8

Sep 27 • General News, National • 2554 Views • Comments Off on ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division Preview – Round 8

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Photo by Bruce Taylor /Rugby15.

The race for play-off spots and home-ground advantage in the six-team Absa Currie Cup Premier Division hots up this weekend with only three rounds remaining for teams to break clear from the pack and book their places in the final four.

Six doesn’t go into four, and at this stage of the season it’s the bottom-of-the-table Toyota Free State Cheetahs, with just 12 points from their seven matches, who have the most ground to make up if they are to stake a semi-final claim.

Naka Drotské’s men are at home to fourth-placed GWK Griquas on Saturday, whom they trail by just three points. The Cheetahs will be looking for a similar performance to that which they delivered in Kimberley last month when they came away from GWK Park with a 29-16 win.

In Saturday’s other match – both of which kick off at the earlier time of 14:00 to accommodate the Springboks’ Castle Rugby Championship Test against Australia at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria – third-placed DHL Western Province, on 20 points, entertain table-topping defending champions the MTN Golden Lions at Newlands.

The Lions, despite losing the likes of flyhalf Elton Jantjies and utility back Jaco Taute to Springbok duty, will be full of confidence following their 28-22 victory over the Sharks in Johannesburg last week – a result which took the Gauteng side to 24 points – three clear of their Durban-based rivals and four ahead of WP.

And in the weekend’s first match, the fifth-placed Vodacom Blue Bulls, on 13 points, travel to Durban to take on the second-placed Sharks, having been buoyed by their 34-30 win in Pretoria last weekend over the Cheetahs – a result which ended a lean spell for coach Pine Pienaar and his men.

Vodacom Blue Bulls flyhalf Louis Fouché tops the Premier Division point-scoring log after Round 7, with 102 points made up of 12 conversions, 25 penalties and a drop goal. Behind Fouché in tied second place are Sharks centre Meyer Bosman on 91 and WP flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis on 88.

Sharks wing Odwa Ndungane, Cheetahs wing Raymond Rhule and Blue Bulls loose forward CJ Stander are the joint top try-scorers with five touchdowns apiece.

This weekend’s fixtures – Round 8:

Sharks vs Vodacom Blue Bulls

Date: Friday, 28 September

Kickoff: 19:10

Venue: Mr Price Kings Park, Durban

Referee: Mark Lawrence

Assistants: Ben Crouse, Reuben Rossouw

Television Match Official: Johann Meuwesen

Last meeting: 25 August in Pretoria (First round): Blue Bulls won 42-31

DHL Western Province vs MTN Golden Lions

Date: Saturday, 29 September

Kickoff: 14:00

Venue: Newlands, Cape Town

Referee: Marius Jonker

Assistants: Christie du Preez, Linston Manuels

Television Match Official: Deon van Blommenstein

Last meeting: 25 August in Johannesburg (First round): Lions won 26-23

Toyota Free State Cheetahs vs GWK Griquas

Date: Saturday, 29 September

Kickoff: 14:00

Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

Referee: Jason Jaftha

Assistants: Marius van der Westhuizen, Francois de Bruin

Television Match Official: Gerrie Coetzee

Last meeting: 25 August in Kimberley (First round): Cheetahs won 29-16

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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