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Chasing pack looking to close gap on frontrunners

Posted on Thursday, 25 Apr 2024

Chasing pack looking to close gap on frontrunners

With just four rounds of league action remaining in the SA Cup – including this weekend’s sixth round – the two frontrunners, Suzuki Griquas and the Airlink Pumas, will no doubt target their next matches to put more distance between them and the chasing pack.

The teams from the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga each have 25 points from winning their five games, with the men from Kimberley sitting in top spot thanks to a better points difference.

Suzuki Griquas will have the early advantage for this round when they are in action on Friday afternoon already against Eastern Province in Uitenhage, while the second-placed Airlink Pumas host the Leopards in Nelspruit on Saturday.

A further two games are scheduled for Saturday at 15h00: the Phangela SWD Eagles host the Toyota Cheetahs in George, and the Sanlam Boland Kavaliers take on Border Bulldogs in Wellington.

The last encounter of the weekend, on Sunday afternoon in Welkom between the NovaVit Griffons and the Valke, will wrap up the sixth-round action, with the SA Cup final – between the top two sides on the log on Saturday 25 May – moving into view for the participating teams.

On current form, the Suzuki Griquas are firm favourites to continue their unbeanen streak when they travel down to the Eastern Cape to face Eastern Province in Uitenhage. However, EP is a very difficult outfit at home and the side from Kimberley will definitely not have it all their own way.

Last week, EP showed great fighting spirit in going down to the Leopards in Potchefstroom and with nothing but pride at stake for them, the Eastern Cape side will be hoping to make a good impression against the team coached by Pieter Bergh.

Suzuki Griquas also showed great resilience in taming a spirited Boland side in Wellington last week, and the Northern Cape outfit would want to ensure they keep their unbeaten status.

The Toyota Cheetahs ended on the losing side in a thrilling Free State derby against the NovaVit Griffons in Welkom last weekend, and the men from Bloemfontein will be targeting an immediate response against SWD in George on Saturday. However, Zane Kirchner’s Eagles are equally determined to offer the Free Staters a stern test at picturesque Outeniqua Park.

The Airlink Pumas will also want to retain their unblemished record against the Leopards, currently in sixth place, and another good result would see Jimmy Stonehouse’s men stay in the hunt for hosting the final.

In Saturday’s third fixture, the Kavaliers are taking the field against last-placed Border Bulldogs in Wellington, with the Bolanders on a mission to get back on the winning trail after faltering against Suzuki Griquas, and to close the five-point gap between them and the fourth-placed Toyota Cheetahs.

Following their thrilling Free State derby win over the Toyota Cheetahs last week at home, the NovaVit Griffons now have a fifth victory firmly in their sight when they entertain ninth-placed Valke in Welkom on Sunday.

The Northern Free Staters are only five points off the pace and victory against their guests from the East Rand will ensure they keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the final.

All the matches will be streamed live on the Super Schools App.

Match information:

Eastern Province vs Suzuki Griquas
Date: Friday 26 April
Venue: Central Field, Kariega, Uitenhage
Referee: Christopher Allison
SA Time: 15h00
Streaming: SS Schools

Phangela SWD Eagles vs Toyota Cheetahs
Date: Saturday, 27 April
Venue: Outeniqua Park, George
Referee: Ruhan Meiring
SA Time: 15h00
Streaming: SS Schools

Sanlam Boland Kavaliers vs Border Bulldogs
Date: Saturday, 27 April
Venue: Sanlam Boland Stadium, Wellington
Referee: Paul Mente
SA Time: 15h00
Streaming: SS Schools

Airlink Pumas vs Leopards
Date: Saturday, 27 April
Venue: Nelspruit Rugby Club, Nelspruit
Referee: Sean Muller
SA Time: 15h00
Streaming: SS Schools

NovaVit Griffons vs Valke
Date: Sunday, 28 April
Venue: Down Touch Investment Stadium, Welkom
Referee: AJ Jacobs
SA Time: 15h00
Streaming: SS Schools

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