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SA Cup playoff hopes hang in the balance

Posted on Thursday, 09 May 2024

SA Cup playoff hopes hang in the balance

It will be a case of make or break in the SA Cup this weekend, with a number of pivotal matches for several teams striving to keep alive their dreams of reaching the final.

With a maximum of 10 points at stake in the rest of the competition, five contenders remain in contention for a place in the final on 25 May.

However, after this weekend at least one of these five sides will in all likelihood be out of the playoff picture.

The action commences on Friday when the Toyota Cheetahs, currently in fourth, are up against the struggling Border Bulldogs. A potential five-point triumph could see the Free Staters surge into second place, provided other results align favorably.

The Border Bulldogs will seek solace in home advantage as they strive to upset the Cheetahs and salvage points from a challenging season.

Later on Friday, the second-placed Airlink Pumas lock horns with the fifth-placed Sanlam Boland Kavaliers in an eagerly anticipated showdown in Nelspruit.

For the Pumas, the fixture offers a prime opportunity to rebound from their recent defeat to log leaders Suzuki Griquas, while the Bolanders find themselves in a precarious position, with their playoff hopes hanging by a thread.

The Kavaliers’ path to the top two necessitates nothing short of a flawless 10-point haul from their remaining fixtures (they play EP in the final round), coupled with other results going in their favour.

Saturday’s schedule includes two games, including a duel between the Valke and Leopards in Kempton Park, with both teams eyeing a move up the table from their current eighth and ninth positions.

At the same time, Suzuki Griquas host the Phangela SWD Eagles. Victory for the hosts from Kimberley would consolidate their top spot, which would be crucial as they have a Central Derby in their final league fixture next weekend, in Bloemfontein against the Toyota Cheetahs.

The Eagles will vie for a sixth place finish and they will provide the log leaders with a stern test at Suzuki Stadium, where the visitors will be determined to defy the odds and hand Griquas their first defeat of the season.

Sunday's match sees NovaVit Griffons host Eastern Province, with the Northern Free Staters’ playoff hopes also in the balance.

With just one bonus point separating them from the Airlink Pumas, the Griffons can’t afford to slip up against EP as they still have hopes of securing a playoff berth. Victory for the visitors from Gqeberha can only see them maintain them their position on the log after this weekend's fixtures.

Match information:

Border Bulldogs vs Toyota Cheetahs
Date: Friday, 10 May
Venue: Police Park, East London
Referee: Sean Muller
SA Time: 15h00

Airlink Pumas vs Sanlam Boland Kavaliers
Date: Friday, 10 May
Venue: Mbobela Stadium, Nelspruit
Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys
SA Time: 19h00
TV: SuperSport 209

Valke vs Leopards
Date: Saturday, 11 May
Venue: Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park
Referee: Marius vd Westhuizen
SA Time: 15h00
TV: SuperSport 244

Suzuki Griquas vs Phangela SWD Eagles
Date: Saturday, 11 May
Venue: Suzuki Stadium Kimberley
Referee: Christopher Allison
SA Time: 15h00
TV: SuperSport 245

NovaVit Griffons vs Eastern Province
Date: Sunday, 11 May
Venue: Down Touch Investments Stadium, Welkom
Referee: Morne Ferreira
SA Time: 15h00
TV: SuperSport 211

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