Thrilling Currie Cup finale in store
The Currie Cup will see five try and squeeze into three as the group phase of the competition comes down to a thrilling finale this weekend.
Griquas‚ on 19 log points‚ are the only team guaranteed a semi-final berth after their superb 27-23 win over Western Province last weekend‚ although a home play-off is not yet secure.
But behind them there is a bottleneck.
The Free State Cheetahs and Golden Lions occupy second and third on 17 points each‚ the Sharks currently hold the fourth semi-final position with 14 points while WP‚ on 13 points and Bulls on nine points‚ could still make the last four.
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The Bulls obviously have the most work to do and will only make the semi-finals with a bonus point win over the Sharks while also hoping that WP lose to the Cheetahs earlier in the day.
Even then‚ the Bulls‚ who have a negative 40 points’ difference‚ would need a massive victory at Loftus as the Sharks’ points’ difference is -17.
Realistically the Bulls can only hope to avoid the wooden spoon.
The Pumas‚ who have finished their fixtures‚ are last on nine points with a -51 points difference.
If the Bulls lose to the Sharks by 11 points or more they will be in last position and face a promotion/relegation play-off later in the year. It’s an almost unthinkable situation for a union as storied as the Blue Bulls.
The Sharks need to beat the Bulls at Loftus to be sure of a semifinal place.
As the final game to kick off on Saturday‚ they might already be safely through depending on whether WP win or lose in Bloemfontein earlier.
WP simply have to beat the Cheetahs with a bonus point while denying the Bloemfontein side a losing bonus point in the process to ensure their progression to the last four.
If the Lions beat Griquas in the day’s first fixture then they are through.
Should they lose without a bonus point‚ and then they will have an anxious wait while the other matches play out.
FINAL ROUND FIXTURES
Griquas v Golden Lions (Kimberley‚ 15.00)
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province (Bloemfontein‚ 17.15)
Blue Bulls v Sharks (Pretoria‚ 19.30)