The Vodacom Cup competition is set to heat up significantly this weekend as the reality sets in that there are only three pool rounds remaining, including this weekend’s matches, for the teams to play their way into the quarterfinals.
The pick of the weekend’s matches in the North Section will be GWK Griquas against the Golden Lions at GWK Park in Kimberley on Saturday, where the favourable second place on the section’s log standings is expected to be up for grabs.
Should the winless Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls create an upset against North Section log-leaders the Steval Pumas in their match at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, however, the Golden Lions or GWK Griquas could leap into the top spot on the log.
In the South Section, the clash between the SWD Eagles and EP Kings in George on Friday is expected to be thrilling. While the SWD Eagles could climb into second or third place on the South Section log depending on the other results should they win, the EP Kings will be desperate to close the gap between themselves and the top four teams to keep alive their playoff hopes following only one victory in four matches so far this season.
In the other matches on Friday, the Vodacom Blue Bulls host the Valke on the Loftus Versfeld B field in Pretoria and the Down Touch Griffons go up against the Leopards XV in Welkom.
On Saturday the Toyota Free State XV host the Border Bulldogs in Bloemfontein, the Regent Boland Cavaliers take on the unbeaten Cell C Sharks XV in Ceres, and DHL Western Province fronts up against Kenya’s Tusker Simba XV at DHL Newlands.
Each week we will feature emerging young players from the North and the South Sections who are making their way up the rugby ladder. This week we look at Vodacom Blue Bulls lock Marvin Orie and Regent Boland Cavaliers No8 Conway Pretorius.
Round 5 fixtures:
Friday, 4 April
Vodacom Blue Bulls vs Valke
Venue: Loftus Versfeld B field, Pretoria
Referee: Stuart Berry
Down Touch Griffons vs Leopards XV
Venue: North West Stadium, Welkom
Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys
SWD Eagles vs EP Kings
Venue: Outeniqua Park, George
Referee: Ben Crouse
Saturday, 5 April
Toyota Free State XV vs Border Bulldogs
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Rodney Boneparte
GWK Griquas vs Golden Lions
Venue: GWK Park, Kimberley
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls vs Steval Pumas
Venue: New Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane
Referee: Oregopotse Rametsi
Regent Boland Cavaliers vs Cell C Sharks
Referee: Jaco Kotze
DHL Western Province vs Tusker Simba XV
Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: Tahla Ntshakaza