Momentum building for First Division teams

September 4, 2014
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saru

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The Absa Currie Cup First Division teams will be looking to build momentum with an eye on possible semifinal places when they take to the field this weekend.

With only four rounds of pool matches remaining including this weekend’s clashes and all six teams still in with a mathematical chance of securing semifinal berths, building momentum will be a priority for all the sides.

Adding to the excitement the Leopards, Down Touch Griffons and SWD Eagles all have a realistic shot at securing the two home semifinals, which could result in a thrilling finish to the competition.

In Saturday’s matches, log-leaders the Leopards take on the Boland Cavaliers in Potchefstroom, the Down Touch Griffons host the Border Bulldogs in Welkom and the Valke meet the SWD Eagles in Kempton Park.

The Leopards will be desperate to return to their winning ways to maintain their lead at the top of the log table when they line up against the Boland Cavaliers after suffering their first defeat of the season last weekend against SWD. With Boland registering victories in only two of their six matches against the current First Division teams and the fact that the team suffered a heavy 55-23 defeat against the Leopards in July, the home side will enter the clash with confidence. However, they will be wary of complacency especially after going down to SWD. Interestingly two players from SARU’s Boland Academy have been selected in the starting lineup, centre Edwin Sass and scrumhalf Jovelian de Koker. The Leopards, meanwhile, will be without the services of star wing Luther Obi, while Sylvian Mahuza will start at fullback in the most notable changes to the team.

The Down Touch Griffons will enter their clash against the Border Bulldogs as favourites with form and home ground advantage counting in their favour. But the visitors will enter the clash with more self-confidence than they have had all season after registering their first victory last week against the Valke. The East London team, however, will have to deliver a fine defensive effort, in particular, to keep alive hopes of a victory as they have conceded an average of seven tries per match this season, while the Down Touch Griffons have secured four bonus points for tries.

The SWD Eagles, meanwhile, will be wary of the Valke despite winning their last three matches and toppling the dominant Leopards, as the Valke were the last team to beat them. A dominant display by the Kempton Park side in June earned them a 52-34 victory against SWD in George, and while the Eagles have shown a vast improvement in their form since then, this result will be in the back of their minds on Saturday. Interestingly the teams are closely matched in terms of their tries scored and conceded with SWD having scored 23 tries and conceded 26, while the Valke have scored 24 and conceded 27.

Absa Currie Cup First Division fixtures:

Leopards vs Boland Cavaliers

Venue: Profert Olen Park, Potchefstroom

Date: Saturday, 6 September

Kickoff: 14h30

Referee: Frederico Anselmi (ARG)

Assistant Referees: Christie du Preez and Oregopotse Rametsi

 

Down Touch Griffons vs Border Bulldogs

Venue: North West Stadium, Welkom

Date: Saturday, 6 September

Kickoff: 15h00

Referee: Marius Jonker

Assistant Referees: Stephan Geldenhuys and Jan Venter

 

Valke vs SWD Eagles

Venue: Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park

Date: Saturday, 6 September

Kickoff: 16h00

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge

Assistant Referees: Quinton Immelman and Sieg van Staden

 

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