The final weekend of the Castle Rugby Championship and the second last round of the ABSA Currie Cup is just some of the rugby fans can look forward too.
Springboks 27, All Blacks 25 (Live – 17:00 on SS1)
If Saturday’s clash at Ellis Park is even half as good as the spectacle this fixture produced last year, it’ll still rank as one of the best Test matches of the year.
The 2013 Rugby Championship decider was one for the ages as the Springboks and All Blacks went at it hammer and tongs, producing a nine-try humdinger that will be remember as one of the greatest Tests of all time.
Those 80 minutes in the heart of Jo’burg underlined their status as the two best teams in the world, but also left little doubt as to who was top the pile as New Zealand’s superior skills, fitness and self belief came to the fore in the final quarter.
This time around the championship title may already have been settled but interest levels are hardly diminished, for a number of reasons.
2014: New Zealand won 14-10 at Westpac Stadium, Wellington
2014: New Zealand won 37-28 at Ellis Park, Johannesburg
2013: New Zealand won 32-16 at Eden Park, Auckand
2012: New Zealand won 32-16 at Soccer City, Johannesburg
2012: New Zealand won 21-11 at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
2011: South Africa won 18-5 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
2011: New Zealand won 40-7 at Westpac Stadium, Wellington
2010: New Zealand won 29-22 at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg
2010: New Zealand won 31-17 at Westpac Stadium, Wellington
2010: New Zealand won 32-12 at Eden Park, Auckland
2009: South Africa won 32-29 at Rugby Park, Hamilton
2009: South Africa won 31-19 at Absa Stadium, Durban
2009: South Africa won 28-19 at Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
2008: New Zealand won 19-0 at Newlands
2008: South Africa won 30-28 at Carisbrook, Dunedin
2008: New Zealand won 19-8 at Westpac Stadium, Wellington
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handrè Pollard, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Duane Vermeulen/Schalk Burger, 7 Tebo Mohoje, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Schalk Burger/Warren Whiteley, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 JP Pietersen.
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Ryan Crotty
Date: Saturday, 4 October
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg, South Africa
Kick-off: 17:05 local (15:05 GMT, 04:05 NZDT)
Weather:22°C. Partly Cloudy
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzere; JP Doyle
TMO: Graham Hughes
From only showing two Currie Cup games last weekend, SuperSport will give rugby fans two game to pick from tonight at 19:00, Steval Pumas hosting the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Nelspruit and the Cell C Sharks entertaining the Xerox Golden Lions in Durban.
ABSA Currie Cup log after 8 rounds of rugga’s
Saturday 4th October
Toyota Free State Cheetahs 29, DHL Western Province 34 (Live – 14:00 on SS1)
Table topping Western Province will have to take on a desperate Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday to stay on track for a home semi final spot.
If they claim a bonus-point win against the Cheetahs and the Lions – who are in second place in the standings – lose their match without securing a bonus-point against the Sharks in Durban then the Cape Town-based outfit will achieve that goal.
They can expect a real battle, however, as the home side are desperate for a win as they are trying to secure a spot in the semi-finals.
After eight matches,WP currently top the standings with 34 points and are four points ahead of the Lions while the Sharks are third five points adrift of the men from Johannesburg.
FS Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 JP du Plessis, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Lappies Labuschagne, 7 Neil Claassen, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Werner Lourens, 3 George Marich, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (c), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Henco Venter, 19 Vincent Jobo, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 AJ Coertzen.
Western Province: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh (capt), 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Oli Kebble, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Michael van der Spuy.
Date: Saturday, October 4
Kick-off: 14:00 local
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Marius Jonker
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Rodney Bonaparte
Television match official: Johan Greeff
EP Kings 25, GWK Griquas 45 ( 14:30 )
Griquas and the EP Kings will be playing for lost pride when they face off in Kimberley on Saturday.
As the two bottom-placed teams in the competition both sides have have a point to prove.
Griquas don’t have any real chance of booking a spot in the semi-finals, but more importantly need a bonus point victory over the visitors as they still strive to finish the pool stages among the top six teams and in doing so ensure they remain in the Premier Division of next year’s competition.
The Kings on the other hand have not won a single game thus far in a Currie Cup campaign that can be described as disappointing at best.
Handed their inclusion in the Premier Division by SARU earlier this year, they are yet to prove that they are worthy and will be out to claim their first victory.
The home side come off a tough round of qualifying games which saw them progress to the top tier and coach Hawies Fourie has repeatedly highlighted the fact that noting less that five points will be good enough against the Kings.
Griquas: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Danie Dames, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Wayne Stevens (capt), 11 PJ Vermeulen, 10 Dean Grant, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Carel Greeff, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Jaco Nepgen, 4 Hugo Kloppers, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Janro van Niekerk.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Simon Westraadt, 18 Jonathan Adendorf, 19 RJ Liebenberg, 20 Dustin Jinka, 21 Ederies Arendse, 23 Jacquin Jansen.
EP Kings: 15 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 14 Ronnie Cooke, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Ntabeni Dukisa, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Tobie Botes, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Devin Oosthuizen, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Steven Cummins, 4 Cameron Lindsay, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Albé de Swardt, 17 Charl du Plessis, 18 Darron Nell/Steven Sykes, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Scott van Breda.
Date: Saturday, October 4
Kick-off: 14:30 local (12:30 GMT)
Venue: GWK Park, Kimberley
Referee: Stuart Berry
Friday 3de October
Steval Pumas 6, Vodacom Blue Bulls 37 (Live – 19:05 on SS2)
(Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit – Kick-off: 19.10)