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Currie Cup 2011

The Lions roar again

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The MTN Golden Lions recorded the most emphatic Absa Currie Cup final victory since 1980 when they beat The Sharks, champions in 2010, by 42-16 at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

SF2: Lions 29, WP 20

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The MTN Golden Lions lost both their previous Absa Currie Cup semi-finals against DHL Western Province.

SF1: Sharks 20, Cheetahs 13

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It’s been 11 years since The Sharks last beat the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in an Absa Currie Cup semi-final and even though these two sides met only twice in knock-out matches since, it’s probably a record the KwaZulu-Natalians would like to put an end to when they host their fifth consecutive semi-final this weekend against the Cheetahs in Durban.

Currie Cup semi-final’s preview

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This is it. Eight teams worked hard during the 2011 season to reach this stage, but only four – the MTN Golden Lions, The Sharks, Toyota Free State Cheetahs and DHL Western Province – have qualified for the Absa Currie Cup semi-finals.

Then there was 4, Blue Bulls miss out on semi-final

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The Sharks sent out a strong warning that they are not going to let go of their Absa Currie Cup crown without a fight when they comprehensively beat the log-leading MTN Golden Lions to clinch a home semi-final next week.

Sharks 53 v Lions 9

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The Sharks can secure a home semi-final is they can beat the Absa Currie Cup table-topping MTN Golden Lions at Mr Price Kings Park on Saturday in the final league match of the season. And how apt that it will be played by the two top teams in the competition.

WP 43, Pumas 18

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DHL Western Province have put last weekend’s disappointing defeat behind them and will be looking to secure their place in the Absa Currie Cup semi-finals with a strong performance against the Ford Pumas as DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.

Cheetahs 49, Griquas 39

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The possibility of a home semi-final against pride and the slim chance of reaching the playoffs – that is what Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup derby between the Toyota Free State Cheetahs and GWK Griquas at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein is all about.

Blue Bulls 92, Leopards 21

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Play and wait seems to be the mantra for the Vodacom Blue Bulls this weekend as they open the final round of Absa Currie Cup league fixtures at Loftus Versfeld against the Platinum Leopards on Friday evening.

Cheetahs & Griquas teams

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Due to some injuries the teams for both teams were delayed – here are the official teams for the final round of the Currie Cup.

WP wastes no time in calling up Boks

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Allister Coetzee today announced the DHL WP team to take on the Ford Pumas at DHL Newlands on Saturday. All the Province returning Springboks are featured in a strong match 22.

Leopards 14, Sharks 41

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It’s been more than two years since the Platinum Leopards last scored a try in the Absa Currie Cup against The Sharks, and they will need a number of those if they are to upset the apple cart in Phokeng this weekend.

Lions 42 v WP 25

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The MTN Golden Lions can secure their first Absa Currie Cup home semi-final in more than a decade if they can beat DHL Western Province at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday.

Griquas 48, Blue Bulls 44

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It’s never easy at GWK Park, but the Vodacom Blue Bulls will have to overcome the Kimberley-factor as well as a fired-up GWK Griquas side if they are to keep alive their Absa Currie Cup semi-final hopes.

Pumas 23, Cheetahs 29

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The Ford Pumas will be out to avoid a big drubbing like the last time they played the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in the Absa Currie Cup. However, since that day in August, when the Cheetahs beat the Pumas by 80-16 in Bloemfontein, the team from Mpumalanga have won two of their games, including a victory in Kimberley over GWK Griquas.

Sharks 10, WP 15

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DHL Western Province travel to Durban with their backs to the wall to face The Sharks in a very important Absa Currie Cup game at Mr Price Kings Park on Saturday.

Cheetahs 25, Lions 25

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Can the MTN Golden Lions stifle the Toyota Free State Cheetahs’ winning streak when the two teams meet in a crunch Absa Currie Cup match at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein?

Potgieter back for Bulls

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Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar took no time to recall fit again Springbok loose forward Dewald Potgieter to his side to take on the Natal Sharks in an Absa Currie Cup clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Lions 28, Sharks 19

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The MTN Golden Lions will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways against The Sharks at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.

Griquas 23, Cheetahs 20

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It’s the battle for Central South African supremacy at GWK Park in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon when the Toyota Free State Cheetahs take on GWK Griquas.

Pumas 13, WP 24

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It would take a brave man to be against DHL Western Province when they travel to the Puma Stadium in Witbank to face the Ford Pumas on Friday afternoon, but they will be mindful of slipping against a team stung by a big defeat last weekend.

Leopards 20, Blue Bulls 28

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After winning just one of their first four Absa Currie Cup matches this season, the Vodacom Bulls have been successful in their last two games and will be looking to build on this momentum against the Platinum Leopards on Friday.

Sharks load their team with Boks

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The Sharks have included all their discarded Boks for this weekend’s top of the table decider against the Lions.

Fudge back for Blue Bulls

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There is only one change to the starting line-up of the Vodacom Blue Bulls for their Absa Currie Cup clash against the Leopards in the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Friday, with Fudge Mabeta taking over the lock berth from injured Juandré Kruger.

Cheetahs 80, Pumas 16

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Even though the Ford Pumas have not won a game thus far in the Absa Currie Cup, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs will not be taking this match in the Free State Stadium on Saturday afternoon lightly.

WP 28, Lions 26

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The signs are ominous for DHL Western Province, last year’s Absa Currie Cup runners up, as they prepare to face the table-topping MTN Golden Lions at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Friday evening.

Blue Bulls 44, Griquas 20

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The Vodacom Blue Bulls, without two Springbok flanks in Dewald Potgieter and Deon Steggman this weekend, face a big Absa Currie Cup test as high-flying GWK Griquas head to Pretoria on Friday afternoon.

Botes to captain Sharks

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The Sharks have opted to rest captain Keegan Daniel for this weekend’s game against the Leopards.

Bulls select new loose-trio

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Nineteen year old loose forward Arno Botha will make his run-on debut in the Absa Currie Cup competition on Friday when the Vodacom Blue Bulls take on Griquas in one of four changes to the starting line-up of the side that won against the Pumas last weekend.

Lions 17, Cheetahs 10

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The only unbeaten team left in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division, the MTN Golden Lions, host the Toyota Free State Cheetahs at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday evening in a replay of the 2007-final.

WP 19, Sharks 21

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It’s a replay of last year’s Absa Currie Cup final when DHL Western Province host The Sharks at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Friday evening.

Griquas 32, Leopards 18

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The Platinum Leopards will be hoping to take the momentum from their victory last weekend with them to Kimberley when they take on GWK Griquas at GWK Park on Friday evening.

Pumas 12, Blue Bulls 16

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The Vodacom Blue Bulls, currently in last place on the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division log, return to the scene of last season’s biggest upset when they travel to Nelspruit to take on the Ford Pumas at the Mbombela Stadium on Friday afternoon.

Kanko, Johnson released for CC

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Looseforwards Ryan Kankowski (The Sharks) and Ashley Johnson (Toyota Free State Cheetahs) have been released to play Absa Currie Cup rugby this weekend, having been called up as cover to the Springbok camp in Durban.

Two changes for WP

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DHL WP coach Allister Coetzee has made two changes to his front row for Friday’s big clash against the Sharks at DHL Newlands.

Plum calls on Boks

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Following their loss to Griquas over the weekend, Sharks coach John Plumtree has called on his Boks to get their campaign back on track.

Injuries forces Naka to re-shuffle

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Two injuries have forced Toyota Cheetahs coach, Naka Drotske, to re-shuffle his team for this weekend’s match against the Lions.

Basson, Olivier back for Bulls

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Returning Springboks Wynand Olivier and Bjorn Basson will be amongst the four new faces in the Vodacom Blue Bulls backline for their Absa Currie Cup clash against the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday.

Blue Bulls unchanged for North/South derby

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The Vodacom Blue Bulls will play with the same run-on side against Western Province as the one that that smashed the Free State Cheetahs on the weekend.

Naka keeps faith in his charges

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Toyota Cheetahs coach, Naka Drotske, has named a largely unchanged team to face the Sharks this weekend in Durban.

Catrakilis to get extended run

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Speaking to Gavin Rich from SuperRugby.co.za, DHL Western Province coach Allister Coetzee suggested that UCT flyhalf Dimitri Catrakilis will get an extended run in the flyhalf jersey.

ABSA Currie Cup review, Round 2

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The Vodacom Blue Bulls got their first Absa Currie Cup Premier Division points of the season when they beat the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in a hard match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday (33-30).

Sharks 35, Blue Bulls 16

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The defending champs will host the Blue Bulls in the feature game of the weekend.

WP 26, Griquas 26

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A young DHL WP team will host the ever-dangerous Griquas in Cape Town in their first round.

Cheetahs 40, Leopards 12

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The Toyota Cheetahs will want to start their Currie Cup campaign off with a bang as they host the Leopards in Bloemfontein.

Lions 31, Pumas 27

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The 2011 ABSA Currie Cup kicks off in Johannesburg where the Golden Lions will seek revenge against the Pumas.

Stefan at fullback for Sharks

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Stefan Terblanche will move back to his familiar position at fullback for the Sharks while Marius Joubert will make his debut for the Durban team at outside center.

Strauss to lead Cheetahs against Leopards

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After recovering from injury, Andries Strauss is back at inside center and will lead the Cheetahs in their match against the Leopards.

SARU forces blanket bans

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RuggaWorld has reliably learned that given the recent failures in Super Rugby, the South African Rugby Union has taken drastic steps to improve the state of stupidity throughout all 14 provinces.

Difficult to pick a winner

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As focus now shifts the the oldest domestic competition in the world, JJ Harmse contemplates who will walk away as ABSA Currie Cup champions in a Rugby World Cup year.