The Bulls will continue the defence of their Currie Cup title with a clash against tricky visitors in the form of the Griquas at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Friday night.
High on their agenda will be a win that will see them remain in the hunt for their third consecutive title win while their visitors from the Northern Cape are also looking for what would be a rare appearance in the final.
In the other semi-final match that takes place on Saturday afternoon, highly unpredictable Pumas will visit the high flying Cheetahs in Bloemfontein hoping to cause an upset.
The Pumas will have all to do as the Cheetahs were the best team during the round-robin stages where they finished top of the log with 10 wins and two losses.
Bulls VS Griquas
The Bulls have been boosted by the availability of Springbok prop Lizo Gqoboka, who returns to lead the Bulls against the Griquas on Friday night.
In addition to the inclusion of Gqoboka, coach Gert Smal has included the experienced Marco Jansen van Vuren and the youthful and talented forward duo of Reinhardt Ludwig and Jan-Hendrik Wessels.
The inclusion of Jansen van Vuren, who will earn a starting berth at inside centre, means Bulls vice-captain Stedman Gans will make a shift to the wing this week.
Bulls’ bench has also been strengthened with Dylan Smith providing prop cover and nippy scrumhalf Bernard van der Linde available to add firepower in the latter stages of the game.
It is not going to be easy for the home side as the men from Kimberly are playing good rugby at the moment and they are going to prove tricky customers on Friday.
The Griquas got the better of the Pumas by 45-44 in a thrilling comeback win last weekend in Nelspruit and they will no doubt hope that momentum will be a good factor in their Pretoria semi-final.
Cheetahs VS Pumas
After going nine games unbeaten and then suffering back to back losses, the Cheetahs bounced back to winning ways and form as they convincingly won their final league match against the Bulls last week in Bloemfontein.
The Free State outfit, who finished top of the league standings, were led superbly throughout the season by experienced former Springbok scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar.
Smart money will be on them to beat the gallant Pumas in their Saturday afternoon semi-final in Bloemfontein and progress to the final.
However, Hawies Fourie’s team will go into their semi-final with the knowledge that one of their two defeats this season were against the self-same team from Mpumalanga two weeks ago when the Pumas won by 29-28 in Bloemfontein.
The Cheetahs have a good, all-round game based on a strong pack of forwards that is difficult to stop once it starts to maul towards the tryline but Lowvelders have played some enterprising rugby which weren’t always reflected on their scoreboard.