With the top two positions on the Carling Currie Cup log all but confirmed, the battle for the other two spots in the semi-finals will move up in intensity this weekend.
The Griquas, the Sharks and the Pumas are all in a heated race to reach the top-four during their important matches this weekend where they will be going all out for victories.
Two Currie Cup fixtures take place on Friday with the action kicking off at in Stellenbosch where Western Province hosts the Griquas at the Danie Craven Stadium.
That match will be followed by the early evening clash in Bloemfontein between the Cheetahs and the Pumas at 6pm.
Western Province VS Griquas
In the penultimate round of league matches this season, WP will be looking to atone for last week’s 33-10 away loss to the Lions by delivering a winning performance against the high-flying Griquas.
The Northern Cape side delivered the shock result of last weekend’ action when they outplayed the Cheetahs 46-18 to end the Free Staters’ run of nine consecutive wins.
That win also pushed the Griquas up into third place with 26 points from five wins in 10 games.
The Cape outfit have struggled to find their rhythm this season, winning only twice in 10 outings, so they will be under pressure to deliver a successful result against the hard-running visitors.
Apart from their current superior league position, the men from Kimberley will also feel confident having won the previous three meetings between the two sides, stretching back to last July.
Cheetahs VS Pumas
Both the Cheetahs and the Pumas tasted defeat during last weekend’s dramatic round of fixtures which rearranged the log standings for the umpteenth time.
The side from Bloemfontein saw their nine-game winning run clipped by the Griquas, while the 14-man Pumas lost 31-26 in Pretoria where the Bulls staged a successful second-half comeback.
The Free Staters rule this fixture having won four of their previous five – the latest by a margin of 28-17 in February when they met in Nelspruit.
The only success for the men from Mpumalanga during this time was last August, a 28-19 win in Nelspruit.
Sharks vs Lions
In Saturday’s only fixture to be staged at the Shark Tank in Durban, the Sharks return to action after a bye the previous round.
The Durbanites and Lions have each won twice during their previous five-game stretch against each other, with one cancelled game in-between.
The coastal side won 45-31 in Johannesburg the last time they met in February.
However, the Joburg outfit will be buoyed by their first win of the campaign last week at home against DHL WP.
A second win won’t come easy against a quality Sharks side stacked with experience and equally eager to win in order to safeguard their position in the top-four.