The intensity of the Currie Cup First Division – sponsored by Nashua and DirectAxis – is expected to reach a new level this weekend as the competition enters the second half and the scramble for log positions builds.
In Potchefstroom, the Leopards will be looking to extend their winning run to three matches when they take on the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias on Friday.
Both sides have been in fine attacking form with the Leopards having scored a minimum of 42 points in each of their matches and the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias 47, although the Namibians have won only one match out of three. But with the Leopards holding the second best defensive record in the first three rounds, the visitors may have to work hard for a victory.
The clash between the SWD Eagles and Hino Valke in George on Friday is expected to be exciting given the close calls between the sides in the last two seasons. The East Randers have won three of their last four matches, but the games were decided by five points or less. The visitors from Gauteng come off a victory which they will want to build on, but SWD will be determined to return to their winning ways at home.
In Port Elizabeth, Eastern Province and the Border Bulldogs will be hoping to register their first victory of the season on Friday after suffering three defeats in a row, which has left them languishing at the foot of the standings. The last time the sides met in the Currie Cup First Division was in 2013, with Eastern Province emerging victorious in all their match-ups between 2011 and 2013.
The Down Touch Griffons will have their sights set on extending their winning run to four matches on Saturday when they go up against the Boland Cavaliers in Wellington.
The hosts, however, have won two of their three matches this season, which will give them confidence against the log-leaders, despite the fact that the Down Touch Griffons won three of the last four matches between the sides. Boland, however, came out tops in their last home game in the competition in 2015 and they will look to repeat that feat.
Currie Cup First Division Round 4 fixtures:
Friday, 15 September:
Eastern Province v Border Bulldogs
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe
Assistant Referees: JP Clements & Patrick Bulwana
Leopards v Windhoek Draught Welwitschias
Venue: Profert Olën Park, Potchefstroom
Referee: Sean Gallagher
Assistant Referees: Ben Crouse & Aimee Barrett
SWD Eagles v Hino Valke
Venue: Outeniqua Park, George
Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys
Assistant Referees: Sindile Ngcese & Francois Davids
Saturday, 16 September:
Boland Cavaliers v Down Touch Griffons
Venue: Boland Stadium, Wellington
Referee: Pablo Deluca
Assistant Referees: Damian Schneider & Viv-Richard Adams