The four semi-finalists in the Currie Cup First Division – sponsored by DirectAxis and Nashua – will have one goal in mind when they take to field this weekend – to win at all costs in the hope of booking their places in the final next week.
The Hino Valke will battle it out with the Leopards in Brakpan on Friday, while defending champions, the Down Touch Griffons, will host the Boland Cavaliers in Welkom on Saturday in the semi-finals.
The match-up between the Hino Valke and Leopards will mark the fourth successive Currie Cup First Division semi-final between these sides. A victory for the Leopards would earn them their third consecutive final berth, while a win for the Hino Valke will see them earn their first final berth since 2014.
The Leopards have a solid track-record against the Hino Valke in the competition, with seven victories in their last nine encounters. However, the East Randers won the pool match between the sides 44-19 at home earlier in the season, which will boost their confidence.
Spicing up the clash, the Leopards scored 61 points more than the men from Brakpan this season, but the Hino Valke conceded fewer points, which will set the scene for a thrilling clash.
The Down Touch Griffons, meanwhile, will be hunting their first home final since 2014 and their third victory in a row against the Boland Cavaliers when the teams meet at the HT Pelatona Projects Stadium. With the home team having secured the top spot on the log, a victory will guarantee them a home final.
The defending champions defeated Boland 40-25 in Wellington in their round-robin match, while they registered a comprehensive 62-24 victory at home in their previous match in 2015. But while the Down Touch Griffons have been superior on attack this season, the visitors conceded less points, which could result in a tight clash.
Currie Cup First Division Semi-final fixtures:
Friday, 13 October:
Hino Valke v Leopards
Venue: Bosman Stadium, Brakpan
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Referees: Jaco van Heerden & Stephan Geldenhuys
Saturday, 14 October:
Down Touch Griffons v Boland Cavaliers
Venue: HT Pelatona Projects Stadium, Welkom
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen & Mpho Matsaung