Currie Cup

Currie Cup spot up for grabs

2014-06-05 20:00
Currie Cup (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - The battle for the remaining position in the Currie Cup Premier Division will begin on Friday as six of the seven teams involved take to the field in the opening round of the official qualifiers.

The qualifying rounds will run until July 19, with the team earning the most log points after their three home and away matches, earning the right to compete in the Premier Division.

The participating teams are the Griquas, the Leopards, Border Bulldogs, SWD Eagles, the Valke, Griffons and the Boland Cavaliers.

Vodacom Cup champions and last year's Currie Cup Premier Division participants, Griquas, will meet the Border Bulldogs in the opening match at GWK Park in Kimberley on Friday, while the Leopards take on the SWD Eagles at Profert Oln Park in Potchefstroom.

Meanwhile, the Griffons meet the Boland Cavaliers at the North West Stadium in Welkom on Saturday.

The Valke have a bye.

In Kimberley, Griquas head into their clash against the Bulldogs as overwhelming favourites, with home ground advantage and confidence counting in their favour after being crowned Vodacom Cup champions last month.

Border's defence, in particular, let them down in the Vodacom Cup competition earlier this year as they conceded, on average, six tries per match.

Their forwards will also have their work cut out, in order to counter the strong home pack, while good discipline will be vital as Griquas' fullback Gouws Prinsloo poses a threat with the boot.

The clash between the Leopards and SWD Eagles in Potchefstroom, meanwhile, is expected to be tight as both teams boast several playmakers.

While the Leopards will rely heavily on the vast experience of veteran Springbok flyhalf Andr Pretorius and the impressive skills of wing Luther Obi and centres Adriaan Engelbrecht and George Tossel, the SWD Eagles will look to wing Alshaun Bock, flyhalf Karlo Aspeling and Davon Raubenheimer, to work them onto the front foot.

In Welkom, the clash between the Griffons and the Cavaliers could also prove to be a close encounter.

The forward battle, in particular, is expected to be decisive.

The Cavaliers will be particularly wary of Griffons eighthman Nicky Steyn and centre Japie Nel, who have a knack at crossing the tryline.

The hosts will need to be disciplined throughout the match as Boland fullback Eric Zana has the potential to keep the scoreboard ticking, should the penalty count favour his team.

Currie Cup Premier Division round-one qualifiers:
June 6: Griquas v Border Bulldogs (GWK Park, Kimberley)

June 7: Leopards v SWD Eagles (Profert Oln Park, Potchefstroom), Griffons v Boland Cavaliers (North West Stadium, Welkom).

All games kick-off at 15:00.

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