Currie Cup

Bulls, Griquas slipping off pace

2013-09-16 09:02
Handre Pollard (Gallo)
Cape Town – They occupied the bottom two spots even before round six was contested at the weekend, so further losses for the Blue Bulls and Griquas have greatly endangered their prospects of making the Currie Cup semi-finals.

The logjam in the hitherto closely-fought tournament just seems to be easing a bit, with those two now noticeably slipping behind main top-four challengers Western Province, the Sharks, Cheetahs and Golden Lions in that order.

There is also mostly only bad news ahead for both teams: bottom-placed Griquas have been struck by a mounting catalogue of injuries – not helpful to the smallest union in the competition – and their next match is away to current leaders and defending champions WP on Friday night (19:10).

Lose that one and the semis become a very tall order for them, as it would take their record to one win from seven starts.

Similarly the Bulls, only one point above them on the table, will only see their knockout-phase hopes fade further if they lose Saturday’s Highveld derby against the Lions in Johannesburg (17:05).

The problem the Bulls have -- apart from an unusual dearth of proven first-class customers in several key positions as they painstakingly rebuild from a player exodus -- is that three of their remaining four league fixtures are away from Loftus which makes any catch-up bid additionally tricky.

Pretoria enthusiasts will have drawn little comfort from their comprehensive home loss to old foes Province on Saturday, even with the visitors reduced to 14 men for the majority of the contest because of Michael Rhodes’s slightly out-of-character stamping folly.

So it is just beginning to look as if the present top four teams are now jockeying for most favourable semis berths at the end of round 10.

The second-placed Sharks are a mere one point adrift of WP, who beat them in Durban in last year’s final, and tackle the mid-table Cheetahs at Kings Park this Saturday (15:00).

If the remaining part of the round-robin race becomes a duel between the coastal foes for top slot and attached rights to a possible home showpiece in late October, the Sharks can take some comfort from the fact that all may be decided in the final fixture – when they have home advantage against Allister Coetzee’s charges.

Both of last year’s finalists have two home and two away matches still ahead of them.

The Golden Lions, presently in fourth, have the most favourable run-in of all in those terms, as three of their four matches are at Ellis Park – can they turn that nice little advantage into a top-two finish?

Remaining four round-robin fixtures for each side:

WP (20 points): Griquas (h), Cheetahs (a), Lions (h), Sharks (a)

Sharks (19 points): Cheetahs (h), Lions (a), Bulls (a), WP (h)

Cheetahs (16 points): Sharks (a), WP (h), Griquas (a), Bulls (h)

Lions (15 points): Bulls (h), Sharks (h), WP (a), Griquas (h)

Bulls (10 points): Lions (a), Griquas (a), Sharks (h), Cheetahs (a)

Griquas (9 points): WP (a), Bulls (h), Cheetahs (h), Lions (a)

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    currie cup  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Your thoughts on the Currie Cup being cut to a one-round tournament in 2018?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.