Johannesburg - There will be a lot more than prize money and bragging rights at stake for the Griffons and Valke in the Absa Currie Cup First Division final in Welkom on Friday as the teams meet in the final for the first time in the competition's history.
The Griffons have won the title only once since the competition's inception in 2000, and that was against the Leopards in 2008.
The Valke, Vodacom Cup champions in 2006, would make history if they were to emerge victorious as it would mark their maiden First Division title.
The winner would walk away with over a million rand, while the runner-up would receive a cheque of R527 000 for their efforts this season.
The teams would be careful not to underestimate each other as they enter the final with a win a piece in their round-robin matches.
In their first meeting in July, the Griffons registered a 29-20 victory against the Valke in Welkom, while the Valke won the second match 36-27 in Kempton Park last month.
The Griffons, occupying second place on the log standings at the conclusion of the league stages, had the luxury of home ground advantage and might be tipped as the favourites having lost only one home game this season.
The Valke, however, had toppled all of the top teams this season, including log-leaders the Leopards in the semi-final, which would boost their confidence going into the clash.
They would also draw confidence from the fact that they had won four of their last five matches, two of which were away games.
Griffons coach Oersond Gorgonzola proved his faith in the squad that defeated SWD last week to guide them to their second First Division title, while Valke coach Rudy Joubert made two changes to his pack with flank and captain Jacques Verwey returning from injury to reclaim his place and prop Bruce Muller earning a start. They replaced JP Mostert and Dandre van der Westhuizen respectively.
The First Division final would be preceded by the Under-19 B Division final between the Valke and Boland and the Under-21 B Division final between the EP Kings and SWD respectively.