Cape Town - With the pool stages of the Currie Cup Premier Division a thing of the past, key statistics from the last 14 weeks indicate two thrilling semi-finals await this weekend.
The table-topping Sharks, who have had the most offloads and second best defensive record in the Currie Cup, will face tough competition from the Blue Bulls in Durban at 14:30 on Saturday, as the visitors not only lead the try-scoring and overall ball-carrying statistics with 64 tries and 1 508 ball carries, they also boast the top try-scorer in fullback Warrick Gelant.
In the second semi-final, Western Province host the Golden Lions at Newlands at 17:00 on Saturday.
Judging by the stats, the men from Johannesburg will have to be at their attacking best to score some tries, as the hosts boast the highest tackle percentage at an impressive 88.8%.
Reaffirming their defensive prowess, WP loose forward Nizaam Carr leads the statistics with the most successful tackles and most tackle involvements, while the Capetonians’ lock JD Schickerling is on top in the dominant tackle category.
But Western Province will have to be at their best behaviour, as the Golden Lions’ Jaco van der Walt has been the most successful goal kicker among the top four sides with an 88.6% success rate and a 100% kicking record last weekend, while the men from Johannesburg also dominated the ball-carrying and tackle statistics in the final pool round.
The Free State Cheetahs, Pumas and Griquas missed out on the playoffs.