Qualifier preview (Round 11)

The Griffons will be out to close the gap on the top three non-Super Rugby unions when they take on Western Province in Cape Town on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.

With the six Super Rugby unions assured of a place in this year's nine-team Currie Cup Premier Division, their standing on the Qualifier log means nothing. In essence, the current campaign revolves around Griquas, the Pumas, Boland and the Griffons.

Of the four competing for the three available Premier Division spots, the Griffons are the lowest-ranked in sixth place with 25 points. They will play against WP at City Park and need a bonus-point victory to avoid losing further ground on their opponents. Considering the hosts are on a four-match winning streak, the Griffons will have a tough task.

The Pumas, the second highest-ranked non-Super Rugby union, travel to the struggling Sharks XV. The visitors will look to build on their 35-24 win over the Golden Lions XV a fortnight ago, while the Sharks will be keen to avoid yet another defeat against one of the smaller unions.

Boland, who are just one point adrift of the Pumas, face the Border Bulldogs, and will know there's a window of opportunity if the Pumas slip up against the Sharks XV and they secure a win in East London.

In other Currie Cup Qualifier matches this weekend, the Free State XV host the Leopards, the Blue Bulls and Valke square off in Pretoria and Namibia's Welwitchias welcome the SWD Eagles to Windhoek.

Currie Cup Qualifier teams (Round 11)

Currie Cup Qualifier log

Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

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Mariette Adams