SARugbymag.co.za looks back at the key moments in five recent Currie Cup finals.
2012: Sharks 18 Western Province 25
Western Province had not won the Currie Cup in 11 years and lost to the Sharks in the final at Kings Park two years before. The injury-plagued visitors arrived in Durban as heavy underdogs, and it looked as if things were going according to the script when the Sharks led 12-6 after 35 minutes. But WP then attacked from a scrum on the Sharks 10m, with Juan de Jongh getting past two defenders and stepping Lwazi Mvovo to score under the posts. The try changed the course of the game, with WP going on to claim a shock win.
2011: Golden Lions 42 Sharks 16
The Lions had topped the Currie Cup log, before the return of the Springboks from the World Cup. Josh Strauss's side beat WP in the semis to set up a decider against a full-strength Sharks team in front of the first capacity crowd at Ellis Park in many years. The Lions' greater hunger to win was obvious from the kick-off when Odwa Ndungane was bundled into touch by CJ van der Linde. The hosts were leading 12-3 after 25 minutes when they went blind from a scrum on halfway to Doppies la Grange, who broke through a gap in the defence and put Michael Killian away for the first try of the match. They would go on to score another two tries to win the Currie Cup for the first time since 1999.
2010: Sharks 30 Western Province 10
Charl McLeod's try had given the Sharks an early lead and they struck again in the 13th minute when, following good counter-attacking play from Ryan Kankowski and Lwazi Mvovo, the ball came back to Pat Lambie, 25m out. The flyhalf sent Willem de Waal the wrong way with a dummy, handed off Schalk Burger and dived over under the posts. Lambie converted his try and then kicked a penalty to make it 17-0. WP reduced the deficit to 13 when Burger scored late in the half, but they never really looked like staging a comeback and Lambie's 78th-minute try sealed a convincing win for the hosts.
2006: Free State Cheetahs 28 Blue Bulls 28
The Cheetahs looked set to retain their Currie Cup title when they led 25-18 with just two minutes to go. But the Bulls took the game to extra time when they went blind from a ruck to Akona Ndungane, whose tap pass saw JP Nel score his second try of the match. Morné Steyn held his nerve to kick the conversion and then put the Bulls ahead with a penalty early in the first half of extra time. But the Cheetahs made it 28-28 when Meyer Bosman kicked a 94th-minute penalty, and that's the way it stayed, with Ollie le Roux and Gary Botha both lifting the trophy.
2005: Blue Bulls 25 Free State Cheetahs 29
The Bulls were overwhelming favourites to win their fourth successive Currie Cup title against Free State, who had not lifted the trophy since 1976. And that looked set to be the case when an intercept try from Akona Ndungane early in the second half helped the hosts gain a 22-9 lead. But with 16 minutes remaining, referee Jonathan Kaplan yellow-carded Bryan Hababa for a dangerous tackle on Bevin Fortuin, which changed the complexion of the match. Fortuin scored a try against 14 men that reduced the deficit to just three points, before Noel Oelschig kicked an up-and-under that Fourie du Preez and Johan Roets, two of the Bulls' safest pair of hands, lost between them. Centre Meyer Bosman scooped up the loose ball and raced clear for a try that stunned the Loftus crowd into silence.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images