Real test for SA Cup front-runners on the road

The three teams at the summit of the SA Cup log will have their credentials tested away from home this week in round five of the competition.

Especially Griquas, currently at the top on the standings, will have a difficult encounter when they travel to the Western Cape for a Saturday afternoon clash with the improving Boland Kavaliers in Wellington.

Three more games are scheduled for Saturday and all, including the one in Wellington. The second-placed Pumas are away to bottom-placed Border Bulldogs in East London; the Leopards welcome Eastern Province to Potchefstroom; and the Valke entertain the SWD Eagles in Kempton Park.

Sunday afternoon’s Free State derby in Welkom between the fourth-placed hosts, the Griffons, and the visiting Cheetahs, currently in third on the log, wraps up the round.

Griquas have been in impressive form to date which have seen them securing bonus-point wins in each of their four games for a tally of 20 league points. The men from Kimberley sit top of the league table because of a better points difference than Airlink Pumas, who have the same number of wins and points.

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Pieter Bergh’s men will, however, come up against Hawies Fourie’s resurgent Kavaliers, who have now won their previous two games after a slow start. The Wellington fixture will see an interesting duel between the two flyhalves – Garth April of the Kavaliers and Griquas counterpart George Whitehead, who is the current leading points scorer with 78 points.

Another exciting tussle is predicted in Potchefstroom, where hosts Leopards will aim to follow up their first win of the season last week against Border, when they welcome EP to Olën Park.

Like the Leopards, EP also have only one success to date, however, the Eastern Cape side gave encouraging performances in their defeats to suggest their hosts will not have it their own way on Saturday.

The Pumas should have too much firepower for Border, who have lost all four previous games, but it’s never easy in East London and the men from Mpumalanga will be mindful of underestimating their opponents when they run out at Police Park on Saturday.

The Griffons will fancy their chances against their youthful-looking Cheetahs. Griffons centre Domenic Smit is currently the leading try-scorer (seven) in the competition, two more than the Pumas duo of Darnell Osuagwu and Llewellyn Classen.

SA Cup fixtures

Saturday, 20 April
Boland Kavaliers vs Griquas, Boland Stadium, Wellington, 3pm
Leopards vs Eastern Province, Olën Park, Potchefstroom, 3pm
Valke vs SWD Eagles, Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park, 3pm
Border Bulldogs vs Pumas, Police Park, East London, 3pm

Sunday, 21 April
Griffons vs Cheetahs, Down Touch Investment Stadium, Welkom, 3pm

Photo: @TheCurrieCup/Twitter

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