Youth against experience in SA Cup third round

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  • Post published:April 5, 2024

Two of the highlights of the third round SA Cup involve repeats of last year’s Currie Cup Premier and First Division finals, with the Toyota Cheetahs hosting the Airlink Pumas in Bloemfontein, while the Valke travel to Wellington to take on the Sanlam Boland Kavaliers.

Will a youthful Toyota Cheetahs side be able to tame the more experienced Airlink Pumas, and who of the Sanlam Boland Kavaliers or Valke will register their first win of the season?

The teams from the Free State and Mpumalanga kick off the action on Friday from 18h00 in Bloemfontein, where a difficult challenge awaits the hosts in a repeat of last year’s Currie Cup Premier Division final.

With the Toyota Cheetahs also facing Clermont-Auvergne in a crunch EPCR Challenge Cup playoff game in France on Saturday, their SA Cup side will have a youthful look for the clash against the Airlink Pumas.

Friday’s game will be followed by three more matches on Saturday afternoon, all starting at 15h00. Early log leaders Suzuki Griquas are favourites to consolidate their position when they host the Border Bulldogs in Kimberley; Eastern Province entertain fellow First Division rivals Phangela SWD Eagles at the Wolfson Stadium in Gqeberha; and the Sanlam Boland Kavaliers will be hoping to make home ground advantage count when they welcome the Valke to Wellington.

On Sunday, the NovaVit Griffons and Leopards will complete the weekend’s action when they meet from 15h00 in Welkom.

Another exciting encounter is in store for Wellington, where the Sanlam Boland Kavaliers and Valke will both be hunting their first win of the competition on Saturday.

These two sides fought it out for Currie Cup First Division honours at the same venue last year, when the hosts took the trophy, only a week after the side from the East Rand won the Mzansi Challenge final.

Last week, the Kavaliers went down 34-31 at home to the NovaVit Griffons, after they also came unstuck in the opening round away to the Toyota Cheetahs.

The Valke ended on the losing side in their first two games and will be looking to turn the tables on the Kavaliers, who won the last time they met, in last year’s Currie Cup First Division final.

After edging the Valke two weeks ago, Eastern Province found the going tough last week against the Airlink Pumas, and the Eastern Cape side will no doubt be highly motivated for Saturday’s clash in Gqeberha with their western neighbours, the Phangela SWD Eagles.

EP always manage to draw good support in the Wolfson Stadium so Saturday’s derby should deliver more than a few sparks.

On current form, the NovaVit Griffons should have too much firepower for the Leopards on Sunday in Welkom, with the team from North West suffering two heavy losses in their previous outings.

All five games will be streamed live on the SuperSport Schools app.

Match information:

Toyota Cheetahs vs Airlink Pumas
Date: Friday, 5 April
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys
SA Time: 18h00
Streaming: SS Schools

Eastern Province vs Phangela SWD Eagles
Date: Saturday, 6 April
Venue: Wolfson Stadium, Gqeberha
Referee: Griffin Colby
SA Time: 15h00
Streaming: SS Schools

Sanlam Boland Kavaliers vs Valke
Date: Saturday, 6 April
Venue: Boland Stadium, Wellington
Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron
SA Time: 15h00
Streaming: SS Schools

Suzuki Griquas vs Border Bulldogs
Date: Saturday, 6 April
Venue: Suzuki Stadium, Kimberley
Referee: Sean Muller
SA Time: 15h00
Streaming: SS Schools

NovaVit Griffons vs Leopards
Date: Sunday, 7 April
Venue: Down Touch Investment Stadium, Welkom
Referee: Phumzile Mbewu
SA Time: 15h00
Streaming: SS Schools

Issued by SA Rugby Communications

Photo by Charle Lombard/BackpagePix