Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Massive clashes as Currie Cup top four go head to head

The Cheetahs will be looking to bounce back from a loss after they were upset by the Lions last week.

Friday will see two significant battles in the Currie Cup as the competition’s top four go head to head in what should be an interesting weekend at the top of the log.

The table-topping Cheetahs travel to Durban to take on the third-placed Sharks at Kings Park (kick-off 7.05pm), while the second placed Pumas are also on the road as they face fourth-placed Western Province at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town (kick-off 5pm).

ALSO READ: Table toppers downed in exciting weekend of Currie Cup action

If the hosts manage to win, it will make the top of the log extremely congested as the competition heads into its final few rounds, while if the visitors come out on top they will put some distance between themselves and the chasing pack.

WP v Pumas

Western Province will be the most desperate for a positive result as a loss for them will put them in danger of dropping out of the top four with the Lions, Griquas and Bulls hot on their heels.

They face a tough challenge against the defending champion Pumas, who will be eager to bounce back from their loss against the Sharks last week.

It will also be a big occasion for the people of Cape Town with the game being played at Athlone Stadium to help preserve the Cape Town Stadium’s pitch ahead of the United Rugby Championship (URC) final next weekend.

ALSO READ: Lions targeting late charge for Currie Cup playoffs

“It is going to be a great occasion on Friday when we play the Pumas, the defending Currie Cup champions. Not for nothing they are the champions and we all know what a good coach Jimmy Stonehouse is,” said Western Province coach Norman Laker.

“We are cherishing the opportunity to play there, especially for the people of Cape Town to see their Currie Cup team play in Athlone. I think the Pumas will also enjoy playing there and I’m sure we will get a good crowd and a great atmosphere.”

Cheetahs v Sharks

The Cheetahs will also be looking to bounce back from a loss, after they were upset by the Lions last week, but they face an in-form team in the Sharks who are looking to make a play for the top two positions on the Currie Cup log.

Cheetahs eighthman George Cronje, who will be moving to the Sharks at the end of the season, said they were ready for whatever team the hosts put out, whether it be full of URC stars or not.

“If we want to be the best, we have to play against the best, no matter what team they put out there. We have to play them to beat them,” said Cronje.

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits