Rugby

Bulletin #21 of the Carling Currie Cup

Only after the weekend's last match, between the Cell C Sharks and DHL Western Province in Durban, will the semifinalists be determined.

On Saturday, the Carling Currie Cup final round will be make-or-break, with three teams effectively playing knock-out matches to determine who will join the Vodacom Bulls and Cell C Sharks in the semifinals.

Only after the weekend’s last match, between the Cell C Sharks and DHL Western Province in Durban, will the semifinalists be determined.

The Capetonians should qualify for the playoffs with a win, but if they fail to defeat the hosts, DHL Western Province will finish outside the top four of the Carling Currie Cup for for the second time since 2008. (the other time was in 2019).

DHL WP defeated the Cell C Sharks 32-31 in round three in Cape Town, with Tim Swiel collecting 22 points from the boot while the Cell C Sharks outscored the home side by four tries to two.

The Cell C Sharks may still win the log if they collect a complete house of points against DHL WP, even if the Toyota Cheetahs, who are already out of the picture, pull a massive upset in the penultimate game and beat the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria.

However, the defending champions will have to put in a valiant effort, as they have only lost once at Loftus Versfeld in the last year, when they hosted DHL WP with a depleted squad in the opening round of the 2021 competition.

Since then, the Vodacom Bulls have been on a roll, but they have yet to face the Toyota Cheetahs after their scheduled third-round encounter was canceled due to positive Covid cases in the Free Staters’ camp.

The first game of the weekend will set the tone in Kimberley, when the third-placed Tafel Lager Griquas take on the fourth-placed New Nation Pumas.

Regardless of the outcome in the Northern Cape, both of these teams have had a fantastic season and can still qualify for the semifinals. The Lowvelders snuck through in the third round in Nelspruit by a score of 26-22, but both teams will be confident for Saturday’s showdown after winning their matches last weekend.

The Sigma Lions have completed their season’s schedule and will have a bye this weekend.

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