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It’s all or nothing in final round of SA Cup

PREVIEW: The SA Cup will reach a decisive juncture this weekend – with Friday’s two clashes in Bloemfontein and Nelspruit crucial in determining the two finalists – as the last round of group matches unfold.

Friday sees the top four teams battling it out, and the two finalists – as well as the venue for the match – will emerge by day’s end.

Griquas, leading the table, will square off against the fourth-placed Cheetahs, while the Pumas, holding the second spot, will take on the Griffons, who sit in third place.

The Free Staters host their neighbours from the Northern Cape in a critical encounter where the home side – who can’t make the Final anymore – will aim to upset the team at the top of the standings and in the process do the Pumas a massive favour.

It will also be Ruan Pienaar’s final rugby match after a stellar career.

Should the Cheetahs win and deny Griquas any log points, the Pumas can still finish at the top of the log. However, victory or a draw for the Peacock Blues will secure them a home Final, and they will look to seal the deal and give their supporters something to look forward to on the last weekend in May.

In the other match on Friday, which kicks off an hour later, the Pumas will host the Griffons in a showdown where victory could catapult either team into title contention. Both teams, having lost just one league game each, understand the significance of this encounter.

Should Griquas stumble, victory for the Pumas will see the two teams finish on the same number of log points, and the points’ difference of only three points will then come into play, but it’s so small, that the win should secure a home Final for the team from Mpumalanga.

Only one log point behind the Pumas, the team from the Northern Free State will look to showcase their talents and book a spot in the Final, but the Griffons will know that victory is the only way forward for them.

On Saturday, the action continues with two matches. Firstly, the SWD Eagles, positioned sixth, will host the Leopards, currently in ninth place, at Outeniqua Park, where both teams are locked in a battle for a mid-table finish.

Meanwhile, Boland will clash with Eastern Province in Piketberg. The Gqeberha-based side seeks to climb two places on the log and finish sixth, just one position behind Boland, who are guaranteed to remain in fifth place regardless of the outcome.

Wrapping up the week’s fixtures, the Border Bulldogs will square off against the Falcons, aiming to conclude their season on a positive note and secure valuable points. Sharing 13 log points with the Eagles and Eastern Province, they also harbour hopes of achieving a sixth-place finish.

See below for this weekend’s fixtures!

SA Cup standings after Round Eight 2024

Friday, May 17:

Cheetahs v Griquas

Venue: Shimla Park, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 18.00 (16.00 GMT)
Referee: AJ Jacobs

Pumas v Griffons

Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Sean Muller

Saturday, May 18:

SWD Eagles v Leopards

Venue: Outeniqua Park, George
Kick-off: 14.30 (12.30 GMT)
Referee: Dylen November

Boland v Eastern Province

Venue: Rhino Park, Piketberg
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Paul Mente

Sunday, May 19:

Border Bulldogs v Falcons

Venue: Police Park, East London
Kick-off: 14.00 (12.00 GMT)
Referee: Ruhan Meiring



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