war1

Currie Cup: Road to the play-offs


Written by Warren Smith (war1)

Posted in :Currie Cup, In the news on 12 Sep 2010 at 22:53
Tagged with : ,

Realistically six teams are still in with a chance of reaching the Currie Cup play-offs, although the Pumas can put forward a mathematical argument.

It will take an extraordinary series of results for the tournament newcomers from Witbank to reach the play-offs of South Africa’s premier domestic competition.

However, they are realistic enough to know that a top six finish is a more achievable goal.

The most intriguing aspect of the Currie Cup, with four rounds of league action remaining, is the uncomfortable position the defending champion Blue Bulls are finding themselves in.

Fifth on the standings, after their 14-20 loss to the Free State Cheetahs at the weekend, the men from Pretoria can’t afford to lose any of their remaining matches.

They face the Lions, Leopards, Western Province and Griquas in the weeks to come – with their Springboks not schedule to return till the last week.

The Bulls are, to put it bluntly, in trouble.

But then again, they have been known to sneak in the back door and win the tournament – both at Currie Cup and Super Rugby level – in the past.

The other team of the top six who appear to be in danger of falling by the wayside is Griquas.

In sixth place after failing to seriously challenge the rejuvenated Lions at the weekend, they now face the Leopards, Western Province, Pumas and Blue Bulls.

While victories over the Leopards and Pumas are realistic, they will have their work cut out to beat WP and the Bulls – especially considering that at least one of those two is in a ‘must win’ situation.

The undoubted surprise package of the season is the Lions. Having moved, past the Bulls, into the top four, the Lions still have plenty to do – with games against the Bulls, Sharks, Cheetahs and Pumas.

A tall order indeed for John Mitchell’s brand of young guns, but not out of reach.

The Cheetahs are suddenly sitting very pretty in third place – with games against the Sharks, Pumas, Lions and Leopards to come. If, as expected, they collect a full-house against the Pumas and Leopards, the Cheetahs may well be looking at a home semifinal.

Second-placed WP may well be safe by the time they face the Bulls in the penultimate week of league action. They have the Pumas and v Griquas tome come, before finishing off with two tough games against the Bulls and Sharks. Their biggest challenge is to secure home ground advantage in the semifinals.

Complacency may well be the table-topping Sharks’ biggest problem. Eight points clear of their nearest rivals, they need two wins from their last four games to be safe – with the Cheetahs, Lions, Leopards and WP to come.

The road to the play-offs:

The Sharks:
Current position:
1st
Best possible finish: 1st
Worst possible finish: 6th
Remaining fixtures:
v Cheetahs, Durban
v Lions, Johannesburg
v Leopards, Durban
v Western Province, Cape Town

Western Province
Current position:
2nd
Best possible finish: 1st
Worst possible finish: 7th
Remaining fixtures:
v Pumas, Witbank
v Griquas, Cape Town
v Blue Bulls, Pretoria
v Sharks, Cape Town

Free State Cheetahs
Current position:
3rd
Best possible finish: 1st
Worst possible finish: 7th
Remaining fixtures:
v Sharks, Durban
v Pumas, Bloemfontein
v Lions, Bloemfontein
v Leopards, Potchefstroom

Lions
Current position:
4th
Best possible finish: 1st
Worst possible finish: 7th
Remaining fixtures:
v Blue Bulls, Pretoria
v Sharks, Johannesburg
v Cheetahs, Bloemfontein
v Pumas, Witbank

Blue Bulls
Current position:
5th
Best possible finish: 1st
Worst possible finish: 7th
Remaining fixtures:
v Lions, Pretoria
v Leopards, Potchefstroom
v Western Province, Pretoria
v Griquas, Kimberley

Griquas
Current position:
6th
Best possible finish: 1st
Worst possible finish: 7th
Remaining fixtures:
v Leopards, Kimberley
v Western Province, Cape Town
v Pumas, Witbank
v Blue Bulls, Kimberley

Pumas
Current position:
7th
Best possible finish: 2nd
Worst possible finish: 8th
Remaining fixtures:
v Western Province, Witbank
v Cheetahs, Bloemfontein
v Griquas, Witbank
v Lions, Witbank

Leopards
Current position:
8th
Best possible finish: 7th
Worst possible finish: 8th
Remaining fixtures:
v Griquas, Kimberley
v Blue Bulls, Potchefstroom
v Sharks, Durban
v Cheetahs, Potchefstroom

By Jan de Koning from Rugby365.



12 Comments

  • The Sharks have quite a difficult run in, we will have to play well to stay on top.

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.09.10 22:56:21 by war1 Reply
    Administrator
    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • I hope the Bulls miss out!! :grin:
    WP just need to beat the Pumas on Friday and then Griquas next week (at Newlands) and they’ll be in a very good position.
    We can afford to lose at Loftus because our last game is against the Sharks who may have already qualified for a home semi and final.

  • Comment 2, posted at 12.09.10 23:10:31 by wpw Reply
    Administrator
    wpwAssistant coach
     
  • @wpw (Comment 2) : i think every1 outside of pretoria wants da bulls 2 miss out! Will b ironic if da sharks hav qualified 4 a home semi and send a weakened team 2 cpt and da bulls lose out because of it

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.09.10 02:09:02 by RuckingFun Reply

    RuckingFunTeam captain
     
  • Ruckingfun
    That would be AWESOME!! :twisted:

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.09.10 07:30:12 by wpw Reply
    Administrator
    wpwAssistant coach
     
  • Go Sharks, Lions and Griquas!!! :razz:

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.09.10 08:59:05 by Jarson Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
    JarsonXAssistant coach
     
  • I don’t know if this has already been reported but for those that are interested in the Mapoe saga this should be resolved in the next 2 weeks. The weekend kzn papers had a statement from Van Zyl admiting that Mapoe was still training with the Sharks and that the FS had served court summons on Mapoe and the Sharks. He stated that the Sharks had offered the Cheetahs to pay transfer fees for Mapoe but Vester had refused saying that they wanted Mapoe not money. Mapoe remains adamant that he will not return to Bloem preferring not playing at all to going back to Bloem. The court (labour) date is set for end of this week/begining of next week.

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.09.10 09:00:30 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's DudetteSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 6) : The Sharks should not allow Mapoe to train with them, untill it was resolved. Finish en Klaar.

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.09.10 09:07:33 by Jarson Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
    JarsonXAssistant coach
     
  • Once again, empahisisng the importance of The Sharks loss to the Koeie two weeks ago. Then they would’ve been as good as out by this stage already.

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.09.10 09:55:48 by SharksRTB Reply

    SharksRTBCurrie Cup player
     
  • @RuckingFun (Comment 3) : That would make my year! :mrgreen:

    Seriously though after seeing the kind of shape FS are in at the moment I can`t help thinking they are a much more difficult prospect than the sharks realise.
    Yes it is at home but we all know what happened in the past. FS`s defense is awesome right now . . .
    This weekend will be our most difficult test in quite a while. Win this weekend and I`m sure we`ll have a home final!! Lose and it could be the season . . . We might still have a home semi but if we have to face FS in the semi after having lost to them in this round it will not be pretty . . .

    Looking forward to this weekend already. Sharks vs FS . . Bulls vs Lions . . . Big games . . . Huge repercussions! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.09.10 12:41:24 by Original Pierre Reply
    Author
    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
     
  • Hey…It is a tight race this year around…the Lions have 4 tough games (even the Pumas seem to be giving the top teams a run for their money)…

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.09.10 00:24:51 by Hmmm Reply

    HmmmSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Jarson (Comment 5) :

    LoL

    Who is the 4th team you want to go through?

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.09.10 00:32:55 by Hmmm Reply

    HmmmSuper Rugby player
     
  • @SharksRTB (Comment 8) :

    Agreed…if the Sharks could just win that one…then the Bulls would have had 24/25 log points at this stage…

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.09.10 00:35:32 by Hmmm Reply

    HmmmSuper Rugby player
     

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.