The Sharks, Western Province and Blue Bulls all recorded big, bonus-point wins over last weekend of Currie Cup league action to ensure that the semi-final line up in 2012 has an all-too familiar look about it.
A 42-3 win over Griquas at Kings Park sewed up top spot for the men from Durban and with no points at all coming from the game, Griquas were left with an anxious wait to see if they would manage to hold onto fourth spot – and a semi appearance of their own- or perhaps even face the ignominy of a relegation battle against the Kings. Province duly came to the party, thrashing the Cheetahs far more easily and comprehensively than the 36-15 scoreline might suggest.
That result ensured a third-place finish for the men from the Cape, who will face the Lions in one of the semis and sent the Cheetahs crashing to the bottom of the log, albeit still equal on log points with the Blue Bulls. Needing a win at Coca Cola Park to ensure a fourth-place finish (whilst a loss could have seen them end sixth had the margin been great enough), the Bulls started slowly against an under strength Lions side before hitting their straps and going on to win by 50 points to 29. Even though the Lions threw all their bench options into the fray at half time, an error-ridden performance by the hosts saw the Bulls win by a relatively flattering margin, with a number of their five tries coming directly from Lions mistakes.
The Sharks will face the Bulls at Kings Park in the first semi-final on Saturday, in a repeat of the 2010 match-up at the same venue, whilst the Lions-Western Province clash that kicks off later that day will reprise the contest that took place at the same venue last year.
Meanwhile, the Cheetahs will face the newly-crowned First Division champions, the EP Kings, in a home-and-away battle for Currie Cup survival. The first of those games will take place on Friday night.Tweet