The Leopards return to action this week in the Absa Currie Cup Qualifying competition and will be aiming to close the gap on log leaders GWK Griquas with a good result at home on Saturday in Potchefstroom against the Down Touch Griffons.
Griquas increased their lead on the standings to six points after beating the Griffons last weekend. However, the Griquas were in action yesterday in a friendly against the Pumas in Kimberley and will resume their quest for qualification next weekend.
That gives the Leopards, who have a dangerous backline spearheaded by captain and former Springbok flyhalf Andre Pretorius, the ideal opportunity to hopefully bring them within touching distance of Griquas. The Kimberley-side has been the most impressive team so far during the qualifying competition.
Based on their showings so far during the campaign, the second placed Leopards should hold to much firepower for the Griffons who are currently in joint fourth spot with the Regent Boland Cavaliers.
Pretorius aside, the Leopards have two former Junior Springboks speedsters in Sylvian Mahuza and Luther Obi, while Hoffman Maritz is always a threat and will play in the No 15 jersey.
The Griffons, however, have a good record in Potch and their loss last year was the first time in five years they did not emerge as winners from this encounter.
The Border Bulldogs and SWD Eagles will start the weekend’s action when they clash on Friday evening at the BCM Stadium in East London.
Bottom of the log Border made a flying start to their match last weekend against the Valke but they could not maintain the intensity in the second half, which resulted in a 54-40 defeat after they were leading 26-12 at halftime.
The Border wings of Thembani Mkokeli and Lindani Ndelela scored three tries against the Valke and while the SWD Eagles will be hoping to strike with their own backline, they will have to keep a close eye on the visitors’ fast outside backs.
The Valke and Regent Boland Cavaliers clash in the early match on Saturday at 14h30 at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park. The Valke will be hoping to start in a similar fashion as their superb second half display, which saw them overturning a halftime deficit to eventually clinch a high scoring match against the Bulldogs.
Fullback Juan Kotze is the spearhead of the Valke backline attack and he will be hoping to help steer his team to their third win of the qualifiers against the Cavaliers. However, Boland will definitely be looking to bounce back from their close defeat against the Eagles.
The match is live on SuperSport1.
The Absa Currie Cup Premier Division Qualifying fixtures for round 4:
Friday, 4 July
Border Bulldogs vs SWD Eagles
Venue: MBC Stadium, East London
Saturday, 5 July
Valke vs Regent Boland Cavaliers
Venue: Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park
Live on SS1
Leopards vs Down Touch Griffons
Venue: Profert Olen Park, Potchefstroom