MTN Golden Lions looking to bounce back – Vodacom Cup Round 5 Preview
April 10, 2013
The two most successful teams in Vodacom Cup history, the MTN Golden Lions and GWK Griquas, face each other in a vital match for both sides as the race to the playoffs heat up.

With eight titles between them, the MTN Golden Lions and GWK Griquas have dominated the competition since the inception of the Vodacom Cup in 1998, having won four titles each.

Both teams need to return to winning ways if they are going to qualify for the next stage of the competition however, with the quarter-finals just three weeks away.

GWK Griquas, currently third in the North Section, have a slightly easier route to the playoffs than the MTN Golden Lions, who will treat Friday afternoon’s clash at the UJ Stadium in Johannesburg as a must-win.

Both these teams lost last week and to make matters even trickier for the MTN Golden Lions, they still have to travel to Nelspruit next week to face the log-leading Steval Pumas.

The pick of the matches in the South Section will kick off at DHL Newlands at 14h30 on Saturday afternoon, when the Vodacom Cup champions of 2011 and 2012, the ICBC Pampas XV and DHL Western Province, square off.

They occupy positions two and three on the log and are in good positions to make the playoffs, but defeat on Saturday could put a dent in their ambitions to gain that important home ground advantage in the quarters.

The front runners in the two sections, the Sharks XV (South) and Steval Pumas (North), play at home this weekend and should have too much fire-power for the Regent Boland Cavaliers and Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls. Victory should be enough to secure both these top teams a place in the playoffs.

After losing at home last weekend, the Vodacom Blue Bulls and Toyota Free State XV will be hell bent on getting back to winning ways when they travel to Springs and Alice on Saturday to face the Valke and Border Bulldogs respectively.

This match is especially crucial for the Toyota Free State XV, after losing their last three matches. The Bulldogs, like the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls, have not won a single match yet this season.

Two interesting mid-table clashes are scheduled for Friday. In Potchefstroom, the Leopards XV will be looking to hang on to their second position on the North Section log against the Down Touch Griffons, who will be travelling to Profert Ölen Park in a confident mood after they beat the MTN Golden Lions last weekend.

And at the Central Grounds in Uitenhage, the EP Kings and SWD Eagles will fight it out to remain in playoff contention in the South Section, with the hosts probably in a better position following their good win over the Toyota Free State XV in Bloemfontein last weekend. The Eagles though can never be discounted, especially since they ran the Sharks XV close in George last Friday.

Round 5 fixtures:

Friday, 12 April

MTN Golden Lions v GWK Griquas
Kick-off: 15h00
Venue: UJ Stadium, Johannesburg

Sharks XV v Regent Boland Cavaliers
Kick-off: 16h30
Venue: Kings Park, Durban

Leopards XV v Down Touch Griffons
Kick-off: 17h05
Venue: Profert Ölen Park, Potchefstroom

EP Kings v SWD Eagles
Kick-off: 19h00
Venue: Central Grounds, Uitenhage

Saturday, 13 April

ICBC Pampas XV v DHL Western Province
Kick-off: 14h30
Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town

Valke v Vodacom Blue Bulls
Kick-off: 15h00
Venue: Hugenote High School, Springs

Steval Pumas v Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls
Kick-off: 15h00
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

Border Bulldogs v Toyota Free State XV
Kick-off: 15h00
Venue: University of Fort Hare, Alice

Vodacom Super Rugby
Friday, May 29 2015
09:35 - Crusaders vs Hurricanes
Trafalgar Park, Nelson
11:40 - Brumbies vs Vodacom Bulls
GIO Stadium, Canberra
19:10 - Cell C Sharks vs Rebels
Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban
Saturday, May 30 2015
09:35 - Highlanders vs Chiefs
Rugby Park, Invercargill
11:40 - Force vs Reds
nib Stadium, Perth
Vodacom Cup
14:10 - Western Province vs Pumas
DHL Newlands Rugby Stadium, CT
Vodacom Super Rugby
17:05 - DHL Stormers vs Toyota Cheetahs
DHL Newlands, Cape Town
19:10 - Emirates Lions vs Waratahs
Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
IRB Junior World Championship
Tuesday, June 02 2015
16:30 - Ireland vs Argentina
Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma
16:30 - France vs Wales
Stadio San Michele, Calvisano

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