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Crunch time in Currie Cup

As the Currie Cup edges ever so closer to its crescendo, there remains uncertainty over which teams will join the Free State Cheetahs as the last four sides standing.

The Cheetahs have been the stand-out team in the competition thus far and look certain to finish the round robin stage of the competition at the top which means that they will not only secure themselves a home semi-final but a home final as well, if they get that far.

As the Currie Cup edges ever so closer to its crescendo, there remains uncertainty over which teams will join the Free State Cheetahs in the playoffs. Photo: Muzi Ntombela. Credit: BackpagePix

Unbeaten in six matches and looking at making seven in a row with their clash against the Pumas at the Mbombela Stadium tonight (6.40pm), the Cheetahs are the firm favourites to replicate the Golden Lions' unbeaten run of last year and be crowned champions next month.

Hot on their heels are the Sharks and Blue Bulls who both are in a battle to guarantee their place in the semi-finals but can easily lose their way if they suffer defeat in their last remaining games of the competition.

The Sharks enjoy a bye this weekend before playing the Lions next week in Johannesburg but they will keep an eagle’s eye on the weekend’s proceedings with Griquas, Western Province and the Lions lurking in the background.

The Bulls will secure their passage to the semi-finals with a win over the Boland Cavaliers this afternoon (3pm) in Wellington and will strengthen their bid for a home semi-final by making sure that they get a bonus point.

However, all eyes will be on Kimberley tonight (7pm) as Griquas host Western Province in a game that will go a long way in determining which of the two teams takes their place in the semi-finals.

Griquas are a point ahead of the Cape Town side and they will be eager to redeem themselves from their debilitating loss against the Bulls last week while Western Province will take heart from their victory over the Pumas.

The Lions should emerge victorious against the Eastern Province Kings tomorrow in Port Elizabeth to set themselves up for an epic and decisive encounter against the Sharks a week at home.

Maximum points against the Kings and a win with a bonus point against the Sharks could see the Lions sneak into the semi-finals.

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