Natal will be looking to move one step closer to Super Eight qualification when they take on the Boland Cavaliers in a Currie Cup rugby encounter at the Absa Stadium on Saturday (SuperSport 1 on DSTV & M-Net, 6.50pm).

Natal have been in good form in the Currie Cup, following their Super 12 success, and should have too much firepower for the winefarmers, despite most of their star players being missing in Tri-Nations action.

Prior to the start of the Currie Cup, Boland looked certain to make the next phase, but now another loss could condemn them to also-rans in the competition.

The Bolanders, who lost to the Free State Cheetahs last week, have dropped Springbok hooker Dale Santon and have replaced him with Martin van Schalkwyk in an effort to beef up their pack.

The Natal backs look awesome on paper, with the likes of Gaffie du Toit, Stefan Terblanche, Justin Swart, Trevor Halstead and Craig Davidson capable of tearing apart any opposition.

And, with loose-forwards of the ilk of AJ Venter, Warren Brosnihan and Charl van Rensburg, they have the players to provide their backs with plenty of loose ball.

The Lions, meanwhile, entertain neighbours Falcons, the form team at the moment and currently on a seven-match winning streak. The match, at Ellis Park on Saturday, could tilt the balance of the group.

The Falcons will look to young centre Adrian Jacobs for inspiration and, with a host of Lions on tour with the Boks, the visitors are looking for a surprise victory.

Jacobs will partner another exciting player, Ettiene Botha in the midfield with Joe Esterhuizen moving to flyhalf.

The Falcons also boast a powerful front-row in Matthew Proudfoot, captain James Dalton and Gunder Williamson, while loose-forwards Nicky van der Walt and Naas Rossouw should scavenge for the loose ball with serious intent.

A young Free State outfit should account for the Eastern Province Jumbos in their encounter in Bloemfontein, which has been switched from Sunday to Saturday.

Free State have continued to find talent despite losing players to the bigger provinces and will again be Currie Cup hopefuls.

Griquas travel to East London to take on the Bulldogs in a match which should decide which of the two will go through. Griquas start as favourites, but Border are a competent outfit at home and the score should be close.

The Pumas play host to the Eagles in Witbank on Saturday, while, on Friday night, the Bulls travel to Potchefstroom to take on the Leopards. - Sapa