Griquas and Pumas in a battle for the SA Cup summit

rugby02 May 2024 10:50
article image
Giovan Snyman of the Airlink Pumas © Gallo Images

The SA Cup will kick into a higher gear this weekend when the two top teams on the table, Suzuki Griquas and the Airlink Pumas, will battle it out for top spot in Kimberley on Friday afternoon.

With both teams tied at the summit of the standings, each boasting 30 points, this match – which kicks off at 2:30pm – could give one of the sides the inside lane to hosting the final later this month.

Four more matches are scheduled for Saturday, with the next three teams on the log – the NovaVit Griffons, Toyota Cheetahs and Sanlam Boland Kavaliers – all facing tricky trips away from home to stay in touch with the front-runners, while there is a mouth-watering Eastern Cape derby on the menu too.

As it stands, Suzuki Griquas hold a slight edge over the Airlink Pumas with a better points’ difference. This highly anticipated match will showcase the team from the Northern Cape, the current top attacking team with an impressive 432 points, against the visitors from Mpumalanga, known for their formidable defence, having conceded only 35 points in six games.

Five points adrift from the log leaders in third place, the NovaVit Griffons will aim to narrow the gap as they take on the Phangela SWD Eagles, placed sixth, in George on Saturday.

Hometown advantage will be on the side of the Eagles, but the Griffons, buoyed by their stellar form, will seek to capitalise on their recent successes, having suffered only one defeat – to Griquas – this season.

The teams from George and Welkom will be only teams that kick off at 2:30pm on Saturday, while all the other games will start at 3pm.

The Leopards, coming off a tough loss to the Airlink Pumas in round six, are eager to emulate their victorious performances from the previous two rounds, against Eastern Province and the Border Bulldogs, when senior provincial rugby heads to Leeudoringstad, southwest of Potchefstroom.

However, the men from North West will face a resolute Sanlam Boland Kavaliers squad, fresh off a dominant 106-7 win over the Bulldogs.

Positioned in the middle of the log with three wins and three losses, the Bolanders promises to offer stiff competition.


Elsewhere, the Toyota Cheetahs, riding high after a convincing win against the Phangela SWD Eagles, seek to secure a top-three position as they clash with the Valke in Kempton Park.

With four wins in their last six games, the Free Staters will try to capitalise on their momentum, but the Valke, currently tied with Eastern Province at eight points each, are determined to stay out of the bottom two spots.

The Valke sit eighth on the log, edging EP on points’ difference.

Rounding off the round's action will be an Eastern Cape derby between the bottom two teams in Gqeberha. Eastern Province will host the Border Bulldogs, aiming to distance themselves further from the foot of the table.

Winless so far in the competition, the Bulldogs are desperate for a turnaround as they look to salvage their season and get some points on the board.


Suzuki Griquas v Airlink Pumas

Date: Friday, 3 May

Venue: Suzuki Stadium, Kimberley

Referee: AJ Jacobs

SA Time: 2:30pm

TV: SS Action (210)

Phangela SWD Eagles v NovaVit Griffons

Date: Saturday, 4 May

Venue: Outeniqua Park, George

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen

SA Time: 2:30pm

TV: SS OTT 5 (245)

Leopards v Sanlam Boland Kavaliers

Date: Saturday, 4 May

Venue: Leeudoringstad Rugby Club, Leeudoringstad

Referee: Paul Mente

SA Time: 3pm

Streaming: SS Schools

Valke v Toyota Cheetahs

Date: Sunday, 5 May

Venue: Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park

Referee: Hanru van Rooyen

SA Time: 3pm

TV: SS OTT 8 (952)

Eastern Province v Border Bulldogs

Date: Saturday, 4 May

Venue: Isaac Wolfson Stadium, Nelson Mandela

Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys

SA Time: 3pm

TV: SS OTT 1 (244)