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A dramatic Currie Cup Premier Division tournament is set for an explosive conclusion when the Toyota Cheetahs host the defending champions, the Airlink Pumas, in Bloemfontein this weekend, while the First Division competition reaches a climax in Wellington.

South Africa’s premier domestic tournament has served up a number of surprises over the past few months. After taming a strong Vodacom Bulls side at Loftus Versfeld in the final round of the league stage, the Toyota Cheetahs claimed an emphatic 39-10 victory against Jake White’s charges in the subsequent semi-final staged in Bloemfontein.

In the second playoff in Durban, the Airlink Pumas kept their hopes of a title defence alive with a 26-20 win against the Cell C Sharks.

The upshot is that two fiercely determined outfits will clash in the Free State capital on Saturday. The Toyota Cheetahs will be looking to claim their first Currie Cup title since 2019, while the Airlink Pumas will be out to prove that last season’s success was no fluke.

The men from Mpumalanga romped to a 61-21 win when they last visited Bloemfontein in round four of this year’s tournament. The Free Staters hit back in the next fixture staged in Nelspruit in round 13, winning 29-14. 

The stats suggest that the most balanced teams in the competition have advanced to the decider. The Toyota Cheetahs scored the most tries and points over the course of the league phase, while they were ranked among the top three defensive units in the tournament. They certainly shone in both departments against the Vodacom Bulls in the semi-final.

The Airlink Pumas have racked up some big wins over the course of the season, and have been second only to the Free Staters for tries and points scored. In terms of defence, only the Cell C Sharks conceded fewer tries and points over the league phase – although Jimmy Stonehouse’s men made a powerful statement when they repelled the same KwaZulu-Natalian side in the closely contested playoff last week.


Toyota Cheetahs: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 David Brits, 12 Reinhardt Fortuin, 11 Cohen Jasper, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Friedle Olivier, 7 Sibabalo Qoma, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete (captain), 4 Rynier Bernardo, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Mox Mxoli

Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Jeandre Rudolph, 20 George Cronje, 21 Daniel Maartens, 22 Siya Masuku, 23 Robert Ebersohn.

Airlink Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Andrew Kota, 13 Diego Appollis, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Kwanda Dimaza, 7 Francois Kleinhans, 6 Andre Fouche, 5 Shane Kirkwood (captain), 4 Deon Slabbert, 3 Simon Raw, 2 PJ Jacobs, 1 Corne Fourie

Replacements: 16 Darnell Osuagwu, 17 Etienne Janeke, 18 Dewald Maritz, 19 Malembe Mpofu, 20 Ruwald van der Merwe, 21 Giovan Snyman, 22 Gene Willemse, 23 Wian van Niekerk.

Currie Cup First Division

The Boland Kavaliers will have to contend with the high-flying Valke when the two teams contest the First Division final in Wellington at 13h00 on Saturday.

Boland earned the right to host the decider after finishing the league stage at the top of the standings. While the Kavaliers will start as favourites as they are playing at home, the Valke are coming off a 55-38 win against the SWD Eagles in last week’s Mzanzi Challenge final. 

Match information:

First Division final: Boland Kavaliers v Valke

Venue: Boland Stadium, Wellington

Date: Saturday, 24 June

Time: 13h00

Referee: Paul Mente

TV: SuperSport Channel 201, 211 

Premier Division final: Toyota Cheetahs v Airlink Pumas

Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein

Date: Saturday, 24 June

Time: 16h00

Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni

TV: SuperSport Channel 201, 211


– If the scores are level after full-time, 20 minutes of extra time (two halves of 10 minutes each) will be played in order to determine a winner.

– If the scores remain level after extra time, the team that finished higher in the league standings will be declared the winner.

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