CAPE TOWN – As the final round of the 2019 Curie Cup group stages approaches, the race for the semifinals is off the wire.
Grikua is the only party guaranteed by the last four places, while the Cougars are the only party guaranteed not to.
All five other sites – Free state cheetahs, golden lions, sharks, western province and blue bulls – are still shouting.
As things stand, this is what the top six of the Curry Curry diary look like (all teams have played 5 games):
1. Grikas – 19 points
2. Free State – 17 points
3. Lions – 17 points
4. Sharks – 14 points
5. WP – 13 points
6. Bulls – 9 points
And these are Saturday's games:
Griquas against the Lions – 15:00
Free State vs WP – 17:15
Blue bulls against sharks – 7:30 pm
If so Grikias winning the first match of the day, they will provide home advantage for the semifinals and finals. If they lose, they could be knocked down to 4th if other results go against them. In any case, they are in the semifinals.
At Lions, meanwhile, need a win to secure their way to the semifinals. The win would also guarantee them a home semifinal and potentially a first-round pick if the Cheetahs lose to Western Province in the next game of the day. The defeat could cause disaster, and would mean the end of the road for the Lions if the Western Province and the Sharks win their matches.
Free State are almost in the same position as the Lions, with the victory securing them a home semifinal. The defeat, on the other hand, could end up in the tournament if the Sharks and Lions both move on to the log.
The equation for WP is simple: win or eliminate. If the WP wins with bonus points and the Free State receives nothing from the match, then the WP will go ahead of the Free State on the log and provide qualifications. Only a win may not be enough if the Sharks defeat the Bulls in a later game and the Lions get something out of their game. The WP can also win without bonus points, and then hope the Blue Bulls can benefit the Sharks.
In time Blue bulls host of sharks in Loftus, they will know exactly where they stand. If WP wins their match, then the Bulls are out. If the WO loses, however, the Bulls are back and will have to beat the Sharks by 12 points and bonus points with the Sharks not winning anything.
At Sharks, meanwhile, will be in 5th place until they are brought to the field, should the WB win the Free State. Then they will have everything to play against the Bulls side that has already been eliminated. If both the Free State and the Lions lose, however, the Sharks can also book the home semifinals with a win. It is open to the Durban.
– Course Cup (@TheCurrieCup) August 22, 2019