The Eastern Province Kings will be looking to take a firm grip on this year’s expanded eight-team Absa Currie Cup First Division when they host the Leopards in a top-of-the-table clash in Port Elizabeth at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium tonight.
The Kings, who drew 30-all with the Ford Pumas in Nelspruit last weekend, are the only unbeaten side left in the competition. The men from Port Elizabeth hold a two-point lead over the Leopards – 53-28 victors over the Border Bulldogs in Round 6 – going into the final match of the first round.
The other three matches in Round 7 all take place on Saturday afternoon. Defending champions the Regent Boland Kavaliers will look to build on their long-overdue first win of the season last weekend – 79-26 over the Valke in Worcester – when they travel to East London to face the winless Bulldogs.
Early-season pace-setters the Griffons, who have slipped to third on the table following two defeats – including a 20-13 reversal in George last weekend against the SWD Eagles – will want to get back to winning ways when they host the fourth-placed Ford Pumas at the North West Stadium in Welkom.
The Eagles, whose win in George over the Griffons took them to fifth on the table, will travel to the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park to play the Valke, currently in seventh and licking their wounds following their 50-point defeat to the Kavaliers last weekend.
Eastern Province Kings flyhalf George Whitehead tops the First Division point-scoring log after Round 6, with 80 points made up of three tries, 16 conversions and 11 penalties. Behind Whitehead in second place is Regent Boland Kavaliers flyhalf Elgar Watts on 67, with former Springbok flyhalf Andre Pretorius, now of the Leopards, third on 62.
Leopards wing Allister Kettledas still leads the try-scoring stakes with seven touchdowns but he has been joined at the top of the pile by teammates Danie Dames (7) and Philip de Wet (6).
This weekend’s fixtures – Round 7:
- EP Kings vs Leopards: Friday, 10 August, 19:00 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth. Referee: Lesego Legoete. Assistants: Jason Jaftha, Christie du Preez. Last meeting: 4 March 2011 in Potchefstroom (Vodacom Cup): Leopards won 31-25
- Griffons vs Ford Pumas: Saturday, 11 August, 15:00 at North West Stadium, Welkom. Referee: Jonathan Kaplan. Assistants: Pieter Janse van Vuuren, Francois de Bruin. Last meeting: 23 March 2012 in Welkom (Vodacom Cup): Pumas won 43-12
- Border Bulldogs vs Regent Boland Kavaliers: Saturday, 11 August, 15:00 at Buffalo City Municipal Stadium, East London. Referee: Ben Crouse. Assistants: Sindile Mayende, Fumanekile Yamile. Last meeting: 20 April 2012 in Wellington (Vodacom Cup): Kavaliers won 45-40
- Valke vs SWD Eagles: Saturday, 11 August, 15:00 at Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park. Referee: Craig Joubert. Assistants: Matt Kemp, Pieter de Villiers. Television match official: Shaun Veldsman. Last meeting: 24 September 2011 in Kempton Park (First Division): Valke won 53-45
- Leopards 53-28 Border Bulldogs
- Regent Boland Kavaliers 79-26 Valke
- SWD Eagles 20-13 Griffons
- Ford Pumas 30-30 EP Kings
- Griffons 10-34 EP Kings
- Valke 22-51 Leopards
- SWD Eagles 21-21 Regent Boland Kavaliers
- Border Bulldogs 18-51 Ford Pumas
- EP Kings 56-5 Border Bulldogs
- Regent Boland Kavaliers 20-23 Griffons
- Leopards 68-35 SWD Eagles
- Ford Pumas 36-35 Valke
- Valke 20-37 EP Kings
- SWD Eagles 22-16 Ford Pumas
- Griffons 29-24 Border Bulldogs
- Regent Boland Kavaliers 21-23 Leopards
- EP Kings 38-15 SWD Eagles
- Border Bulldogs 11-33 Valke
- Ford Pumas 33-10 Regent Boland Kavaliers
- Griffons 41-20 Leopards
- Regent Boland Kavaliers 20-25 EP Kings
- SWD Eagles 46-8 Border Bulldogs
- Leopards 32-23 Ford Pumas
- Valke 27-37 Griffons
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