The Jaguares XV, who have had a faultless season so far, will host the Valke at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds in Potchefstroom, while the Down Touch Griffons host the EP Elephants at HT Pelatona Projects Stadium in Welkom. Both matches kick off at 15h00 on Saturday.
The Jaguares XV have been in fine form in what marks their debut season in the competition – sponsored by DirectAxis Financial Services – winning all seven of their pool matches with bonus points. But this will have no significance when the teams take to the field, as all four sides will enter the semi-finals knowing that it is a case of do-or-die in the competition.
With the Argentineans boasting admirable attacking statistics of over 10 tries per match in the pool stages, the Valke will be wary of the fact that nothing but their best efforts will do to counter the Jaguares XV, who have conceded fewer than half the number of points so far, and scored close to triple the number of tries.
The Valke will enter the match fresh off back-to-back defeats – one of which was a 122-19 drubbing against the Jaguares XV in Brakpan, but neither team will read much into that result after the East Randers fielded a largely inexperienced team for the match to cover for their star players, who participated in a tournament in Australia. Despite this, these results are expected to fuel the Valke’s determination to create an upset.
The Down Touch Griffons, meanwhile, be wary of the EP Elephant, who finished the pool stages only four points adrift on the table with four victories in their seven outings. Given the small margins on attack and defence between the sides throughout the season, with the men from Welkom scoring only eight more tries and conceding 22 more points, it could prove to be a nail-biting clash.
Both sides will enter the match with confidence as the EP Elephants come off three successive victories, while the home side suffered their only defeat in the first round.
The Down Touch Griffons emerged victorious in their pool match, but it was a by a mere four points due to their superior kicking, as both teams scored three tries in the match.
Should the Jaguares XV win their semi-final, they will book a home final as the top team on the log at the conclusion of the pool stages.
Should they choose to play, the Down Touch Griffons, as the best-placed South African team on the table, will feature in the Currie Cup Promotion-Relegation match against the last-placed Premier Division side.
Currie Cup First Division semi-finals
Saturday, 24 August:
Jaguares XV v Valke
Venue: Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds, Potchefstroom
Referee: Egon Seconds
Down Touch Griffons v EP Elephants
Venue: HT Pelatona Projects Stadium, Welkom
Kick-off: 15h00Referee: Quinton Immelman