Points to prove in Currie Cup catfight

A big catfight is on the cards as the Lions and Cheetahs battle it out for Currie Cup supremacy at Ellis Park on Friday night (kick-off 7pm).

Both teams have a big point to prove, for completely different reasons, which could lead to a hugely entertaining encounter.

The Lions are still in search of their first victory in the competition, their young side struggling massively so far, leaving them rooted to the bottom of the table, as they were hammered 66-14 in the first encounter of the Lions. two teams in Bloemfontein in March.

With a host of United Rugby Championship reinforcements incorporated into the squad for Friday night’s fixture, the Lions should be able to put on a much more competitive performance and will always be hungry for that first win of the campaign.

“We don’t really have a point to prove. What we have to do is show ourselves, put on a strong performance and try to get the win,” said Lions coach Mziwakhe Nkosi.

“Our preparation when we faced the Cheetahs last time around wasn’t ideal. We had one or two guys who came the day before we left (to Bloemfontein), we also had a few university players in the squad. So there have been times in the season where our preparation has not been ideal.

“As far as the Cheetahs game goes, there’s no real revenge, if that’s what we’re focused on, we should be like that against every team and that’s not what it’s about.

“It’s about our young group and the group that came down from the URC team to put on a quality performance and try to do better than the Griquas and win the game.”

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This will be the Cheetahs’ first game since their hopes of a URC “B” division were firmly dashed by URC CEO Martin Anayi last week, meaning their search for international competition franchise continues.

They will therefore be eager to continue to prove their worth in the Currie Cup and keep their unbeaten record intact by making a strong statement with another good victory over the Lions.

The Cheetahs will also want to keep the pressure on the Bulls, who currently top the log a point above them, with them having a chance to back up ahead of them at least until the Bulls face the Griquas on Saturday.

The other Currie Cup game to be played sees the third on the log for the Sharks take on the fifth on the log for the Pumas in what is expected to be a tightly contested game with the Sharks keen to retain their spot on the log and the Pumas eager to enter the top four.

Charles P. Patton