Road to the play-offs: Lions are safe

Mon, 01 Oct 2012 14:07
Large riaan viljoen splashes 630 Large warren whiteley line out 63 Large sias ebersohn runs 630 Large cobus gronnelaar water 630 Large sharks fan 630

With just two rounds of league action remaining the first team has booked a spot in the Currie Cup play-offs.

With just two rounds of league action remaining the first team has booked a spot in the Currie Cup play-offs.

The defending champion Golden Lions are now the only team that is guaranteed a place in the semifinals later this month.

The Lions, three points clear at the top of the standings, need just two more points to book home ground advantage in the semis. They will hope to do that when they travel to Kimberley to face Griquas - one of just two teams this season to have beaten them. The other outfit was the Sharks, in Durban.

Given how important home ground advantage is in the play-offs, as the Lions proved last year in winning their first Currie Cup in 12 years, the Lions may be doing more than just looking for revenge against Griquas - they will be out for a full five points in Kimberley.

Although the second-placed Sharks can, theoretically, still drop out of the top four, it is almost certain they will secure their spot when they travel to Bloemfontein this weekend. They need just one more point to book their place.

The third-placed Western Province - eight points down on the Lions and five behind the Sharks - also have it in their own hands. They face the Blue Bulls this week and can knock their arch rivals out of the competition at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.

The Free State Cheetahs, Griquas and Bulls are the teams in real trouble, as they are effectively in a shoot-out for the fourth play-off spot.

Jan de Koning looks at each team's road to the play-offs!

Golden Lions:
Current position: First
Best possible finish: First
Worst possible finish: Third
Remaining matches:
Versus Griquas away
Versus Blue Bulls at home

Sharks:
Current position: Second
Best possible finish: First
Worst possible finish: Fifth
Remaining matches:
Versus Free State Cheetahs away
Versus Griquas at home

Western Province:
Current position: Third
Best possible finish: First
Worst possible finish: Sixth
Remaining matches:
Versus Blue Bulls away
Versus Free State Cheetahs at home

Free State Cheetahs:
Current position:
Fourth
Best possible finish: Second
Worst possible finish: Sixth
Remaining matches:
Versus Sharks at home
Versus Western Province away

Griquas:
Current position: Fifth
Best possible finish: Second
Worst possible finish: Sixth
Remaining matches:
Versus Golden Lions at home
Versus Sharks away

Blue Bulls:
Current position: Sixth
Best possible finish: Third
Worst possible finish: Sixth
Remaining matches:
Versus Western Province at home
Versus Golden Lions away

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CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26