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Leopards, Currie Cup, First Division, Champions
Leopards, Currie Cup, First Division, Champions

Leopards Hunt Back-To-Back Titles

The Leopards will be hunting back-to-back titles and their 19th consecutive victory in the Currie Cup First Division when they host the Down Touch Griffons, champions in 2014, in the final in Potchefstroom on Friday.

A victory for the Leopards would reaffirm their dominance this season after advancing through the Currie Cup First Division – brought to you by Nashua and DirectAxis – unbeaten, like they did in 2015 when they swept away all opposition.

They men from North West will face tough competition from the Down Touch Griffons, who suffered two defeats in the pool stages – against the Leopards and Border respectively – but bounced back strongly in the semi-final to defeat the Bulldogs by 25-16.

The last time the teams met in the Currie Cup First Division Final was in 2008 at the same venue, and the Welkom side emerged 31-26 victors.

This result and their emphatic 76-26 victory against the Leopards in the Currie Cup Qualifiers earlier this year will bolster the Griffons’ confidence going into the final. They will also take comfort from the fact that the Leopards scored three of their six tries in their Currie Cup pool match this season when the team was reduced to 14 men. The Leopards won the match 43-33.

The Leopards, however, have a favourable win record against the Down Touch Griffons in Potchefstroom, with the team having won their last three home matches against their Welkom counterparts with over 43 points scored in each of these matches.

Given the close margins between the sides on attack and defence this season, with the Leopards having scored 36 tries and conceded 26 in their six match this season and the Down Touch Griffons having scored 30 and conceded 24, the clash could come down to the wire.

The Currie Cup First Division Final will be preceded by the SA Rugby U20 Championship Final between the Griffons and Boland, making it a significant day for the Welkom-based union.

The Griffons U20 side finished the pool stages of the competition as the top team with 11 victories in 14 matches and then defeated the Limpopo Blue Bulls in the semi-final to book their final berth, while Boland won 10 of their matches and overpowered SWD in the semi-final.

With each side having won one of their two pool matches with the winning margins being two and four points respectively, the Final is expected to be gripping.

Currie Cup Fixtures – Friday, 7 October:

Leopards vs Down Touch Griffons – Currie Cup First Division Final
Venue: Profert Olën Park, Potchefstroom
Kick-off: 16h00
Referee: Quinton Immelman
TV: SS1

Griffons vs Boland – SA Rugby U20 Championship Final
Venue: Profert Olën Park, Potchefstroom
Kick-off: 13h30
Referee: Sindile Ngcese
TV: SS1

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