SA Cup rivals do battle in final

The SA Cup will conclude with what promises to be a thrilling final between Griquas and the Pumas when the top-two teams in the new competition meet in Kimberley on Saturday.

The final will kick off at 12.30pm at Suzuki Stadium, home ground of Griquas, who marched unbeaten to Saturday's climax.

Pieter Bergh's Peacock Blues swept aside all opposition to win their nine round-robin matches and clinch top spot on the final league table.

In fact, the Northern Cape side were the only side who managed to inflict a defeat upon Jimmy Stonehouse's equally impressive Pumas outfit, a 31-26 victory in Kimberley in round seven of the regular season.

However, looking at the last five meetings between the two teams, the Pumas lead by three wins to two with an average score of 30-25, which includes a 26-19 victory in the Currie Cup Premier Division final in 2022, where the team from Mpumalanga showed they have what it takes to win a decider in Kimberley.

This weekend's battle will feature an interesting duel between the two flyhalves, George Whitehead of Griquas and the Pumas' Clinton Swart. The two playmakers have been in superb scoring form and have claimed the top-two spots on the scoring chart.

Whitehead sits first with 131 points for an average of 14.5 points per game during the league phase, while Swart has amassed 109 points at an average of 12.1 points per game. Whitehead has so far succeeded with an incredible 51 conversions, but Swart has been just as accurate off the kicking tee with 43 conversions.

Both sides have an equal big appetite for attacking rugby which have resulted in 10 tries for Pumas hooker Darnell Osuagwu so far, making him the current leading try scorer, while Griquas fullback Cameron Hufke has scored nine tries, which places him joint second on the list with Griffons fullback Domenic Smit.

And while Griquas have been unstoppable to date this year, they know they cannot underestimate the dangerous Mpumalanga outfit.

If scores are level at the end of the match, 20 minutes of extra time (two halves of 10 minutes each) will be added and if the scores are still tied after extra time, the team that finished higher on the log after the group stage (Griquas) will be declared the winner.

SA Cup Final – Suzuki Griquas vs Airlink Pumas
Date: Saturday, 25 May
Venue: Suzuki Stadium, Kimberley
Referee: Christopher Allison
Kick off: 12.30pm

Photo: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

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