CURRIE CUP FINAL: The Loftus record
STAT ATTACK: Looking back at the last five Currie Cup finals at Loftus Versfeld, it’s clear why the Bulls refer to their home ground as a “fortress”.
However, the Bulls will do well not to disregard the Sharks’ impressive away record in Currie Cup finals.
The Durbanites have won five of their eight titles in finals playing outside KwaZulu-Natal – in 1990 in Pretoria, 1992 and 1996 in Johannesburg, and 2013 and 2018 in Cape Town.
The last five Currie Cup finals at Loftus were in 1998 against WP, 2003 against the Sharks, and three-in-a-row against the Cheetahs, in 2004, 2005 and 2009.
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In 1998, the men in light blue beat the Capetonians by 24-20, and six years later the Sharks were on the receiving end of a 19-40 drubbing in the final.
The Bulls beat the Cheetahs by 42-33 in the 2004 final, but the roles were reversed a year later when the Free Staters famously won the 2005 final by 29-25.
In 2009, the Bulls made amends by beating the Cheetahs again, this time by 36-24.
All of these games were high-scoring affairs with lots of tries, and the aggregate score of these five encounters is 34-25 in favour of the men from Pretoria.
In total, 31 tries were scored in these finals, with the late Ettienne Botha bagging two braces – in 2003 and 2004 – as the home team crossed their opponents’ try-line on 17 occasions, while they stood behind their own posts 14 times.