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Home-ground advantage key in SA Cup

ROUND TWO PREVIEW: Four teams that started on the losing side in the opening round of the new SA Cup competition will be looking to make their home-ground advantage count in the second round this weekend, with the action getting underway on Thursday, when the Falcons host Griquas on the East Rand.

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Last week in the opening round of the inaugural competition, the Currie Cup sides found the going tough against their more experienced Premier Division opponents, and this week will give them another early opportunity to test their combinations against strong opposition.

Griquas sped away to a runaway win last week over the Leopards in Kimberley and can be regarded as the clear favourites when they take on the Falcons in Kempton Park.

The East Randers, champions in last year’s Mzansi Challenge, will be looking to cause an upset after falling just short last week against Eastern Province in Gqeberha.

Unfortunately for the men from Kimberley, they will be without the services of former Springbok Sevens player Sako Makata, who picked up an ankle injury in last week’s first-round action.

In the only encounter scheduled for Friday, the Pumas host EP at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit and the Lowvelders will be confident of adding another win to last week’s away triumph over the SWD Eagles.

The remaining three matches all take place on Saturday in East London, Wellington, and Potchefstroom, respectively.

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Boland host the Griffons in their first home game of the competition in Wellington where the Cavaliers, with coach Hawies Fourie back as mentor, will no doubt be aiming for an improved performance following their opening-round away loss to the Cheetahs.

The Leopards couldn’t get onto the scoreboard in their first-round clash last week in Kimberley, and this week they are at home in Potchefstroom against the powerful Cheetahs outfit, who will be looking to use the encounter as good preparation for their EPCR Challenge Cup play-off came next week against Clermont Auvergne in France.

The Free Staters welcome back their skipper and lock Victor Sekekete, who has returned from a loan spell with United Rugby Championship outfit Ospreys in Wales.

Meanwhile, the weekend’s action will conclude with the all-First Division clash in East London where Border Bulldogs entertain the SWD Eagles at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium.

Round Two fixtures:

Thursday, March 28:

Falcons v Griquas
(Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park – Kick-off: 15.00; 13.00 GMT)

Referee: Griffin Colby

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Home-ground advantage key in SA Cup

Griquas team v Falcons 2024

Friday, March 29:

Pumas v Eastern Province
(Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit – 17.00; 15.00 GMT)

Referee: Christopher Allison

Pumas team v EP

Saturday, March 30:

Boland v Griffons
(Boland Stadium, Wellington – Kick-off: 15.00; 13.00)

Referee: Paul Mente

Home-ground advantage key in SA Cup

Home-ground advantage key in SA Cup

Leopards v Cheetahs
(Olën Park, Potchefstroom – Kick-off: 15.00; 13.00 GMT)

Referee: Hanru van Rooyen

Home-ground advantage key in SA Cup

Border Bulldogs v SWD Eagles
(Sisa Dukashe Stadium, East London – Kick-off: 15.00; 13.00 GMT)

Referee: Dylen November

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