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Play-off race heats up as SA Cup enters closing stages

PREVIEW: Several teams will striving to keep alive their dreams of reaching the SA Cup Final.

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With a maximum of 10 points at stake in the rest of the competition, five contenders remain in contention for a place in the Final on May 25.

However, after this weekend at least one of these five sides will in all likelihood be out of the play-off picture.

The action commences on Friday when the Cheetahs, currently in fourth, are up against the struggling Border Bulldogs. A potential five-point triumph could see the Free Staters surge into second place, provided other results align favorably.

The Border Bulldogs will seek solace in home advantage as they strive to upset the Cheetahs and salvage points from a challenging season.

Later on Friday, the second-placed Pumas lock horns with the fifth-placed Boland Kavaliers in an eagerly anticipated showdown in Nelspruit.

For the Pumas, the fixture offers a prime opportunity to rebound from their recent defeat to leaders Griquas, while the Bolanders find themselves in a precarious position, with their play-off hopes hanging by a thread.

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Boland’s path to the top two necessitates nothing short of a flawless 10-point haul from their remaining fixtures [they play EP in the final round], coupled with other results going in their favour.

Saturday’s schedule includes two games, including a duel between the Falcons and Leopards in Kempton Park, with both teams eyeing a move up the table from their current eighth and ninth positions.

At the same time, Griquas host the SWD Eagles. Victory for the hosts from Kimberley would consolidate their top spot, which would be crucial as they have a Central Derby in their final league fixture next weekend, in Bloemfontein against the Cheetahs.

The Eagles will vie for a sixth place finish and they will provide the leaders with a stern test in Kimberley, where the visitors will be determined to defy the odds and hand Griquas their first defeat of the season.

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Sunday’s match sees Griffons host Eastern Province, with the Northern Free Staters’ play-off hopes also in the balance.

With just one bonus point separating them from the Pumas, the Griffons can’t afford to slip up against EP as they still have hopes of securing a playoff berth.

Victory for the visitors from Gqeberha can only see them maintain them their position on the log after this weekend’s fixtures.

See below for this weekend’s fixtures!

Play-off race heats up as SA Cup enters closing stages

Friday, May 10:

Border Bulldogs v Cheetahs

Venue: Police Park, East London
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Sean Muller

Pumas v Boland

Venue: Mbobela Stadium, Nelspruit
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys

Saturday, May 11:

Falcons v Leopards

Venue: Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen

Griquas vs SWD Eagles

Venue: Griqua Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00)
Referee: Christopher Allison

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