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VIDEO: Cheetahs will showcase their DNA in SA Cup

ROUND THREE PREVIEW: Two of the highlights of the third round SA Cup involve repeats of last year’s Currie Cup Premier and First Division finals, with the Cheetahs hosting the Pumas in Bloemfontein, while the Falcons travel to Wellington to take on the Boland Kavaliers.

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Will a youthful Cheetahs side be able to tame the more experienced Pumas, and who of the Boland Kavaliers or Falcons will register their first win of the season?

Coach Henley du Plessis will guide a youthful Cheetah side for the SA Cup match in Bloemfontein.

On the prospect of facing the Pumas, Du Plessis said: “It seems like every time the Cheetahs plays in the EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16, we play against the Pumas. Luckily, this year, we prepared well. We knew this weekend would come, and we needed some extra guys.

“A lot of youngsters are making their debut for the Cheetahs. It will be a challenge for us, but we are up for it, and we will focus on the weekend.

“We will just focus on the Cheetahs brand.”

Cheetahs captain Thabang Mahlasi added: “I’m going to grab this opportunity and make the most of it. With time, this thing will happen, and sooner or later, I will also be on a flight, but now we focus on our task, playing against the Pumas on Friday.”

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Early log leaders Griquas are favourites to consolidate their position when they host the Border Bulldogs in Kimberley; Eastern Province entertain fellow First Division rivals SWD Eagles in Gqeberha; and the Boland Kavaliers will be hoping to make home ground advantage count when they welcome the Falcons to Wellington.

On Sunday, the Griffons and Leopards will complete the weekend’s action when they meet in Welkom.

Another exciting encounter is in store for Wellington, where the Boland Kavaliers and Falcons will both be hunting their first win of the competition on Saturday.

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These two sides fought it out for Currie Cup First Division honours at the same venue last year, when the hosts took the trophy, only a week after the side from the East Rand won the Mzansi Challenge final.

Last week, the Kavaliers went down 31-34 at home to the Griffons, after they also came unstuck in the opening round away to the Cheetahs.

The Falcons ended on the losing side in their first two games and will be looking to turn the tables on the Kavaliers, who won the last time they met, in last year’s Currie Cup First Division final.

After edging the Falcons two weeks ago, Eastern Province found the going tough last week against the Pumas, and the Eastern Cape side will no doubt be highly motivated for Saturday’s clash in Gqeberha with their western neighbours, the SWD Eagles.

On current form, the Griffons should have too much firepower for the Leopards on Sunday in Welkom, with the team from North West suffering two heavy losses in their previous outings.

Friday, April 5

Cheetahs v Pumas
(Bloemfontein Stadium, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 18.00; 17.00 GMT)

VIDEO: Cheetahs will showcase their DNA in SA Cup

Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys

Saturday, April 6

Eastern Province v SWD Eagles
(Gqeberha Stadium, Gqeberha – Kick-off: 15.00, 14.00 GMT)

Referee: Griffin Colby

Boland Kavaliers v Valke
(Boland Stadium, Wellington – Kick-off: 15.00, 14.00 GMT)

Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron

Griquas vs Border Bulldogs
(Kimberley Stadium, Kimberley – Kick-off: 15.00, 14.00 GMT)

Referee: Sean Muller

Sunday, April 7

Griffons vs Leopards
(Welkom Stadium, Welkom – 15.00, 14.00 GMT)

Referee: Phumzile Mbewu

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