SWD and the Golden Lions will enter the final pool round of the SA Rugby Women’s Interprovincial B Section on Saturday as the favourites to advance to the final after working their way into pole position in the competition.
Both teams have won their last two pool matches with bonus points, which has seen them top Group 1 and Group 2 respectively, and while one log point would see the Golden Lions through to the top two, SWD may need two points from their match depending on the weekend’s other results.
The top team in each group will advance to B Section final, which will be played as a curtain-raiser to the A Section final between Western Province and Border in Cape Town on Saturday, 7 September.
The weekend’s fixtures will see the Golden Lions meet the Limpopo Blue Bulls in Johannesburg, SWD take on Free State in George, the Griffons meet Griquas in Welkom, and the Leopards go up against the Pumas in Potchefstroom.
The clash between 2018 runner’s up, the Golden Lions, and the Limpopo Blue Bulls should be exciting, as the visitors will have nothing to lose after back-to-back defeats, while the hosts will target a bonus-point victory to cement their place in the final and to maintain their winning momentum should they make it through.
The Limpopo Blue Bulls, however, will have to produce a sublime performance to achieve this as the Gauteng team have been far more effective on attack and defence this season with 21 tries scored and only two conceded compared to five scored and 12 conceded by the Limpopo team.
SWD, meanwhile, will line up against their main competitors for the Group 1 final berth, the Cheetahs, who have six log points, and who will be wary of the fact that a victory without a bonus point if they deny the hosts a point from the match and a decent points’ difference could catapult them into the top spot on the table.
The teams will enter the match with 13 tries a piece in their two matches so far, but Free State will look to tighten up their defence after conceding four more tries.
Griquas, in turn, will line up against the Griffons, who have yet to win a match, meaning they too will target a bonus-point victory. Even this, however, is unlikely to see them move to the top of the log as they will enter the match with a points’ difference of -51, meaning they need a bonus-point win of over 111 points to go through if the other results go their way.
The Leopards and Pumas, meanwhile, are both on five log points, but they will also not hold their breath at the prospect of possibly overtaking the Golden Lions in Group 2 given how far behind they are on points’ difference.
Despite this, the clash has all the ingredients for a gripping encounter as both teams will look to finish the season on a high note. While they have both scored seven tries in the competition so far, the Pumas’ defence has let them down, and this is one area they will target for a massive improvement this weekend.
Women’s Interprovincial B Section fixtures (Saturday, 31 August):
14h00: Griffons v Griquas – HT Pelatona Projects Stadium, Welkom
14h15: SWD v Free State – Rosemoor Sport Grounds, George
11h00: Leopards v Pumas – Olen Park, Potchefstroom
11h00: Golden Lions v Limpopo Blue Bulls – Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Issued by SA Rugby Communications