DHL Western Province booked a Currie Cup home semifinal and took a big leap toward a top-of-the-table finish as they outplayed the Cell C Sharks 50-28 in a fine performance on Saturday to remain the only unbeaten team.
The defending champions need just two more log points from their final match of the league phase of the competition – against Vodacom Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on October 13 – to secure top spot on the standings and home advantage in the knock-out phase. One log point from that game could also be enough to finish top as their points difference is more than 100 points better than their nearest rivals.
With a home semifinal at DHL Newlands already secure, DHL Western Province will be aiming to make it six wins from six league games when they travel up to Pretoria next weekend, in a match that kicks off at 17h15 on Saturday, October 13.
Depending on how results go in the final round, DHL Western Province could host the Vodacom Blue Bulls, Xerox Golden Lions, iCollege Pumas or Cell C Sharks in their already secured home semifinal at DHL Newlands on October 20.
The final round of fixtures will see Xerox Golden Lions face iCollege Pumas in Nelspruit and the Cell C Sharks travel to Kimberley to take on Tafel Lager Griquas before DHL Western Province go up against the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Pretoria.
The defeat at DHL Newlands for the previously unbeaten Durbanites left them in second place on the standings with 21 points.
While the KwaZulu-Natalians are still in a strong position to claim the other home semifinal, a defeat without a bonus point in their final pool match against Tafel Lager Griquas in Kimberley could see the Vodacom Blue Bulls or Xerox Golden Lions leap into second place if they win their respective matches with bonus points.
With DHL Western Province and the Cell C Sharks already guaranteed of their semifinal spots, the battle for the two remaining places will be between the Vodacom Blue Bulls, Xerox Golden Lions and iCOLLEGE Pumas.