Favourable Currie Cup draw for defending champs Sharks

2014-03-12 00:00

THE Sharks have received a favourable draw in their quest to retain the Currie Cup they won when they beat Western Province in their own back yard in last year’s final.

Jake White’s men will begin the new eight-team Currie Cup campaign, which has a new conference format similar to Super Rugby, on the weekend of August 8 against the winners of the qualifying competition.

The qualifying competition will kick off on June 6 and will feature the Griquas, Leopards, SWD Eagles, Boland Cavaliers, the Griffons, Border Bulldogs and the Valke. The competition will conclude on July 19, and the team that finish first on the log will qualify to play in the Currie Cup Premier Division.

In the Premier Division, the team that qualify will face the reigning champions — the Sharks — in their opening game. The other teams that will make up the Premier Division will be the Blue Bulls, the Golden Lions, Western Province, the Pumas, Free State Cheetahs and the EP Kings.

The eight teams will be divided into two sections on 2013 log positions: Section X (Western Province, Golden Lions, Blue Bulls, EP Kings) and Section Y (Sharks, Free State, Pumas, Qualifier). The teams will play home and away within their sections followed by a single cross-conference round before semi-finals and final.

Sharks Currie Cup fixtures

Round 1 – August 8/9

Qualifier vs Sharks

Round 2 – August 15/16

Sharks vs Pumas

Round 3 – August 22/23

Sharks vs Free State Cheetahs

Round 4 – August 29/30

Pumas vs Sharks

Round 5 – September 5/6

Sharks vs Qualifier

Round 6 – September 12/13

Free State Cheetahs vs Sharks

Round 7 – September 19/20

Blue Bulls vs Sharks

Round 8 – September 26/27

Sharks vs EP Kings

Round 9 – October 3/4

Sharks vs Golden Lions

Round 10 – October 10/11

Western Province vs Sharks

Semi-finals – October 17/18

Absa Currie Cup Premier Division Final – Saturday, October 25.

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