History suggests that there will be very little separating the Vodacom Western Province and the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs when these side meet up in the Absa Currie Cup at Newlands on Friday at 19h30.
Since 2005, Vodacom WP achieved six victories against their Bloemfontein opponents who have also managed to secure five wins during their last 11 games.
The Vodacom Free State Cheetahs have enjoyed success over Province in Bloemfontein where they have won four of their last six games played at Vodacom Park. However at Newlands, it is Vodacom WP who won four of their last five games against the Free State outfit.
Province, who welcomes back their Springbok duo of winger Gio Aplon and flanker Francois Louw, conceded a 27-16 defeat to The Sharks in Durban last Saturday and are currently in second position on the log.
Their opponents, who are in fifth place, will however be brimming with confidence following their 57-0 home victory over the Platinum Leopards.
The Vodacom Free State Cheetahs ran in nine tries against the Platinum Leopards in their game played in Bloemfontein last Friday night. But scoring tries against WP won't be easy as the hosts have conceded only eight tries during the 2010 Absa Currie Cup which include two five-pointers that were conceded at Newlands.
Vodacom Western Province's recent form at home:
• The hosts are currently undefeated at Newlands and have secured victories over the Vodacom Blue Bulls (15-12), Xerox Lions (32-0) and the Barloworld Toyota Pumas (54-13) in their only home games of the season thus far.
Vodacom WP conceded one home defeat (a 21-19 semi-final loss to the Vodacom Blue Bulls) during last year's Absa Currie Cup.
Vodacom Free State Cheetahs' recent form on the road:
• The Vodacom Free State Cheetahs recorded a 25-23 victory over the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in week three and a 45-30 win over the Barloworld Toyota Pumas during last weekend's action in this year's competition. They however conceded a 30-26 defeat against the Xerox Lions in week six's action of the 2010 Absa Currie Cup.
The visitors won four games on the road during last year's Absa Currie Cup including their semifinal win over The Sharks in Durban.
• Vodacom Western Province flyhalf Willem de Waal has accumulated 1319 points in his Absa Currie Cup career. He added 259 points for the Platinum Leopards, 811 for the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs, and since joining Province in 2008, has notched up 249.
• De Waal has twice scored 212 points in a season, back in 2006 and 2007, for the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs.
• Vodacom Free State Cheetahs flyhalf Louis Strydom has played 106 Absa Currie Cup games and has scored 770 career points in the competition.
• Vodacom WP scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage represented the Baby Boks during the 2008 IRB Junior World Championships.
• Springbok winger Jongi Nokwe has scored 43 Absa Currie Cup tries in his career.
• WP flyhalf Lionel Cronje represented the SA Under-20s during the 2009 IRB Junior World Championship in Japan.
• Robert Ebersohn (Vodacom Free State Cheetahs) captained the SA Under-20s during the 2009 IRB Junior World Championship in Japan.
• Vodacom Free State Cheetahs prop Coenie Oosthuizen represented the Baby Boks during the 2009 World Champs. He also competed for the SA Schools in 2007.
• Pro Legoete will referee this game between the Vodacom Western Province and the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs.