There will be very little separating Vodacom Western Province and the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs when these sides meet up in the second Absa Currie Cup Premier Division semifinal at Newlands on Saturday at 17h00.
Both sides secured six victories in the 12 Absa Currie Cup games they played against each other since 2005. Vodacom WP have won four of their last six games played at Newlands against the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs, but the Bloemfontein side hold the advantage when it comes to their history in semifinals.
The Vodacom Free State Cheetahs have a 50 percent success rate in semifinals and defeated Vodacom WP during their last two visits to Newlands in playoff games in the Absa Currie Cup. In 2005 the Bloemfontein side recorded a 16-11 victory over Vodacom WP and in 2004; they toppled the hosts 17-11.
Province, who have a 60 percent semi-final winning record at Newlands, lost their last four semifinals in the Absa Currie Cup. Their last victory in a final-four clash happened back in 2001, when they defeated the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs 40-18. It was also in 2001 that Vodacom WP last claimed silverware in the Absa Currie Cup after they defeated The Sharks (29-24) in the final played at Newlands.
Three of the competition's leading points' scorers could also be in action this weekend. The leading points' scorer in the 2010 competition - Vodacom WP flyhalf William de Waal (199), who became the second leading points' scorer (1412) in the history of the Absa Currie Cup after he added 16 points with the boot during his side's 33-21 victory over The Sharks last week, will probably go head to head against his opposite number Louis Strydom (146), who is the fifth leading points' scorer this season.
In the other Absa Currie Cup semifinal clash The Sharks pivot Patrick Lambie (169), who has scored the fourth most points this season, will aim to break his union's losing streak in semi-finals against the Vodacom Blue Bulls. Jacques-Louis Potgieter of the Bulls, joint-second on the list with 173 points, will probably be on the bench.
Absa Currie Cup Premier Division Semifinalist winning percentages:
Vodacom Blue Bulls
P W L W %
Home 10 9 1 90
Away 7 6 1 86
Total 17 15 2 88
Vodacom Western Province
P W L W %
Home 10 6 4 60
Away 8 6 2 75
Total 18 12 6 67
Vodacom Free State Cheetahs
P W L W %
Home 4 2 2 50
Away 12 6 6 50
Total 16 8 8 50
P W L W %
Home 14 7 7 50
Away 4 0 4 0
Total 18 7 11 38
Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Saturday 16 October 2010. Kickoff: 17h00
Referee: Mark Lawrence (SARRA)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (AR1), Cobus Wessels (AR2)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman
Head to Head - Vodacom Western Province v Vodacom Free State Cheetahs (since 2005):
P: 12 W: 6 L: 6 PF: 256 PA: 253
24/06/2005 WP 22 FS Cheetahs 25 Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
15/10/2005 WP 11 FS Cheetahs 16 Newlands, Cape Town (Semifinal)
15/07/2006 WP 20 FS Cheetahs 13 Newlands, Cape Town
08/09/2006 WP 13 FS Cheetahs 28 Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
28/07/2007 WP 13 FS Cheetahs 45 Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
22/09/2007 WP 34 FS Cheetahs 20 Newlands, Cape Town
05/07/2008 WP 9 FS Cheetahs 3 Newlands, Cape Town
06/09/2008 WP 35 FS Cheetahs 17 Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
24/07/2009 WP 19 FS Cheetahs 13 Newlands, Cape Town
12/09/2009 WP 31 FS Cheetahs 33 Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
10/07/2010 WP 25 FS Cheetahs 11 Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
27/08/2010 WP 24 FS Cheetahs 29 Newlands, Cape Town
Vodacom Western Province's recent form at home:
• The hosts suffered their first and only home defeat of the 2010 season in week eight when the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs recorded a 29-24 victory at Newlands.
• Vodacom WP secured home victories over The Sharks (33-21), GWK Griquas (48-32), Platinum Leopards (59-17), Vodacom Blue Bulls (15-12), Xerox Lions (32-0) and the Barloworld Toyota Pumas (54-13).
• Province 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 78-7 victory over the Platinum Leopards in Phokeng, a 25-23 win over the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in week three and a 45-30 win over the Barloworld Toyota Pumas during week five's action in this year's competition. They however conceded a 30-26 defeat against the Xerox Lions in week six and a 30-16 loss against The Sharks of the 2010 Absa Currie Cup.
• The visitors won four games on the road during last year's Absa Currie Cup including their semi-final win over The Sharks in Durban.
Additional game information:
• Vodacom WP flyhalf Willem de Waal is currently the leading points' scorer this season - 199. De Waal has accumulated 1412 points in his Absa Currie Cup career - 259 points for the Platinum Leopards, 811 for the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs and 342 for WP since joining them in 2008.
• The Vodacom WP pivot 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 is the fifth leading points' scorers in the Absa Currie Cup (2010) - 146.
• Vodacom Western Province winger Gio Aplon, who made his Springbok debut this year, represented the SA Sevens during 2007 - 2009. He is currently the third leading try-scorer in the 2010 Absa Currie Cup with eight tries.
• Winger Jongi Nokwe has scored 47 Absa Currie Cup tries in his career. (Vodacom Free State Cheetahs - 24, Boland Cavaliers - 23).
• Vodacom WP scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage represented the SA Under-20s during the 2008 IRB Junior World Championship in Wales.
• Vodacom Free State Cheetahs centre Robert Ebersohn captained the SA Under-20s during the 2009 IRB Junior World Championships while prop Coenie Oosthuizen also competed in the 2009 IRB Junior World Championships for the Baby Boks.
• Referee Mark Lawrence will handle the game between the Vodacom Western Province and the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday.
Program for Saturday, 16 October 2010:
Vodacom WP U19 v Platinum Leopards U19 (12h15) - Newlands, Cape Town
Vodacom WP U21 v Free State Cheetahs U21 (14h25) - Newlands, Cape Town
Vodacom WP v Vodacom Free State Cheetahs (17h00) - Newlands, Cape Town