The action will kick off in Durban at 16h45 on Friday, when the Cell C Sharks host the Airlink Pumas at Hollywoodbets Kings Park. That encounter is followed by Sigma Lions' home match against the undefeated Toyota Cheetahs, with the battle at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg set to kick-off at 19h00.
On Saturday in Pretoria, defending champions, the Vodacom Bulls, face the Windhoek Draught Griquas in what promises to be another exciting clash between the two rivals. Kick-off at Loftus Versfeld is at 17h00 and all matches will be televised live on SuperSport. DHL Western Province have a bye this weekend.
The match in Durban will see teams currently in third and fifth positions on the log going into battle against each other. The Durbanites won the first encounter between them by 42-10 in March at the Mbombela Stadium.
As things currently stand, the KwaZulu-Natalians have Windhoek Draught Griquas breathing heavily down their necks. The men from Kimberley are just four points further back on the log and the black and white jerseys cannot afford any hiccups against a tricky Airlink Pumas team.
The Cell C Sharks previous home match, against log-leaders Vodacom Bulls, was cancelled on 16 April due to the devasting floods in KwaZulu-Natal, with both teams earning two league points as a result of the enforced draw.
Friday evening's fixture in Johannesburg features a Sigma Lions outfit desperate to register their first win of the campaign against the high-riding Toyota Cheetahs, after coming so close against the Peacock Blues two weeks ago at the Wits Rugby Stadium. The Northern Cape side won that encounter by scoring the winning try in the dying seconds of the match.
The men from Bloemfontein are currently on an unbeaten run of seven games, and judging by previous results between the two teams, one can expect another high-scoring affair. The first-round match-up between them finished 66-14 in Bloemfontein, while this previous fixture in the Free State capital finished produced a thrilling 44-44 draw.
Hawies Fourie's team boast an excellent pack of forwards and a very experienced backline led by evergreen Springbok Frans Steyn (centre) and skipper Ruan Pienaar (scrumhalf). On current form, though, the white jerseys should hold to much firepower for the visitors from Johannesburg.
The Vodacom Bulls, coached this year by Gert Smal, downed the Windhoek Draught Griquas 56-33 two months ago in Kimberley, with the men from the Northern Cape giving good account of themselves despite the big winning margin.
They will travel to Pretoria with the knowledge that the defending champions will be a tough nut to crack at Loftus Versfeld, where they seldom have an off-day.
Carling Currie Cup First Division
Round five of the Carling Currie Cup First Division is also scheduled for the weekend, with all matches taking place on Saturday.
The Zimbabwe Goshawks host the Boland Kavaliers in Cape Town (14h30), Down Touch Griffons are playing at against the SWD Eagles in Welkom (15h00), the Leopards take on the Valke in Potchefstroom (15h00), while the Simbas from Kenya tackle the Border Bulldogs in Alice (15h00).
With automatic promotion to the Carling Currie Cup Premier Division up for grabs for the top South African team in the First Division – with only matches involving local sides counting towards this – the competition between the local teams has reached new heights, which was evident by the results in the last few rounds.
The Leopards, who won the competition in 2021, surprisingly lost at home last weekend against Boland (42-33), Eastern Province were way too strong for the Border Bulldogs in Nelson Mandela Bay (64-7), and the Griffons won a high-scoring match against the Simbas in Welkom (66-33).
Due to European obligations, two of the Black Lion’s matches were cancelled (against the Valke and Griffons), with the SA sides getting five league points each from these encounters. The Georgians have a bye this weekend and will return to action again in the next fortnight.
To access the Carling Currie Cup First Division fixtures, results and logs, click here.
Carling Currie Cup Premier Division fixtures:
Cell C Sharks vs Airlink Pumas
Date: Friday, 6 May 2022
Venue: Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Sigma Lions vs Toyota Cheetahs
Date: Friday, 6 May 2022
Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Vodacom Bulls vs Windhoek Draught Griquas
Date: Saturday, 7 May 2022
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Morne Ferreira