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PREVIEW: Historic final in store as Griquas battle Pumas for Currie Cup glory

The Griquas and Pumas face off at Tafel Lager Park in the 2022 Currie Cup final.

Rynhardt Jonker of the Griquas - Currie Cup
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

The Griquas and Pumas face off at Tafel Lager Park in the 2022 Currie Cup final.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Griquas v Pumas
Tafel Lager Park

To Win Match
Griquas 9/20 | Draw 20/1 | Pumas 7/4

The Griquas host the Pumas in what is set to be a Currie Cup final for the ages at Tafel Lager Park on Saturday afternoon.

Sure the ongoing United Rugby Championship meant Western Province, the Blue Bulls, Sharks and Lions didn’t consistently put out their best teams this Currie Cup season and, yes, the domestic competition isn’t at all what it used to be. But if you’re not properly psyched up for this weekend’s showdown in Kimberley, you’re not a true South African rugby fan.

After threatening for a number of years now, the Griquas and Pumas have finally made good on their potential and will each get a shot at securing the oldest domestic rugby tournament in the world at Tafel Lager Park.

The last time the hosts played in a final was in 1970, also in Kimberley, when they collected the last of their three titles to date (the others coming in 1899 and 1911; before the introduction of playoff rugby). On that occasion, Mannetjies Roux’s legendary side managed to upset a Bulls outfit with the likes of Frik du Preez, Mof Myburgh and Piet Uys in their ranks, winning 11-9.

Indeed, theirs is a special connection with the competition since they were awarded the trophy by the British Isles (now Lions) touring side in 1891 after putting up the best performance of any of the local South African teams (despite losing 3-0). From 1892 onwards, the trophy was contested amongst the local teams.

For Jimmy Stonehouse and his Pumas, this marks the first final appearance in the union’s history, having being founded in 1969 as South Eastern Transvaal.

The Griquas won both previous clashes this season, cruising to a 41-20 home result in February before edging a high-scoring thriller 45-44 at the Mbombela Stadium just two weeks ago.

Verdict: Griquas 9/20

It’s a real pity there has to be a winner in this one, but the smart move would be to back Pieter Bergh’s charges delivering a win at home.

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