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Women’s Premier Division R10 and First Division R5 Preview

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There will be all-out action on the women’s provincial front this weekend as the pool phase of the Premier and First Division concludes, and First Division finalists will be confirmed.

DHL Western Province and the Border Ladies will meet in the Premier Division final in Cape Town next weekend, but four teams – Free State, Griquas, Mastercard Golden Lions Women, and the Valke – are still in the running for places in the First Division final, which will also take place next week.

DHL Western Province, the EP Queens, Leopards and Griffons were all awarded four log points each following the cancelation of their matches against the Border Ladies, Boland Dames, Pumas and SWD respectively, and in line with competition rules. The scores of all these cancelled matches will be recorded as 0-0.

In the only Premier Division match of the round, which will be streamed lived on Springboks.rugby on Saturday, the Cell C Sharks Women will meet the Blue Bulls Women in Durban, where the hosts will be determined to make up for a disappointing season when they take on the side from Pretoria at Kings Park 2.

The KwaZulu-Natalians have won only one of their nine matches up to now – one less than their opponents this weekend – which will boost their motivation going into the match, although the hosts can’t overtake the Blue Bulls Women on the standings.

It will be all action in the First Division though. Free State host Griquas in Bloemfontein in what could be the decider for a final berth in Group 1, while the Group 2 match between the Mastercard Golden Lions Women and Valke in Johannesburg will be decisive in determining which team goes through to the final.

Free State currently hold a three-point lead over the Griffons and four-point lead over Griquas in their group, meaning that a victory for the home side will see them progress the final, but a heavy defeat would pave the way for Griquas to go through.

With the stakes high between Free State and Griquas, the match in Bloemfontein on Friday should be a gripping affair. The home side boasts a better attack and defense, but neither team will give an inch as they look to book a place in the final.

The Johannesburgers face a similar situation in Group 2, where a victory against their eastern neighbours, the Valke – what would also amount to their third win in an unbeaten season – would ensure that they have a shot at defending their title.

However, if the Valke defeat the Mastercard Golden Lions Women and deny the Jozi outfit a bonus point on Saturday, they will cement their final berth. Should the Lions secure a bonus point, however, the finalist will be determined by points difference.

The Mastercard Golden Lions Women will go into the match high on confidence but they won’t make the mistake of underestimating the Valke at the University of Johannesburg, with the East Randers also coming off two comprehensive wins and with a place in the final on the line, it is expected to be a tight tussle.

Women’s Premier Division Round 10 fixtures:

Cell C Sharks Women v Blue Bulls Women
Date: Saturday, 10 July
Time: 11h30 (live stream on Springboks.rugby)
Venue: Jonsson Kings Park 2, Durban
Referee: Johre Botha
Assistant referees: Local appointments

Women’s First Division Round 5 fixtures:

GROUP 1: Free State v Griquas
Date: Friday, 9 July
Time: 11h00
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Angie Bezuidenhout
Assistant referees: Local appointments

GROUP 2: Mastercard Golden Lions Women v Valke
Date: Saturday, 10 July
Time: 13h00
Venue: UJ West Sport Field, Johannesburg
Referee: Giana Viljoen
Assistant referees: Local appointments

Source : Fatima Said and SA Rugby Communications


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