Kicking off at 17h05 in Bloemfontein, the match between the only two unbeaten teams in the Premier Division is bound to attract huge interest.

On the other end of the scale, in the earlier clash on Friday afternoon at 15h00 in Welkom, the NovaVit Griffons and Vodacom Bulls will be desperate to register their first win of the campaign following three losses each side.

The action then shifts to Johannesburg and Cape Town on Saturday. The Fidelity ADT Lions host the Cell C Sharks from 15h30 at Emirates Airline Park, followed by the game between DHL Western Province and Windhoek Draught Griquas at the DHL Stadium in Cape Town, where the kick-off time is 19h15.

The winner of the weekend’s first fixture, between the NovaVit Griffons and Vodacom Bulls, will leave the field victorious for the first time this season after both sides have struggled in the opening rounds.

Vodacom Bulls coach Edgar Marutlulle welcomes back two Springboks, flyhalf Johan Goosen and loose forward Nizaam Carr, in his starting fifteen in an effort to halt their slide of three losses so far.

The Welkom outfit have showed glimpses of good play in their losing efforts against Cell C Sharks and Fidelity ADT Lions before running out of steam, and on Friday they face a Vodacom Bulls side brimful of experience and desperate to turn their season around.

Three games, three bonus point wins – that the story so far for Hawies Fourie and his Toyota Cheetahs team as they lead the standings on 15 league points. That is one point more than Jimmy Stonehouse’s Airlink Pumas, who have also managed to win three out of three.

The Mpumalanga side have beaten the Free Staters three times and lost twice in their last five meetings, which includes last season’s pulsating semi-final in Bloemfontein, which the Airlink Pumas won 38-35 on their way to a historic first Currie Cup title.

In fact, the visitors also won last season’s regular league fixture against the Free Staters in Bloemfontein (29-28). The Toyota Cheetahs’ previous win over the pink jerseys was 28-17 win at the Mbombela Stadium in the fourth round last season.

The Fidelity ADT Lions will be hoping for better form when they welcome the Cell C Sharks to Johannesburg, seeing that they managed to win only two of their last five meetings of this fixture. The Highvelders won 38-32 when they previously met in Durban (4 June last year) and that was after the coastal side had prevailed 45-31 in last February.

Meanwhile down in the Western Cape, DHL WP will definitely hope for better fortunes against tricky customers Windhoek Draught Griquas in their Saturday evening match.

Dating back to July 2021, the Capetonians have lost four consecutive Currie Cup matches against the Kimberley combination, including last June’s 43-41 reverse in Stellenbosch.

Province last won this fixture (34-17) on 26 December 2020 at their previous home in Newlands.

Currie Cup First Division / Mzansi Challenge

Two Currie Cup First Division / Mzansi Challenge fixtures will be played over the weekend. The Valke face the Border Bulldogs in Kempton Park on Saturday, with kick-off set for 15h00.

This meeting is followed by the clash in Windhoek between home side Windhoek Draught Welwitschias and the SWD Eagles, while the other fixture scheduled for Saturday, between the Simbas from Kenya and Boland, has been postponed at request of the Kenyan Rugby Union.

Currie Cup Premier Division match information:

NovaVit Griffons vs Vodacom Bulls
Venue: Down Touch Investments Stadium, Welkom
Date: Friday, 31 March
Time: 15h00
Referee: Griffin Colby
TV: SuperSport

Toyota Cheetahs vs Airlink Pumas
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Date: Friday, 31 March
Time: 17h05
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
TV: SuperSport

Fidelity ADT Lions vs Cell C Sharks
Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Date: Saturday, 1 April
Time: 15h30
Referee: Paul Mente
TV: SuperSport

DHL Western Province vs Windhoek Draught Griquas
Venue: DHL Stadium, Cape Town
Date: Saturday, 1 April
Time: 19h15
Referee: Christopher Allison
TV: SuperSport