The Airlink Pumas – who kick off the weekend schedule on Friday at 19h00 when they host the Valke at Mbombela Stadium – trail the early pacesetters on points difference.

Saturday’s two other matches see the fourth-placed Toyota Cheetahs go against Eastern Province in Bloemfontein, while Leopards take on the Border Bulldogs in Potchefstroom as they battle to move up from the bottom of the log.

Sunday’s fixture between the Phangela SWD Eagles and Sanlam Boland Kavaliers (14h30) wraps up the fourth-round fixtures.

Suzuki Griquas, the Airlink Pumas and NovaVit Griffons all have a full house of 15 points from three bonus-point wins to date, and the leading trio are followed by Toyota Cheetahs and Phangela SWD Eagles (both on 10 points), the Sanlam Boland Kavaliers (7), Eastern Province (6), and Valke (2), while Border and Leopards must still register their first points.

In Nelspruit, the Airlink Pumas will enter their clash against their neighbours to the west, the Valke, as favourites, with the East Randers still searching for their first win. The big question, however, is whether the red jerseys will be able to handle the physicality and backline threat of Jimmy Stonehouse’s well-drilled team.

The Friday evening clash will be followed by Saturday’s three matches, which are all scheduled to start at the same time.

Although the NovaVit Griffons defeated Leopards 42-10 last weekend in Welkom, they now travel south-west to Kimberley where a stern examination awaits them against the impressive Suzuki Griquas. The team from the Diamond City were rampant in all three of their previous matches, and last week they scored more than 100 points as they swept Border aside.

The tournament’s leading point scorer, George Whitehead – whose 72 points is almost double the 37 scored by the Airlink Pumas’ Clinton Swart – is in red hot form after his 49 points against the Bulldogs last weekend.

The Welkom outfit, on the other hand, will be hoping that strong midfielder Dominic Smit, the leading try scorer so far this campaign with six, can continue with his scoring streak.

The Toyota Cheetahs fielded a young team side last week and came off second best against the experienced Airlink Pumas. However, this weekend the Free Staters are favourites to bounce back when they welcome EP to Bloemfontein.

Saturday’s remaining fixture should see one of the Leopards (hosts) and Border break their winless streak when the two sides meet in Potchefstroom.

The weekend action will be concluded with an exciting derby between Currie Cup First Division rivals the Eagles and Kavaliers on Sunday (13h30).

Zane Kirchner’s SWD team snatched a hard-fought 24-23 away win last week over EP, and they will be fancying their chances at Outeniqua Park against the resurgent Bolanders.

The Eagles sit one place above the Kavaliers on the log, and the team from the Southern Cape will have to keep visiting flyhalf Garth April in check if they want to succeed.

The 10 participating provincial teams are battling it out over a single round of league matches, before the top-two at the end of the league phase will contest the first SA Cup final. The main aim of the SA Cup is to fill the gap between pre-season and the Currie Cup campaign.

Match information:

Airlink Pumas vs Valke
Date: Friday, 12 April
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Referee: AJ Jacobs
SA Time: 19h00
TV: SS Variety 4

Toyota Cheetahs vs Eastern Province
Date: Saturday, 13 April
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Paul Mente
SA Time: 15h00
Streaming: SS Schools

Leopards vs Border
Date: Saturday, 13 April
Venue: Olën Park, Potchefstroom
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
SA Time: 15h00
Streaming: SS Schools

Suzuki Griquas vs NovaVit Griffons
Date: Saturday, 13 April
Venue: Suzuki Stadium, Kimberley
Referee: Christopher Allison
SA Time: 15h00
Streaming: SS Schools

Phangela SWD Eagles vs Sanlam Boland Kavaliers
Date: Sunday, 14 April
Venue: Outeniqua Park, George
Referee: Griffin Colby
SA Time: 14h30
TV: SS Action


Please note, all match details are subject to change and will be kept updated on