Unless you’ve been visiting outer Mongolia or some place without the benefit of international roaming, you’ll know that last Saturday was semifinal time in the Premier Division of the Currie Cup 2019.
The first semifinal was in Johannesburg and our editor was at Emirates Airlines Park to witness Golden Lions’ return match against Griquas. And, remarkably, we are reliably informed, that for once, he was quite restrained in his criticism of the “moron with the whistle”. He only screamed at the referee once – but, in his defence, it was for a spectacularly bad call and he certainly wasn’t alone in protesting from the stands.
For a change, Golden Lions defence was present and correct almost from the kick-off – except for the brain-fade moment around 12 minutes when they let Griquas in for their only try of the game. The final score was a comfortable 34-19 victory and a spot in the final.
Meanwhile, in Bloemfontein, Free State Cheetahs had a surprisingly tough time putting away some Sharks. It was an arm-wrestle up to around the 70th minute. Then Junior Pokomela crossed for his second five-pointer and the first of three converted Free State tries in the last ten or so minutes. That treble pushed the score out to 51-30 and assured the home side a spot in this weekend’s final.
So, after an abbreviated Currie Cup season, the top two teams on the log (both ended on 22 points and were only separated by points difference) will contest the final. And, thanks to the delightful franchise names, we get to call the event a royal cat fight: Cheetahs vs Lions.