The Gold Cup is entering the final bend of its race this weekend.
And both Cape teams – False Bay and Tygerberg – are very much still in the running for gold.
Having qualified at the top of their respective pools, Tygerberg in Pool C and False Bay in Pool D, both teams will host their quarterfinal matches this weekend.
While the Tiere have a tough outing in Ravensmead, playing host to Durban powerhouses College Rovers, it’s the Bay that will go into their encounter against Progress George with with the odds backing them.
Coach Johno van der Walt got the “favourable” draw after beating College Rovers by a single point (15-14) last weekend and he knows they will not make it easy for Tygerberg at Florida Park on Saturday.
Of the Durbanites, Van der Walt says: “They’re a very good side, they’ve been KZN champs for the past 10, 15 years.
“They’re very well structured, very well conditioned and drilled.”
Tygerberg, meanwhile, faced Progress George in the earlier rounds of the competition, losing 17-15 away from home.
And Van der Walt is aware of the danger Saturday’s visitors will pose to his team.
He says: “We watched a lot of their footage.
“They’re big up front and quick at the back, hopefully if the weather is good we’re going to be in for a show.”
False Bay, though, have some concerns heading into the tie.
Newly-crowned Western Province Club Player of the Season Tapiwa Tsomondo, currently on international duty with Zimbabwe in Kenya, is
having difficulty with his paperwork to re-enter South Africa.
Apparently, he’s been in and out of the country a few times.
Yet, Van der Walt is hopeful that they will have their star flanker back in time for Saturday’s clash.
Of Tsomondo, he says: “Taps has been great for us. Hopefully we can get him for Saturday, he missed our game against Roses.”
Tsomondo isn’t the only concern for the Bay.
Van der Walt has had to deal with his fair share of injuries this season, having also relinquished their Super League A title to Maties earlier in the year.
He reveals that they had to use a total of 51 first team squad members this season.
The coach explains: “I used guys in our reserve league, seconds, thirds, I used two U20s, so injuries happen.
“And that’s why you have a big squad. You have to make sure they’re fit, conditioned and understand your processes.
“The guys that are there, we back them and they’ve got to do the job for us.“
Of playing in front of their own fans at the Philip Herbstein Stadium on Saturday, he adds: “If we look at last year, we had to travel from our last group game right through –10 flights in five weeks.
“It took its toll on us in the end.
“This year luckily with the one-point win we play at home in the quarters.
“We love playing at home, we don’t lose often there and I’m sure we the supporters will pitch up.”
Gold Cup quarterfinal fixtures Saturday:
False Bay v
Progress George (3pm)
Tygerberg v College Rovers (4pm)
QBR v Sasol
Impala Rustenburg v Rhinos (4pm)