The Tafel Lager Griquas, meanwhile, is on a bye and take a well-deserved break this weekend.
High-scoring and predominantly attacking rugby is the reason the SuperSport Rugby Challenge has grabbed the attention of local rugby supporters.
All three undefeated teams, Western Province, Free State XV and the Pumas, are in action and will be looking to extend their impressive runs for another week. The Tafel Lager Griquas, meanwhile, is on a bye and take a well-deserved break this weekend.
The efforts of the Bloemfonteiners will be tested first up today, when they face the Leopards in Potchefstroom in the competitive central section. The home team will hope to lift their performance after an unexpected run of poor results. The Leopards showed signs of a resurgence of some sort against Griquas last weekend, leading on the scoreboard until late in the match, and they will take a lot of confidence from that performance.
That said, the Daan Human-coached Free State side has showed flair and grit in their five wins so far this season and will travel to the Fanie du Toit Stadium as firm favourites. They have developed an all-round game with tactical and attacking ability so will be a hard team to beat, even away from home. The same can be said of the Sharks XV, where Ricardo Loubscher and Paul Anthony have moulded a very solid outfit.
The North Section will also provide a spectacle in Nelspruit, where the Pumas host the Golden Lions XV. Enough has been said of the attacking abilities of the home side – the Mbombela Stadium faithful saw five tries by winger Ruwellyn Isbel the last time their team played at home, against the Valke – but their Gauteng rivals this weekend are made of sterner stuff. The other North Section match will be played in Namibia’s Hage Geingob Stadium, with the Blue Bulls making to trip to face the Welwitschias. The Namibians are coming off their first away win ever, while the visitors had their bubble burst by their neighbours from Mpumalanga at Loftus Versfeld last weekend.
The South Section has two regular themes – the dominance of the Western Province and the unusual venues where matches are played. This weekend is no different, with the Capetonians playing at False Bay Rugby Club in Constantia against the Border Bulldogs. And the SWD Eagles take on the EP Elephants in George, but this match will not be played at Outeniqua Park, but the Rosemore Stadium.
The Eagles will have a rare opportunity to play in the heartland of the George community. Win or lose, both home sides are expected to walk away smiling, not only because of the rugby on display, but also because of the choice of venue.