It's play-off time lads! In the past 10 weeks, we have seen all 6 teams play each other home and away. The strength-versus-strength format SARU wanted to implement by decreasing the number of teams has worked wonders. The defending champions Golden Lions only lost twice against one team, the Griquas from Kimberley. Griquas is seen as the minnow next to the big 5 but they still managed to beat the Lions twice, score 4 tries against the Bulls and were close to making the play-offs for the first time in 12 years. By ending 5th, Griquas is the only team who is done for 2012. They are out of contention for the championship and escape the promotion/relegation matches against the Eastern Province Kings. The remaining four teams will battle for the cherished Cup. Log-leaders Natal Sharks will host the Blue Bulls in a re-match of the 2010 semi-final while Western Province has to travel to Johannesburg to face the Golden Lions in a re-match of the 2011 semi-final between the teams. For a re-match of the 2010 final, Western Province needs to win in Johannesburg, a Lions fortress in recent years. In the second semi-final we see the no's 2 and 3 of the season face off and both teams have something to prove. While the Golden Lions will look to win back-to-back championships in a period where the province was robbed of the opportunity to play Super Rugby with the franchise being replaced by the Kings from Port Elizabeth. The Western Province rugby union has gone a decade without winning anything. 2010 was their biggest disappointment. After losing a Super Rugby final to the Bulls in Orlando Stadium, Soweto (Loftus Versfeld was claimed by FIFA because of the FIFA World Cup) they lost in Durban a couple of months later in a Currie Cup final where Patrick Lambie made a name for himself by scoring 25 points, the most by any player in a single Currie Cup final. The WP team will look to their Springboks for this. Eben Etzebeth will only play his second Currie Cup match after making a name for himself in Super Rugby, the June Tour and the Rugby Championship. His partnership with Andries Bekker will give the Cape team a big advantage in the line-outs while the center pairing of Jean de Villiers and Juan de Jongh combined with Habana and Aplon on the wings will bring them a good attacking display. This match will be one where most eyes are pointed at Elton Jantjies and Jaco Taute. Both players look to head to Cape Town on loan to play Super Rugby for the Stormers. The Golden Lions will try to make it to the final once again and the addition of their Springboks, Jantjies, Taute and Pat Cilliers make them the strong team they were earlier this season when they topped the log for weeks. Only recently, with losses to Griquas and Blue Bulls, they lost ground to the Sharks. The most recent meeting between the two teams was 2 weeks ago when the Golden Lions won at Newlands. This is another big game that's difficult to predict. Marius Jonker is the referee in Johannesburg. Jonker has reffed the Lions in 15 Currie Cup games, of which they won 7. Of these 15 games, seven were at home (won four) and eight were away (won three). Jonker reffing province is similar, 15 Currie cup games, province won seven. Five were home games (won four) and 10 were away(won three) Interestingly, Jonker has reffed 5 Lions/province Currie Cup games, and the Lions have won four of those, the only province win coming in week 6, 2011. In the last 10 years of Currie Cup, Lions have played province 21 times, Lions winning 11 of those, and province winning nine. There was one draw, back in 2003, at Ellis Park. Of those 21 games, 11 were in Joburg, Lions won nine. province have only won once in Joburg in the last 10 years, week three of 2005, by 38-23. Lions have beaten province twice in cape town in the last ten years, this year, 22-9, and in 2004 by 35-26. The one time we lost to province with Jonker as a ref was in cape town last year, by 26-28.