Currie Cup final: It's a sell-out
Tickets for Saturday’s Currie Cup final between the Blue Bulls and Cheetahs at the 50 000-seater Loftus Versfeld Stadium sold out in less than six hours on Monday.
The frenzy for tickets saw people camp overnight outside the stadium to ensure they were not disappointed. However, according to Blue Bulls media liaison officer Dimeon van Rooyen, “several thousand” fans had to be turned away at about 2pm when the ticket office ran out of tickets.
“The line for tickets stretched all the way down the road to the Sin Bin [pub],” he said. “In all, it took about six hours to sell out and that is as fast as it is possible to go.”
The fact that the Bulls have swept all before them in winning nine matches in a row since the start of the premier division has helped hype up the rugby-loving folk of Pretoria, who turned out in droves to support their team in the semifinal against the Lions.
The Cheetahs—who face the Bulls in a repeat of last year’s title decider—can expect more of the same blue sea at the weekend as they aim for just their second-ever Currie Cup title.
The Cheetahs’ only other Cup triumph came in 1976.
The Bulls, meanwhile, are aiming for a record fourth straight Currie Cup—one behind Western Province’s all-time record of five in a row achieved from 1982 to 1986.
Much emotion hangs over the match, which will mark the end of Bulls captain Anton Leonard’s illustrious career, having been at the helm in the previous three campaigns.
The stalwart number eight, though, is an injury doubt after damaging a shoulder muscle in the process of scoring a fantastic try in the 31-23 win over the Lions in the semifinal.
Whether Leonard plays or not, it is difficult to see the Cheetahs overcoming the odds and beating the defending champions in their own backyard. However, the final is 80 minutes and anything can happen: the Lions showed that for 35 minutes in the semifinal.
While the loss of their talisman would not be ideal, the Bulls have quality players waiting in the wings and champing at the bit to step up to the plate.
Danie Rossouw is a more-than-capable replacement, either at lock or in the back row, while Johan Wasserman showed his class when he had to fill his skipper’s boots for much of the second half on Saturday.
Either way, the Bulls should have too much power in all departments for the gutsy Cheetahs outfit.
Also the memory of late Bulls centre Ettienne Botha will weigh heavily on the minds of the men in the light-blue jersey, and the motivation to win for their fallen friend will be immense.—Sapa