The Currie Cup ( Afrikaans: Curriebeker ) is the leading competition for rugby union in South Africa. After the main sponsor, Absa Bank, the competition is also known as the ABSA Currie Cup. Represented 14 teams, the entire provinces or individual significant regions are represented within the provinces. Although the competition for the trophy known as the Currie Cup has existed since 1889, up until 1968, developed from a discharged annually Championship.
The competition began in 1884 as a modest strength between individual cities. In 1889, the first association, the South African Rugby Board was founded, it was decided to organize a national competition. Participants will include national teams should all important part associations. In the first tournament, which took place in Kimberley, these were Western Province, Griqualand West, Transvaal and Eastern Province. First winner was Western Province, the team was awarded as a prize donated by the Association Silver Cup, which is now on display at Rugby Museum in Cape Town.
From 1889, a tournament was held at irregular intervals. However, it passed decades before developed an annual championship of it. This first took place in 1968 and was won by the Blue Bulls from the north of the Transvaal. The championship has since been dominated by Western Province and the Blue Bulls; only occasionally succeeded other teams to win the Currie Cup.
As the first British team traveled to play in South Africa, they also brought with a golden cup. Founder of the Sir Donald Currie Cup, the owner of Union - Castle Line, those shipping company with which the Britons had traveled to South Africa. Currie had given the order to hand over the trophy the team that had the best played and showed the best sportsmanship. First winner of the Cup was finally Griqualand West. The team presented the trophy to the Association, could be so played regularly around him. 1892, the first tournament for the Currie Cup was held, which was won by Western Province.
The currently valid championship mode provides that the competition is divided into two divisions. Eight teams play in the Premier Division to the Currie Cup. The remaining six teams will play in the First Division for the chance to advance to the Premier Division. The mode has been changed over the years, often, however, the current should be valid at least until 2011.
The qualifying round consists of a double round robin, each team plays once each at home and away against all others. This results in 14 games in the Premier Division and 12 in the First Division. The table is calculated as follows:
- 4 points for a win
- 2 points for a draw
- 0 points for a loss (before possible bonus points )
- 1 bonus point for four or more successful attempts, regardless of the Final
- 1 bonus point for a loss by fewer than seven points difference
After the end of the Round Robin enter the four best teams in both divisions in a knockout system against each other. In the semifinals the final follows. The winner of the final match of the Premier Division win the Currie Cup. Is in the final after extra time no decision has been made, then both teams share the championship title. The winner of the final of the First Division play against the last of the Premier Division in a two - playoff for promotion.
Currently, South Africa is divided into 14 regional associations, each with a selected team. Four organizations recruit players from an entire province:
- GWK Griquas - North Cape ( home games in Kimberley )
- Leopards - North West (Home Games in Potchefstroom )
- Natal Sharks - KwaZulu -Natal (Home Games in Durban )
- Cougars - Mpumalanga (Home Games in Emalahleni )
Eastern Cape has two teams:
- Border Bulldogs - eastern ( home matches in East London)
- Mighty Elephants - western part (Home Games in Port Elizabeth )
Also, the Free State has two teams:
- Free State Cheetahs - the center and western part (Home Games in Bloemfontein )
- Griffons - eastern ( home matches in Welkom )
Western Cape has three teams:
- Boland Cavaliers - North part ( home games in Wellington )
- Eagles - eastern ( home matches in George )
- Western Province - Cape Town metropolitan area
Gauteng has two teams, the players from this province recruit exclusively:
- Falcons - the East Rand and other communities east and south of Johannesburg (Home Games in Brakpan )
- Golden Lions - Johannesburg and towns west of it ( home games in Johannesburg)
A team represents a part of Gauteng and a whole province:
- Blue Bulls - Pretoria, Gauteng the two communities east of it and the whole province of Limpopo (Home Games in Pretoria)
In the Premier Division Blue Bulls Free State Cheetahs Golden Lions, Griquas, Natal Sharks and Western Province play. In the First Division play Border Bulldogs, Eagles, Falcons, Griffons, Leopards, Elephants Mighty, pumas and Boland Cavaliers.