OOSTELIKES Eagles will look to cap a fairytale season when the resurgent Pretoria club play Varsity Cup champions Tuks in the Blue Bulls' Carlton League final at Loftus Versfeld B on Saturday.
Victory over their student rivals will not only be a remarkable achievement for a club that last year claimed the wooden spoon and conceded a century of points on three occasions, but also allow them to stake a serious claim for inclusion as a wild card entry into the 2014 Cell C Community Cup.
Three of the 20 slots for the 2014 edition of SARU's elite tournament for non-university or so-called 'open' clubs have already been filled, with Centurion set to represent the Bulls after finishing as the highest-placed open club on the final Carlton League log.
As defending champions, GAP Despatch will be assured of their place should they not qualify automatically as the top open club in Eastern Province at the end of the season, while Bloemfontein Crusaders made history when they became the first wild card in the short history of the Community Cup to re-qualify by right, as Free State's top open club.
Oostelikes reached the Carlton final after they beat Centurion 16-14 in the first semi-final last weekend, while Tukkies dispatched Pretoria Police, who finished sixth in the Community Cup, 38-23 in a titanic struggle.
The Carlton League is one of South Africa's most famous club competitions and is undergoing a renaissance after years out of the spotlight. The match between Tukkies and Oostelikes is one of five finals taking place at the Loftus B and C fields on Saturday, with the students in the running to make it a clean sweep of the silverware on offer.
The action gets underway at 13h00 with Tuks taking on TUT in the Under-19 final (Loftus C) and Tuks Pumas facing Centurion in the Third League decider (Loftus B). At 14h30, Tuks play TUT in the Under-21 final (Loftus C) while Tuks Fezelas come up against Centurion in the Second League final on the B field.
All eyes will then be on the Loftus B field when Tuks run out against Oostelikes in the main match, which kicks off at 16h00.