Important wins for Boland and the EP Kings kept their play-off hopes alive in a fascinating round eight of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge, while yet another home defeat saw the Leopards crash out of contention in a weekend packed with tries and action.
Border Bulldogs 38 (28), Eastern Province 43 (28)
- Border Bulldogs – Tries: Lelethu Gcilithsane (2), Sonwabiso Mqalo, Michael Makase, Oliver Zono. Conversions: Oliver Zono (5). Penalty: Oliver Zono.
- Eastern Province Kings – Tries: Stefan Ungerer, Neil Maritz, Tango Balekile, Sonwabo Majola, Stefan Willemse, Brandon Brown. Conversions: Pieter-Steyn de Wet (4), Michael Brink; Penalty: Pieter-Steyn de Wet.
With matches played on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, each day delivered a telling result that impacted on the overall standings in the North, Central and South Sections.
In the North section, it has become a three horse race with one round left of regulation play, with Xerox Golden Lions, Vodacom Blue Bulls and Steval Pumas all in contention for a playoff spot. The Xerox Golden Lions delivered an impressive 96-27 win over the Hino Valke in Kempton Park, while the Steval Pumas travelled to Namibia for a solid 42-8 win over the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias.
With the Xerox Golden Lions XV hosting the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Orlando Stadium on Friday, the Steval Pumas need to win at home against the Hino Valke and hope the home side wins in Soweto for them to sneak into second spot.
The Central Section also became a three horse race when the Leopards dropped a 33-17 result to Down Touch Griffons in Potchefstroom. The Tafel Lager Griquas and Cell C Sharks XV, who played to a 28-all draw on Thursday, are still in the top two positions, with the Toyota Free State XV making a late dash. They face the Cell C Sharks XV on Saturday in Bloemfontein in what could be a straight knock-out match.
The South Section, where DHL Western Province already secured top spot, came alive with EP Kings beating Border in East London on Thursday and Boland Cavaliers outplaying SWD Eagles 51-10 in Malmesbury.
Border finished their matches and will look at the clash between Boland and EP to see whether they will end regular play with a second placed log position.
A summary of the weekend’s results and points’ scorers are:
Tafel Lager Griquas 28 (14), Cell C Sharks XV 28 (13)
Tafel Lager Griquas 28 – Tries: Renier Botha (2), AJ le Roux, Jason Fraser. Conversions: Andre Swarts (3), George Whitehead.
Cell C Sharks XV 28 – Tries: Hyron Andrews, S’bura Sithole, Ilunga Mukedi, Garth April. Conversions: Garth April. Penalties: Garth April (2).
Leopards 17 (12), Down Touch Griffons 33 (19)
Leopards – Tries: Jimmy Mpailane, HP Swart, Tapiwe Mafura. Conversion: Gerhard Nortier
Griffons – Tries: Barend Potgieter, Thato Mavundla, Jasper Wiese, CJ Coetzee, Duan Pretorius. Conversions: Duan Pretorius (4).
Windhoek Draught Welwitschias 8 (0), Steval Pumas 42 (21)
Windhoek Draught Welwitschias – Try: Dirk von Weidts. Penalty: Winmar Rust.
Steval Pumas – Tries: Emile Temperman, Jean-Paul Lewis, Carel Greeff (2), Francois Kleinhans, Jannie Stander, Conversions: Kobus Marais (3), Sias Ebersohn (3).
Hino Valke 27 (27), Xerox Golden Lions 96 (35)
Hino Valke – Tries: Reg Muller, Maphutha Dolo (2), Marco Klopper. Conversions: Christian Rust (3). Penalty: Rust.
Xerox Golden Lions XV- Tries: Fabian Booysen, Armand van der Merwe (2), Dillion Smit, Jano Venter (2), Jacques Nel, Marvin Orie, Anthony Volmink (3), Michael Tambwe, Hacjivah Dayimani, Jan-Louis la Grange. Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (13).
Boland Cavaliers 51 (22) SWD Eagles 10 (10)
Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Elgar Watts (2), Sergio Torrens, Clinton Theron, Ludio Williams, Charles Mayeza, Edwin Sass, Zandre Jordaan. Conversions: Divan Nel (3), Adriaan Carelse. Penalties: Nel.
SWD Eagles – Try: Dillin Snel. Conversion: Leighton Eksteen. Penalty: Eksteen.
The logs after eight rounds of fixtures are:
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