The Eastern Province Kings broke away from the chasing pack on Saturday and are the only unbeaten side in the competition, while defending champions the Regent Boland Kavaliers avoided a fifth straight defeat in a series of high-scoring Round 5 matches in the expanded Absa Currie Cup First Division.
The Kings moved five points clear of the Griffons at the top of the table after coming away from Welkom with a resounding 34-10 victory in a clash between the competition’s only two unbeaten sides.
The EP Kings took a firm grip on the competition with a comprehensive win over the Griffons in their top-of-the-table clash at the North West Stadium in Welkom on Saturday.
Both teams went into the game unbeaten after four wins from their four respective matches but the Kings were the dominant force in the contest, rushing into a 24-0 half-time lead to knock the stuffing out of the Griffons.
Flyhalf George Whitehead, the competition’s top point-scorer, was the star of the show for the Kings as he contributed 19 points courtesy of a try, four conversions and two penalties.
Both teams had been locked on 19 log points before the match but the Kings walked away with a full haul of five points, after scoring a bonus-point try, while the Griffons were left empty-handed.
The Kings ran in four tries as they raced to a 34-0 lead in the second half with the Griffons only managing to grab two consolation tries to add some late gloss to the final scoreline.
- Griffons – Tries: Nicky Steyn, Francois Uys.
- Kings – Tries: Tiger Mangweni, Thabo Mamojele, Marcello Sampson, George Whitehead. Conversions: Whitehead (4). Penalties: Whitehead (2).
The Leopards, after a slow start to their campaign, picked up their fourth win on Saturday, 51-22 over the Valke, to move to second and suggest that they may be the Kings’ strongest challengers as the season begins to approach the halfway mark.
Friday’s two matches saw the Ford Pumas comfortably beat the Border Bulldogs 51-18 in East London – a result which moves the men from Mpumalanga to fourth – and the Kavaliers finally end their four-match losing streak with a 21-21 draw in George against the SWD Eagles.
The other games on the weekend played thus:
Border Bulldogs (6) 18 Ford Pumas (23) 51
Naas Olivier scored 21 points as the Ford Pumas cruised to an easy win over the outgunned Border Bulldogs at the BCM Stadium in East London on Friday.
The Pumas were simply too strong for a Border outfit which has now lost all five of their matches this season with flyhalf Olivier turning in a faultless goal-kicking performance, succeeding with all nine of his kicks at goal via three penalties and six conversions.
The visitors ran in six tries to two to claim their third win of the season and they had the better of the forward exchanges, although credit must be given to Border flank Brian Shabangu who battled manfully and was prominent of both defence and attack.
- Bulldogs – Tries: Gareth Krause, Matthew Taljaard. Conversion: Quinton Crocker. Penalties: Crocker (2).
- Pumas – Tries: Torsten van Jaarsveld, Rudi Mathee, Renaldo Bothma, Nqubeko Zulu, Dewald Pretorius, Cornè Fourie. Conversions: Naas Olivier (6). Penalties: Olivier (3).
SWD Eagles (15) 21 Regent Boland Kavaliers (15) 21
Regent Boland Kavaliers centre Elgar Watts kicked a penalty in the final minute to secure a 21-21 draw with the SWD Eagles at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday to end the defending champions’ run of defeats.
The 26-year-old Watts, a key figure in the Kavaliers’ title triumph last year, enjoyed a top-class game all round, scoring a try and missing just a single kick at goal.
Having made a disastrous start – trailing 0-12 after just four minutes – it was a tremendous coup for the Kavaliers to come away with a share of the points, especially since they had lost their previous four matches in this year’s competition.
Boland conceded a try in the first minute of the match when Eagles scrumhalf Mzo Dyantyi spotted a gap in the Kavaliers’ defence and scooted through to score.
SWD flyhalf Theuns Kotze converted to put the home side 7-0 in front and the situation only worsened for Boland a minute later when wing Vainon Willis was yellow-carded. During the time he was in the cooler, the Eagles scored another try as the pressure told and outside centre Stokkies Hanekom dashed over the tryline.
But Watts then inspired a gutsy comeback by the visitors, starting with a penalty after a SWD ruck infringement and then breaking through the Eagles’ defence for the Kavaliers’ opening try midway through the first half.
And he finished off his good night in style by showing steely nerves to slot a last-minute penalty to earn the draw.
- Eagles – Tries: Stokkies Hanekom, Mzo Dyantyi. Conversion: Theuns Kotze. Penalties: Kotze (3).
- Kavaliers – Tries: Lungelo Payi, Elgar Watts. Conversion: Watts. Penalties: Watts (3).
Valke (8) 22 Leopards (20) 51
Andre Pretorius turned in an assured flyhalf performance to lead the Leopards to a resounding win over the Valke at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park on Saturday.
The 33-year-old Pretorius, a veteran of 31 Tests, scored 16 points courtesy of five conversions, a penalty and a drop goal and generally dictated play well with some superb tactical kicking – with two kicks leading to tries – as the Leopards secured their fourth win in five matches.
Right wing Danie Dames ran in a hat-trick of tries as the Leopards scored six tries to two to consign the Valke to their fourth loss of the season. The hosts had the better of the opening exchanges but they were rocked by a 17-point blitz in just seven minutes from the Leopards, from which the men in red never fully recovered.
- Valke – Tries: Willie Odendaal, Sino Ganto, JC Greyling. Conversions: Karlo Aspeling (2). Penalty: Aspeling.
- Leopards – Tries: Philip de Wet, Hoffman Maritz, Danie Dames (3), Allister Kettledas. Conversions: Andre Pretorius (5), Adriaan Engelbrecht. Penalties: Pretorius, Engelbrecht. Drop goal: Pretorius.
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2012/07/ep-kings-top-dogs/