EP Kings flank Paul Schoeman and FNB Welwitschias wing Justin Nel both recorded hat-tricks of tries this weekend in the fourth round of the Vodacom Cup.
A further four players – Enver Brandt (Toyota Free State XV), Anrich Richter (Hino Valke), Stephan de Wit and Kobus de Kock (both Xerox Golden Lions) – each scored a brace of tries, three of them in one match.
The Xerox Golden Lions, who were too strong for the Hino Valke in Kempton Park this weekend (48-26), are the only unbeaten team left in the North Section of the competition, but the Steval Pumas and Vodacom Blue Bulls are not far behind on the log.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls had to work very hard to beat the Steval Pumas in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon (20-18), while the Down Touch Griffons got their first win of the season in Windhoek on Friday, beating the FNB Welwitschias in a high-scoring affair (32-28).
In the South Section, DHL Western Province top the standings followed by defending champions, GWK Griquas, both of whom recorded good wins this weekend against the Cell C Sharks in Cape Town (32-12) and SWD Eagles in George (19-12) respectively.
The EP Kings won a hard-fought Eastern Cape derby in East London on Friday evening (27-17) and the Toyota Free State XV were far too good for the Boland Cavaliers in Bloemfontein on Saturday (52-15).
Border Bulldogs 17 EP Kings 27
The Eastern Province Kings beat the Border Bulldogs 27-17 in a scrappy Vodacom Cup match played at a wet Buffalo City Municipality Stadium in East London on Friday.
Border skipper Blake Kyd celebrated his 50th match for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs played in new colours, red and yellow, instead of their usual chocolate brown, highlighting the union’s fight against drug-taking in the region.
EP Kings flank Paul Schoeman scored three tries for the victors, who went back to Port Elizabeth with a well-earned bonus-point in the bag.
Border Bulldogs – Tries: Ntando Kebe, Siphenkhosi Nofemele. Conversions: Masixole Banda, Oliver Zono. Penalty goal: Banda.
Eastern Province Kings – Tries: Paul Schoeman (3), Simon Kerrod. Conversions: Gary van Aswegen, Scott van Breda. Penalty goal: Van Aswegen.
SWD Eagles 12 GWK Griquas 19
GWK Griquas recorded their second victory in this year’s Vodacom Cup competition by beating the SWD Eagles 19-12 in a closely contested affair at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday evening.
After beating the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth last week, Griquas headed west down the N2 to George to face an Eagles side that gained good momentum from their victory over the Toyota Free State XV the week before.
Jaco Nepgen scored the only try of the match, which was largely dominated by kicking boots of Elric van Vuuren and Gouws Prinsloo.
SWD Eagles – Penalty goals: Elric van Vuuren (4).
GWK Griquas – Try: Jaco Nepgen. Conversions: Gouws Prinsloo. Penalty goals: Prinsloo (4).
FNB Welwitschias 28 Down Touch Griffons 32
Namibia’s FNB Welwitschias earned their first two league points of the Vodacom Cup despite their narrow defeat against the Down Touch Griffons in the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek on Friday night.
The visitors from Northern Free State scored a 32-28 win after the home team led 21-18 at halftime for a full-house of five league points. The Welwitschias earned a bonus point for scoring four tries, and another for losing within seven points.
FNB Welwitschias – Tries: Russell van Wyk, Justin Nel (3). Conversion: Shaun Kaizemi. Penalty goals: Kaizemi (2).
Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Bren Marais, Martin Sithole, Willmar Groenewald, Wynand Pienaar. Conversions: Louis Strydom (3). Penalty goals: Strydom (2).
Vodacom Blue Bulls 20 Steval Pumas 18
The Vodacom Blue Bulls narrowly beat the Steval Pumas 20-18 (7-9 halftime) at Loftus Versfeld in their Vodacom Cup North Section match on Saturday.
The home team opened their account when Blitzbok Jamba Ulengo crossed the tryline in the fourth minute. His effort was the result of a Pumas chip kick collected by Blue Bulls fullback Warrick Gelant who passed it to the winger. Ulengo evaded three tackles and sprinted 50m to score. Flyhalf Kobus Marais added the extras.
The match then seemed to dissipate into a series of unforced errors with neither team managing to assert any dominance. Steval Pumas flyhalf Justin van Staden nailed the Blue Bulls for their ill-discipline with three penalty goals before the visitors’ hooker Jacques Momberg was yellow carded for a high tackle. The teams went into the break with the Pumas leading 7-9.
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Jamba Ulengo, Marquit September. Conversions: Kobus Marais (2). Penalty goals: Marais (2).
Steval Pumas – Penalty goals: Justin van Staden (4), JC Roos (2).
DHL Western Province 32 Cell C Sharks XV 12
DHL Western Province claimed the bragging rights against the Cell C Sharks XV in a fiercely contested Vodacom Cup coastal derby win of 32-12 (halftime 22-7) held at the City Park Stadium, Cape Town on Saturday.
The visitors were flying high after a comprehensive 53-0 victory last week while WP had also earned a bonus point in a bruising encounter against the neighbouring Boland Cavaliers.
The home team outscored their visitors by four tries to two, with one of those going to 2013 Coca-Cola U18 Craven Week Player of the Tournament, Grant Hermanus.
DHL Western Province – Tries: Rayn Smid, Wilco Louw, Sikhumbuszo Notshe, Grant Hermanus. Conversions: Jean-Luc du Plessis (3). Penalty goals: Du Plessis (2).
Cell C Sharks XV – Tries: Khaya Majola, Khulu Marwana. Conversion: Lionel Cronje.
Toyota Free State XV 52 Boland Cavalier 15
The Boland Cavaliers suffered their second loss in a row in the Vodacom Cup, going down 15-52 to the Toyota Free State XV in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Boland now find themselves at the root of the Southern Section log. For the Free State it’s a good comeback after being beaten by the SWD Eagles last week in George.
Toyota Free State XV – Tries: Coenie van Wyk, Louis Venter, Reuben Johannes, Zingisa April, Louwrens Strydom, Enver Brandt (2), Devin Oosthuizen. Conversions: Van Wyk (5), Kevin Stevens.
Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Christian Rust, Eric Zana. Conversion: Rust. Penalty goal: Zana.
Hino Valke 26 Xerox Golden Lions 48
The Xerox Golden Lions continued their impressive unbeaten Vodacom Cup run on Saturday by beating the Hino Valke 48-26 in a North Section clash at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park.
The Golden Lions’ first-half blitz, highlighted by five superb tries, set the tone in this match as they built up a 41-7 lead at the break.
The Valke’s tendency to start sedately in the Vodacom Cup was exposed by the visitors’ explosive three-quarters and their industrious loose trio in the opening 40 minutes.
Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Stephan de Wit (2), Kobus de Kock (2), Ruaan Lerm, Malcolm Marx. Conversions: Ashlon Davids (5), Warren Potgieter. Penalty goals: Davids (2).
Hino Valke – Tries: Anrich Richter (2), Jacques Alberts, Arno Poley. Conversions: Juan Kotze (3).