The Cell C Sharks clinched their fifth consecutive win when they beat the Toyota Cheetahs on Friday. The bonus-point victory sees the KwaZulu-Natalians moving up to second in the standings – although they now boast the same number of log points as the first-placed side.
The Toyota Cheetahs remain at the top of the pile thanks to their superior points’ difference. Their inability to salvage so much as a losing bonus point from the defeat to the Cell C Sharks may prove costly at a later stage.
Similarly, the Airlink Pumas may come to regret their late lapse against DHL Western Province in Cape Town on Friday. The hosts scored 10 points in the final 10 minutes – including a converted try after the hooter – to secure an eight-point victory than denied the defending champs any consolatory log points.
As a result, the men from Mpumalanga have dropped to third in the standings, but are only three points behind the Toyota Cheetahs and Cell C Sharks. DHL WP have consolidated their position in the top four, and may surpass the Airlink Pumas in the coming weeks if they continue to win and other results go their way.
Windhoek Draught Griquas secured a bonus-point win against the NovaVit Griffons on Saturday to move up to fifth place. They are only three points behind fourth-placed DHL WP.
The Vodacom Bulls were made to fight for their own five-point haul in Johannesburg on Saturday. They trail DHL WP by four points and are still in the race for the playoffs. The Fidelity ADT Lions claimed two valuable log points in spite of the defeat to their Gauteng rivals. They are currently five points behind DHL WP.
Meanwhile, four matches were played in the ninth round of the Currie Cup First Division and Mzansi Challenge on Saturday.
The Valke romped to a 56-29 win over Eastern Province in Kempton Park, while Boland Kavaliers proved too strong for log-leaders SWD Eagles in their 29-15 win in Porterville.
The Simbas from Kenya downed the Goshawks from Zimbabwe 48-7 in Nairobi, and Border emerged with a 41-36 win over the San Clemente Rhinos in Mdantsane.
DHL WP fire late to sink defending champs
DHL Western Province scored a converted try after the full-time hooter to seal a 22-14 win over the Airlink Pumas at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on Friday.
The defending champions began this contest with a bang, with Cameron Dawson touching down inside the first minute. DHL WP hit back through halfbacks Godlen Masimla and Jean-Luc du Plessis, and took a 12-7 lead into half-time.
The Airlink Pumas appeared to regain control after Andrew Kota crossed the line and Tinus de Beer added the extras. Du Plessis slotted a penalty goal in the 73rd minute, however, to steer DHL WP into the lead.
Adre Smith scored after the full-time hooter to secure the result for the hosts. Du Plessis’s subsequent conversion was particularly significant, as it denied the Airlink Pumas a consolation prize in the form of a losing bonus point.
DHL WP 22 (12) – Tries: Godlen Masimla, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Adre Smith. Conversions: Du Plessis (2). Penalty goal: Du Plessis.
Airlink Pumas 14 (7) – Tries: Cameron Dawson, Andrew Kota. Conversions: Tinus de Beer (2).
Cell C Sharks feast on Toyota Cheetahs
The Cell C Sharks claimed an important 35-23 bonus-point victory against the Currie Cup Premier Division log leaders, the Toyota Cheetahs, in Durban on Friday, and were in control for much of this contest.
Aphelele Fassi and Alwayno Visagie scored early tries, while the accurate boot of Lionel Cronjé ensured that the hosts went to the break with a 21-10 lead.
The Toyota Cheetahs were made to pay for their mistakes and poor discipline. Shortly after the visitors conceded their second yellow card in the 74th minute, Dameon Venter touched down for the KwaZulu-Natalians’ bonus-point try.
Daniel Maartens crashed over the line in the dying stages, and Siya Masuku added the extras. This seven-pointer only served to add some respectability to the final scoreline.
Cell C Sharks 35 (21) – Tries: Aphelele Fassi, Alwayno Visagie, Tiaan Fourie, Dameon Venter. Conversions: Lionel Cronjé (3). Penalty goals: Cronjé (3).
Toyota Cheetahs 23 (10) – Tries: Sibabalo Qoma, Daniel Maartens. Conversions: Ruan Pienaar, Siya Masuku. Penalty goals: Pienaar (3).
Windhoek Draught Griquas cut loose in Welkom
Lubabalo Dobela scored 17 points as Windhoek Draught Griquas powered their way to a 47-21 victory over the NovaVit Griffons in Welkom on Saturday.
The NovaVit Griffons were competitive in the first quarter, with loosehead prop Stephan de Jager scoring two of his three tries. The men from Kimberley started to gain control towards the end of the first half, however, and Dobela crossed the line for his team’s fourth try on the stroke of half-time.
De Jager completed his hat-trick shortly after the break, and Duane Pretorius added the extras, but the hosts didn’t score again.
Windhoek Draught Griquas finished the game with a flourish, scoring 19 unanswered points. The visitors scored seven tries in all, with No 8 Carl Els bagging a brace.
NovaVit Griffons 21 (14) – Tries:. Stephan de Jager (3). Conversions: Duan Pretorius (3).
Windhoek Draught Griquas 47 (28) – Tries: Johan Els, Lubabalo Dobela, Carl Els (2), Jay Cee Nel, Sango Xamlashe, Ashlon Davids. Conversions: Dobela (6).
Vodacom Bulls hang on for crucial win in Joburg
The Vodacom Bulls survived a late fightback by the Fidelity ADT Lions to secure a 33-32 bonus-point win in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Both teams went into this clash needing victory to improve their position on the Currie Cup log. The visitors dominated the first quarter, scoring four tries in less than 21 minutes, but the hosts clawed their way back, however, and the Vodacom Bulls took a slender 26-20 lead into the break.
Edwill van der Merwe scored two spectacular tries to bring the Fidelity ADT Lions within sight of a fantastic and much-needed victory. Flyhalf Gianni Lombard had the chance to clinch the result in the 80th minute, but his drop goal attempt drifted wide of the posts.
While the Vodacom Bulls hung on to claim five log points, the Fidelity ADT Lions did enough to earn two bonus points.
Fidelity ADT Lions 32 (20) – Tries: Francke Horn, Edwill van der Merwe (2), Penalty try. Conversions: Sanele Nohamba, Gianni Lombard. Penalty goals: Nohamba (2).
Vodacom Bulls 33 (26) – Tries: Elrigh Louw, David Kriel, Embrose Papier, Mornay Smith, Marcell Coetzee. Conversions: Johan Goosen (4).