Twenty-nine tries were scored over the course of the four games staged on Monday, with four teams – namely WP, South Western Districts, the Valke and Boland – surpassing the 30-point mark.

WP started well in their battle against the Sharks, but the complexion of the game changed after the KwaZulu-Natalians scored a converted try in the 60th minute and reduced the deficit to four points.

The Sharks’ chances of completing a comeback victory received a further boost after two WP players were shown red cards for separate foul-play offences. But the 13-man WP side held its nerve in the closing stages, and flyhalf Yaqeen Ahmed slotted two late penalties to seal a 36-26 win. Ahmed finished the game with a personal tally of 21 points.

Earlier in the day, SWD edged the Valke in a 12-try thriller, with winger Lee-win Pretorius scoring a brace. After trailing at half-time, the Eagles powered their way to a 41-34 win.

Boland played with plenty of attacking intent in their clash with the Leopards. Flyhalf Luan Giliomee slotted five conversions and two penalties to consolidate his team’s lead, while the Leopards scored three late tries to add some respectability to the final scoreline of 41-21.

Eastern Province racked up 18 first-half points to take charge of the Eastern Cape derby against Border. The Bulldogs clawed their way back into the contest after half-time before EP kicked a couple of penalties to secure a 24-18 victory.

The tournament will continue Tuesday, with the Western Province XV taking on Griquas in the first match at 09h20.

The Golden Lions, the hosts of this year’s competition, will tackle local rivals the Blue Bulls in the final match of the day.

Day One Results:

South Western Districts 41 (17), Valke 34 (19)

Boland 41 (17), Leopards 21 (0)

Eastern Province 24 (18), Border 14 (7)

Western Province 36 (16), Sharks 26 (14)

Fixtures 25 June:

10h00: WP XV v Griquas

11h30: Pumas v Limpopo Blue Bulls

13h00: Free State v Griffons

14h30: Blue Bulls v Golden Lions

Issued by SA Rugby Communications