Lions top, Bulls hack

The Golden Lions remain in top spot on the Absa Currie Cup Premier log after beating the Pumas on Friday evening. But the chasing pack have them in their sights … Western Province, The Sharks and the Cheetahs scored good victories on the road on Saturday.

With the World Cup getting going on Friday, it is going to be interesting to see if the Currie Cup can continue to keep people’s interest. The fact that the RWC games are all early in the morning might be the Currie Cup’s saving grace …

Pretty damn difficult to smash Black Labels and boerrie rolls at five in the morning … Although, I am willing to give it a go …

The Currie Cup weekend in short then …

Pumas 20 (6) Golden Lions 34 (27)

The Golden Lions had to withstand a second half fight back from the Pumas, but managed to hold on as they stayed at the top of the Absa Currie Cup pile after winning this Premier Division game by 34-20 at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday evening.

After the visitors dominated the first half and went into the break 27-6 ahead, the Ford Pumas turned the tide in the second half as they managed to control possession better and made the Golden Lions work hard on defence.

The Ford Pumas outscored the Golden Lions by two tries to one after the break and were only seven points behind at the end of normal time, but the team from Johannesburg managed to get replacement lock Johan Snyman over for a bonus point try after the hooter had sounded.

It was the Golden Lions’ seventh victory from eight games and with six games to go in the league phase of the Absa Currie Cup, they are on track to a home semi-final.

Pumas – Tries: Corné Steenkamp, MJ Mentz. Conversions: Coenie van Wyk (2). Penalties: Van Wyk (2).

Golden Lions – Tries: Michael Killian, Michael Rhodes, Jaco Taute, Johan Snyman. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (4). Penalties: Jantjies (2).

 

Griquas 35 (15) Western Province 41 (21)

Western Province won a high-scoring Currie Cup match in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon, needing to fight back after Griquas took an early lead.

The home team started like a house on fire, taking a 15-0 lead midway through the first half thanks to tries by fullback Rudi Vogt and flank Davon Raubenheimer.

But WP held their nerve and scored three converted tries in the final 15 minutes of the first half to take a 21-15 lead at the break.

Seven more tries – four to WP and three to Griquas – followed in the second half as both teams played an open and attacking game. A total of 12 tries were scored in the game, with Vogt, Raubenheimer and WP wing JJ Engelbrecht each bagging a brace of five pointers.

Griquas – Tries: Rudi Vogt (2), Davon Raubenheimer (2), Marnus Schoeman. Conversions: Vogt (2). Penalties: Vogt, Earl Rose.

Western Province – Tries: Tiaan Liebenberg, Nick Koster, Dewaldt Duvenage, Conrad Jantjes, JJ Engelbrecht (2), Johann Sadie. Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (3).

 

Leopards 17 (3) Cheetahs 64 (24)

Two tries in the first half by Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen set up a massive 64-17 Absa Currie Cup victory for the Toyota Free State Cheetahs over the Leopards at Olën Park in Potchefstroom on Saturday afternoon.

Oosthuizen got his first while Leopards centre Joubert Engelbrecht was in the sin bin following a yellow card. He got his second late in the first half as the Cheetahs went into the break ahead by 24-3.

The visitors had way too much firepower and scored nine tries in their second high scoring game in three weeks. Two late tries by the Leopards, one by Engelbrecht, gave their score a bit of oomph, but it was never enough against a rampant Cheetahs side, who moved into fourth on the log.

Of the 11 tries scored in the match, eight were scored in the second half.

Leopards – Tries: Joubert Engelbrecht, Whestley Moolman. Conversions: Wesley Dunlop (2). Penalty: Dunlop.

Cheetahs – Tries: Boom Prinsloo, Cameron Jacobs, Coenie Oosthuizen (2), Hercu Liebenberg, Marcel van der Merwe, Philip Burger, Philip Snyman, Riaan Smit. Conversions: Johan Goosen (2), Sias Ebersohn (6). Penalty: Goosen.

 

Blue Bulls 27 (15) The Sharks 39 (23)

The Sharks capitalised on bad discipline, handling and kicking by the Blue Bulls as they won an entertaining match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria by 39-27 on Saturday evening.

The Blue Bulls were behind 9-0 early in the match as Sharks centre Meyer Bosman made them pay for their ill-discipline with three long range penalty goals. When Springbok Sevens speedster Sibusiso Sithole scored a well worked try a bit later, the home team looked dead and buried at 16-0 down after only 18 minutes.

But they fought back well and never gave up. In the end the Blue Bulls simply gave away too many penalties within kicking range, which Bosman and Sharks flyhalf Fred Michalak converted into points. The KwaZulu-Natalians’ two kickers had a good night with their boots, converting nine out of ten kicks at goal. The visitors also defended very well.

In contrast the Blue Bulls’ young pivot Louis Fouché struggled with the boot – he missed four out of his six kicks at the posts, which probably cost the team from Pretoria a second bonus point.

Two tries in the final two minutes, with the Sharks having already won the game, saw the Blue Bulls leave with one bonus point.

Blue Bulls – Tries: Bjorn Basson (2), Warwick Tecklenburg, CJ Stander. Conversions: Louis Fouché, Francois Brummer. Penalty: Fouché.

The Sharks – Tries: Sibusiso Sithole, Craig Burden, Lwazi Mvovo. Conversions: Frederic Michalak (3). Penalties: Meyer Bosman (3), Michalak 3.

Premier Division Log

Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Golden Lions 8 7 0 1 274 178 96 30 17 4 32
2 Western Province 8 5 1 2 242 165 77 24 13 5 27
3 The Sharks 8 6 0 2 225 192 33 19 16 2 26
4 Cheetahs 8 4 0 4 306 183 123 37 18 7 23
5 Griquas 8 4 1 3 230 253 -23 26 33 5 23
6 Blue Bulls 8 4 0 4 198 227 -29 22 23 2 18
7 Pumas 8 0 0 8 158 275 -117 17 32 5 5
8 Leopards 8 1 0 7 142 302 -160 17 40 1 5

Absa Currie Cup First Division

EP 51 (26) Border 36 (12)

EP – Tries: Luke Watson (2), Marcello Sampson, Louis Strydom, Danie Faasen, Norman Nelson, Jaco Engels. Conversions: Strydom (3), George Whitehead (2). Penalties: Whitehead (2).

Border – Tries: Vuyo Mboto (2), Lubabalo Mzwakali (2), Chumani Booi. Conversions: Dale Sabbagh (3), Ntabeni Dukisa. Penalty: Sabbagh.

 

Boland 47 (34) Griffons 29 (17)

Boland – Tries: Ligtoring Landman (2), PJ Vermeulen, Cornal Hendricks, Elgar Watts. Conversions: Watts (5). Penalties: Watts (4).

Griffons – Tries: Burger Schoeman (2), Nicky Steyn, Japie Nel. Conversions: Tiaan van Wyk, Reinhardt Erwee (2) Penalty: Erwee.

First Division Log

Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 EP 7 7 0 0 327 158 169 46 20 5 33
2 Boland 7 6 0 1 316 120 196 42 15 7 31
3 SWD 6 3 0 3 186 232 -46 23 30 2 14
4 Griffons 7 1 0 6 201 293 -92 26 41 7 11
5 Valke 6 2 0 4 161 227 -66 24 29 2 10
6 Border 7 1 0 6 181 342 -161 22 48 3 7
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