The Toyota Free State Cheetahs and Cell C Sharks registered important victories in the second round of the Currie Cup Premier Division – sponsored by DirectAxis Financial Services – this past weekend to remain in close proximity of the early pace-setters on the log, Tafel Lager Griquas, who earned their second bonus-point win of the season.
The Kimberley outfit kicked off the weekend’s action on Friday with a 37-29 victory against the Phakisa Pumas at Tafel Lager Park thanks to their five tries to four, and the Toyota Cheetahs followed their lead with a morale-boosting 43-27 win against the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Pretoria after a bye in the opening week.
In Saturday’s match, the Cell C Sharks held their nerve in a tightly-fought encounter against DHL Western Province in Durban for a bonus-point 32-27 win which allowed them to bounce back strongly from a disappointing defeat in round one.
In Kimberley, Tafel Lager Griquas held a narrow 10-5 halftime lead after scoring a converted try and penalty goal to only one try by the visitors in the first half, but they made good use of their chances after the break – in which Anthony Volmink (wing) wrapped up his brace – with a late penalty goal and try in the dying minutes sealing them a 37-29 victory. For a full match report and all the scorers, click here.
The Toyota Free State Cheetahs, meanwhile, laid a solid foundation in the first half against the Vodacom Blue Bulls and they continued to test the home side’s defence as the match progressed to earn a bonus-point win.
The Free Staters stamped their authority in the first half by forcing their way over the advantage line at will, and they did well to capitalise on their try-scoring chances – which saw Benhard Janse van Rensburg (centre) score twice en route to their 22-12 halftime lead. They continued to make their presence felt as the match progressed and out-scored the hosts six tries to five in the end. Click here for the match report.
Saturday’s match between the Cell C Sharks and DHL Western Province was very competitive as both teams threw everything at one another, but the KwaZulu-Natalians’ effectiveness at converting their chances into points was crucial in their 32-27 win.
It was a hard-fought match characterised by strong forward play and good running, but their four tries to three by the Capetonians – one of which was while they were down to 14 men after Justin Phillips (scrumhalf) was sent to the sin bin for slowing down the ball at a ruck – allowed the home team to bounce back from a disappointing first round defeat against Tafel Lager Griquas. For the full match report and all the scorers, click here.
Currie Cup First Division – Round 3 Review
The Jaguares XV continued to set the pace in round three of the Currie Cup First Division – also sponsored by DirectAxis Financial Services – as they earned their third bonus-point win in as many weeks, while the Down Touch Griffons and SWD Eagles played to a dramatic 36-36 draw.
The Jaguares XV were in sublime form against the Border Bulldogs in East London with their 12-try romp steering them to a 78-12 victory after leading 49-12 at the break, with the Argentineans’ two wingers, Julian Widmer and Facundo Cordero, each earning hat-tricks in the process, while Domingo Miotti (flyhalf) kept the scoreboard ticking with nine conversions for his 18 points.
The Valke, meanwhile, secured their second win in the competition thanks to a hard-fought 12-7 win against the Leopards in Potchefstroom in a match featuring only three tries, while the EP Elephants and Boland Cavaliers were also involved in a tight tussle in Caledon with the visitors’ seven tries to five by the hosts allowing them to sneak through for a 39-38 victory.
The clash between the Down Touch Griffons and SWD Eagles in Welkom was a humdinger, with SWD flyhalf Gerhard Nortier’s accurate goal-kicking (four conversions and penalty goal) proving critical in the 36-36 draw as they were outscored six tries to five by the hosts. Click here for a breakdown of all the Currie Cup First Division action