The Xerox Golden Lions and Cell C Sharks continued their fine form in the Currie Cup this weekend as they produced the goods to earn their third round of bonus-point wins for a full house of points halfway through their campaigns.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls also held their nerve in a tight encounter against Tafel Lager Griquas to boost their campaign in the competition proudly brought to you by DirectAxis Financial Services and Nashua.
In Johannesburg, the Xerox Golden Lions produced a classy first-half display against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, which paved the way for their morale-boosting 47-14 victory, and pushed them to the top of the log.
Such was their dominance in the first half that they ran in an impressive five tries for a 33-0 lead, while the visitors found themselves feeding off the scraps in the first 40 minutes and battling to shut out the hosts on defence.
The Toyota Free State Cheetahs fought back in the second half and earned two converted tries for their efforts, but their defence let them down once again in the closing minutes as the Xerox Golden Lions added two tries to take their tally for the match to seven.
Shaun Reynolds was a key figure for the Gauteng side as he scored a brace and kicked six conversions for 22 points, while Sylvian Mahuza also contributed two tries.
The Cell C Sharks, meanwhile, produced a strong second-half showing against the iCOLLEGE Pumas in Durban to overturn a 12-7 halftime deficit for their victory.
Errors at crucial times and a defensive lapse, in which the Cell C Sharks conceded two tries in five minutes before halftime, saw the visitors take the lead at the break. But the Mpumalanga outfit were unable to add to their score in the second half, while the hosts added three tries to their tally for the bonus-point 28-12 win.
It was tries galore in Kimberley as the Vodacom Blue Bulls outscored Tafel Lager Griquas seven tries to six for a narrow 45-40 victory.
Both teams delivered a balanced showing between their forwards and backs and did well to capitalise on their try-scoring chances. But in the end the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ committed defence in the dying minutes ensured that they earned the victory, as the hosts fought until the final whistle.
Currie Cup Round 4 results and scorers (click on the hyperlink for the full scoresheet):
Cell C Sharks – Tries: Jeremy Ward, Johan Deysel, Aphelele Fassi, Curwin Bosch. Conversions: Robert Du Preez (4).
iCOLLEGE Pumas – Tries: Ruwellyn Isbell, Le Roux Roets. Conversion: Chris Smith.
Tafel Lager Griquas – Tries: Nico Oosthuizen, Andre Swarts (2), Eital Bredenkamp, AJ Coertzen, Penalty Try. Conversions: George Whitehead (4).
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Andre Warner, Franco Naude, Jaco Visagie, JT Jackson, Edgar Marutlulle, Jano Venter, Ivan Van Zyl. Conversions: Manie Libbok (5).
Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Sylvian Mahuza (2), Shaun Reynolds (2), Marvin Orie, Howard Mnisi, Hacjivah Dayimani. Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (6).
Toyota Free State Cheetahs – Tries: Lloyd Greeff, Rudy Paige. Conversions: Louis Fouche (2).
Currie Cup First Division
The Leopards continued to stamp their authority in the Currie Cup First Division – also sponsored by Nashua and DirectAxis Financial Services – as they stretched their winning run to three matches, while the SWD Eagles and Border Bulldogs also registered important victories.
The Leopards overcame a tough challenge by Eastern Province in Port Elizabeth to outscore the hosts four tries to three for a bonus-point 28-21 victory. The men from Potchefstroom built up a 14-7 halftime lead, and their extra try proved to be the difference on the scoreboard in the end, as both sides crossed the chalk twice in the second half.
The SWD Eagles were too strong for the Down Touch Griffons in George as they registered a convincing 32-7 victory thanks to four tries to one by the defending champions. Marlo Weich scored a brace, while Divan Nel kept the scoreboard ticking with three conversions and two penalty goals.
It was a big day for the Border Bulldogs in Bredasdorp, as their 24-17 victory against the Boland Cavaliers marked their first win of the season. The team powered their way to a 17-7 halftime lead and earned a bonus-point try in the second half, as they worked hard to hold off a determined Cavaliers outfit, who added 10 points to their tally.
Currie Cup First Division Round 3 results and scorers:
Eastern Province – Tries: Diego Williams, Ntabeni Dukisa, Sphu Msutwana. Conversions: Ntabeni Dukisa (2), Henrique Olivier.
Leopards – Tries: Louis van der Westhuizen, Muziwandile Mazibuko, Dean Gordon, Tapiwa Mafura. Conversions: Schalk Hugo (4).
Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Clemen Lewis, Wilneth Engelbrecht, Valentino Wellman. Conversion: Quaid Langeveldt.
Border Bulldogs – Tries: Athenkosi Khethani, Athenkosi Manentsa, Lonwabo Ntleki, Soso Mqalo. Conversions: Dilolo Mapuko (2).
SWD Eagles – Tries: Wayne Wilschut, Vuyo Mbotho, Marlo Weich (2). Conversions: Divan Nel (3). Penalty Goals: Divan Nel (2).
Down Touch Griffons – Try: Tertius Maarman. Conversion: Heinrich Bitzi.