DHL Western Province, the Cell C Sharks and the Xerox Golden Lions showed that they could be forces to be reckoned with this season as they kicked off their Currie Cup campaigns on a winning note with valuable bonus points.
Defending champions, DHL Western Province, held their nerve in torrid weather conditions in Cape Town to outplay the Toyota Free State Cheetahs 32-0, which saw them take top spot on the log on points’ difference in the competition – proudly brought to you by Nashua and DirectAxis Financial Services.
In the other matches, the Cell C Sharks registered a 26-10 victory against the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Durban, and a hat-trick by Xerox Golden Lions winger Courtnall Skosan and a brace by young No 8 Hacjivah Dayimani steered them to a rewarding 62-41 victory against the Tafel Lager Griquas in Johannesburg.
The first half between DHL Western Province and the Toyota Free State Cheetahs was slow and error-ridden as the teams tried hard to adapt to the heavy rain and swirling wind at DHL Newlands, and it was no surprise that the only points in the first 39 minutes were two penalty goals by DHL Western Province’s SP Marais.
The hosts, however, made a vital breakthrough on the stroke of halftime as Ruhan Nel crossed the chalk to hand them a 13-0 lead, which they built on in the second half to take their try tally to four, while they denied the visitors a single point.
The Cell C Sharks’ effective finishing earned them the 26-10 victory against the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Durban, who will be rueing the missed opportunities as mistakes at crucial times came at a high price.
The home team scored three first-half tries to one converted try and penalty goal by the Vodacom Blue Bulls for a 21-10 halftime lead, and this proved important in the end, as the only points scored in the second half was the Cell C Sharks’ bonus-point try.
The first half between the Xerox Golden Lions and Tafel Lager Griquas was tightly-contested with the visitors taking a slender lead despite scoring two tries to the hosts’ three, thanks to two penalty goals by George Whitehead. But two tries in quick succession by the Xerox Golden Lions after the break and another four as the match progressed sealed the victory for them. The men from the Northern Cape earned an important bonus point thanks to their five tries.
Currie Cup Premier Division Round 2 results and scorers (click on the hyperlink for the full score sheet):
DHL Western Province 32 (13) Toyota Free State Cheetahs 0 (0)
DHL Western Province – Tries: Scarra Ntubeni, JD Schickerling, Juarno Augustus, Ruhan Nel. Conversions: SP Marais (3). Penalty Goals: Marais (2).
Cell C Sharks 26 (21) Vodacom Blue Bulls 10 (10)
Cell C Sharks – Tries: Juan Schoeman, Curwin Bosch, Kobus van Wyk, Aphelele Fassi. Conversions: Robert du Preez (3).
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Try: Jesse Kriel. Conversion: Manie Libbok. Penalty Goal: Libbok.
Xerox Golden Lions 62 (19) Tafel Lager Griquas 41 (20)
Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Hacjivah Dayimani (2), Ross Cronje, Courtnall Skosan (3), Sylvian Mahuza, Len Massyn, Wandisile Simelane. Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (7). Penalty Goal: Reynolds.
Tafel Lager Griquas – Tries: Andre Swarts, Khwezi Mkhafu, Wilmar Arnoldi, Kyle Steyn, AJ Coertzen. Conversions: George Whitehead (5). Penalty Goals: Whitehead (2).
Currie Cup First Division
The Boland Cavaliers and Hino Valke made strong statements in the opening round of the Currie Cup First Division – proudly sponsored by DirectAxis Financial Services and Nashua – with convincing victories, while the Leopards also got their campaign off to a winning start.
The Boland Cavaliers were in sublime form against Eastern Province in Robertson as they scored an impressive 10 tries for a rewarding 70-12 victory, with Tapiwa Tsomondo, Zandre Jordaan and Valentino Wellman each touching down twice.
Such was their dominance, they raced to a 35-5 halftime lead, and then added another 35 points after the break, while their effective defence limited the visitors to two tries.
The Hino Valke delivered an equally dominant showing against the Border Bulldogs in Kempton Park for a 66-27 victory, with Friedle Olivier and Etienne Taljaard contributing braces to the side’s 10 tries.
The hosts ran riot on attack and the rewards followed, but the Border Bulldogs did not give up and managed to cross the tryline four times to secure a bonus-point.
In George, the Leopards overcame a strong challenge from the SWD Eagles for a narrow 27-25 victory with a conversion proving to be the difference on the scoreboard in the end.
The clash was hard-fought from the outset, with the Leopards taking a narrow 17-15 lead at the break, and both teams continued to throw everything at one another as the match progressed.
Three successful conversions by the Leopards – one of which was by centre Gerhard Nortier, who also contributed a try and penalty goal – to only two by the hosts, however, nudged them to victory.
Currie Cup First Division Round 1 results and scorers (click on the hyperlink for the full score sheet):
Hino Valke 66 (35) Border Bulldogs 27 (15)
Hino Valke – Tries: Andries Schutte, Friedle Olivier (2), Shane Kirkwood, Sikhumbuzo Mabuza, Ernst Ladendorf, Etienne Taljaard (2), Grant Janke, Lundi Ralarala. Conversions: Anrich Richter (5), Warren Potgieter (3).
Border Bulldogs – Tries: Mihlali Mpafi, Carlisle Jordan, Soso Mqalo, Soso Xakalashe. Conversions: Bangi Kobese, Dilolo Mapuko. Penalty Goal: Bangi Kobese
Boland Cavaliers 70 (35) Eastern Province 12 (5)
Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Clinton Theron, Marlyn Williams, Tapiwa Tsomondo (2), Zandre Jordaan (2), Valentino Wellman (2), Gerrit Van Wyk, Charles Mayeza. Conversions: Jaywinn Juries (5), Elgar Watts, Jacquin Jansen (4).
Eastern Province – Tries: Zingisa April, Diego Williams. Conversion: Henrique Olivier.
SWD Eagles 25 (15) Leopards 27 (17)
SWD Eagles – Tries: Mzufukile Sofisa, Wayne Wilschut, Penalty Try. Conversion: Leighton Eksteen. Penalty Goals: Leighton Eksteen, Divan Nel.
Leopards – Tries: Boela Venter, Gerhard Nortier, Tapiwa Mafura. Conversions: Schalk Hugo (2), Gerhard Nortier. Penalty Goals: Schalk Hugo, Gerhard Nortier.