First Division pool stages set for a thrilling end

Sep 14 • Currie Cup F.Div, General News • 3464 Views • Comments Off on First Division pool stages set for a thrilling end

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The Absa Currie Cup First Division pool stages looks set for a thrilling finish in the next two weeks as the battle for the top spot on the log table and the last semifinal place continues.

In an exciting weekend of matches, the Down Touch Griffons defeated log-leaders the Leopards 37-31 in Welkom, the Valke beat the Boland Cavaliers 32-25 in Wellington and the SWD Eagles registered a 31-22 victory against the Border Bulldogs in George.

These results allowed the Down Touch Griffons to reduce the gap between themselves and the Leopards on the log table to only one point with two pool matches remaining. The Valke and Boland Cavaliers will also continue their tussle for the last semifinal spot as only five points currently separate the teams, meaning one may lose out marginally on a semifinal berth.

Boland Cavaliers 25 (15) Valke 32 (27)

The Valke started their clash against the Boland Cavaliers with a bang as they earned three tries in the first 20 minutes and another shortly before half time to secure their four-try bonus point in the first half. In return the Boland Cavaliers, who were reduced to 14 men in the 18th minute after fullback Eric Zana received a yellow card, scored two tries while flyhalf Morne Hugo kicked a penalty to leave them trailing 27-15 at the break.

The hosts bounced back strongly in the second half as they tightened up their defence and stepped up their attack and they earned the rewards with back-to-back tries by Victor Kruger and another by Zana to reduce the deficit to two points with seven minutes to play. Their hopes of a possible late victory, however, were dashed as Valke replacement hooker Bruce Muller crossed the tryline with two minutes to go to seal a 32-25 victory.

Scorers:

Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Albert Trytsman, Eric Zana (2), Victor Kruger. Conversion: Morne Hugo. Penalty: Morne Hugo.

Valke – Tries: Penalty Try, Bruce Muller, Jacques Verwey, Kyle Hendricks (2).

Down Touch Griffons 37 (15) Leopards 31 (7)

The top-of-the-table clash between the Down Touch Griffons and Leopards proved to be a try festival as the teams ran in a total of nine tries in a thrilling encounter. The first half was close as the teams tried hard to stamp their authority. The hosts opened up the scoring in the seventh minute with a penalty, and soon after scrumhalf Boela Abrahams snuck through for his team’s first try. Both teams scored tries in the second quarter, which handed the Down Touch Griffons a 15-7 lead.

But the flood gates opened in the second half as the teams found their rhythm and used their try-scoring chances well, with Abrahams opening up the scoring once again. Three back-to-back tries by the Leopards allowed them to force their way back into the match and secure their bonus point. The Down Touch Griffons, however, fought until the end and earned two more tries in the last five minutes to finish the match with an impressive five tries.

Scorers:

Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Aubrey McDonald, Boela Abrahams (2), Vuyo Mbotho, Wynand Pienaar. Conversions: Franna du Toit (2), Louis Strydom. Penalties: Franna du Toit, Louis Strydom.

Leopards – Tries: Henro-Pierre Swart, Johan Deysel, Rhyk Welgemoed, Sylvian Mahuza. Conversions: André Pretorius (4). Penalty: André Pretorius.

SWD Eagles 31 (26) Border Bulldogs 22 (14)

The SWD Eagles got off to a firing start against the Border Bulldogs in George with the team crossing the tryline four times in the first-half for their bonus point and a morale-boosting 26-14 lead at the break. Border, however, showed their fighting spirit and earned two converted tries for their efforts.

The visitors built on this early in the second half with centre Lundi Ralarala scoring their third try, which fullback Masixole Banda supported with a penalty. But the Eagles managed to shut them out for the rest of the match, while fullback Daniel Roberts scored his second try of the match shortly after to earn the Eagles a bonus point 31-22 victory.

Scorers:

SWD Eagles – Tries: Alshaun Bock, Buran Parks, Daniel Roberts (2), Dwayne Kelly. Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (3).

Border Bulldogs – Tries: Lithabile Mgwadleka, Lundi Ralarala, Makazole Maphimpi. Conversions: Masixole Banda (2). Penalty: Masixole Banda.

Absa Currie Cup First Division log table:

TEAM

P

W

L

D

PF

PA

PD

TF

TA

LOSS BONUS

TRIES BONUS

POINTS

Leopards

8

6

2

0

430

206

224

61

24

1

7

32

Down Touch Griffons

8

6

2

0

260

252

8

34

34

1

6

31

SWD Eagles

8

5

3

0

230

255

-25

29

31

1

4

25

Valke

8

4

4

0

238

246

-8

30

32

1

3

20

Boland Cavaliers

8

2

6

0

213

248

-35

28

33

3

4

15

Border Bulldogs

8

1

7

0

186

350

-164

24

52

2

2

8

 

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