Leopards, Griffons book First Division home semifinals

Sep 21 • General News • 2431 Views • Comments Off on Leopards, Griffons book First Division home semifinals

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The Leopards and Down Touch Griffons this weekend booked home semifinals in the Absa Currie Cup First Division, while the Valke and SWD Eagles will be forced to shrug off the Boland Cavaliers next week for the remaining semifinal spots. The Leopards thumped the Border Bulldogs 34-19 in East London in their penultimate pool clash to remain in the top spot on the log standings.
The Down Touch Griffons, meanwhile, suffered a shock 36-27 defeat against the Valke in Kempton Park, but the SWD Eagles’ 35-24 defeat against the Boland Cavaliers in George allowed the Welkom side to remain in a comfortable position to secure the other home semifinal.

Only one round of pool matches remains with the Valke and SWD Eagles occupying third and fourth place respectively on the log with 25 points.

The Boland Cavaliers, however, trail by five points, meaning a bonus-point victory in their match against the Border Bulldogs next week – should either of the other teams suffer a defeat without a bonus point – could see them displace one of the sides into top four.

Border Bulldogs 19 (14) Leopards 34 (29)

The Leopards were in scintillating form in their clash against the Border Bulldogs as they scored five first-half tries to stamp their authority early on in the clash. Such was the effectiveness of their attack they scored their first two tries in the opening nine minutes, and had their four-try bonus point in the 21st minute.

The Border Bulldogs, however, did well to shut out the log-leaders in the minutes leading into half time, and they also managed to score two tries in the first half to remain the match.

The hosts’ vastly improved second-half defensive effort paid off significantly as they limited the Leopards to only five second-half points, but they also managed to add only one more five-pointer by wing Makazole Maphimpi to their tally, which forced them to settle for a 34-19 defeat.

Scorers:

Border Bulldogs – Tries: Makazole Maphimpi, Rynardt van Wyk (2). Conversions: Masixole Banda (2).
Leopards – Tries: Adri Jacobs (2), André Pretorius, Johan Deysel, Rhyk Welgemoed, Ryno Smith. Conversions: André Pretorius (2). SWD Eagles 24 (10) Boland Cavaliers 35 (17)

The Boland Cavaliers produced their best display of the season against SWD as they cruised to a 17-0 lead in the first 30 minutes. But a late try by SWD flyhalf Leighton Eksteen and penalty by centre Elric van Vuuren allowed them to reduce the gap to 17-10 at the break.

A few tight exchanges followed in the second half after which SWD broke through for their second try to level the scores at 17-17.

But back-to-back tries by Boland to seal their bonus point and two penalties by fullback Eric Zana pushed them into a comfortable position to seal the victory.

The hosts, however, fought until the end and earned a consolation try by lock Mzwanele Zito in the dying minutes to reduce the deficit to 35-24.

Scorers:

Boland Cavaliers: Tries: Zandre Jordaan, Cheswin Williams, Danwel Demas (2). Conversions: Eric Zana (3). Penalties: Zana (3). Drop goal: Zana.
SWD Eagles: Leighton Eksteen, Brian Skosana, Mzwanele Zito. Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (3). Penalty: Van Vuuren.

Valke 36 (13) Down Touch Griffons 27 (10)

The clash between the Valke and Down Touch Griffons was hard-fought with the visitors having the first say with an early try, but the Valke hit back with a try of their own minutes later.

Valke flyhalf Jaun Kotze and his Down Touch Griffons counterpart Franna du Toit exchanged penalties a few minutes later. But a try by the Valke shortly before half time as the visitors were reduced to 14 men, allowed them to edge their way into a 13-10 lead.

The second half was equally entertaining as the Valke stretched their lead early on with third try, but two more tries by Down Touch Griffons wing Tertius Maarman to complete his hat-trick and few more penalties exchanged by the flyhalves, forced the visitors into the lead.

Their hopes of a victory, however, were dashed by a late try by Valke No8 Friedle Olivier and Kotze’s fourth penalty in the last 11 minutes.

Scorers:

Valke: Tries: Shane Kirkwood, Dirk Dippenaar, Kyle Hendricks, Friedle Olivier. Conversions: Jaun Kotze (2). Penalties: Jaun Kotze (4).
Down Touch Griffons: Tries: Tertius Maarman (3). Conversions: Franna du Toit (2), Louis Strydom. Penalty: Franna du Toit (2).

Courtesy of SARU

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