Leopards, Griffons maintain lead, Valke create upset

Sep 7 • General News • 1661 Views • Comments Off on Leopards, Griffons maintain lead, Valke create upset

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The Leopards and Down Touch Griffons this weekend maintained their lead at the top of the log table in the Absa Currie Cup First Division as they registered valuable bonus-point victories to work their way into comfortable positions for possible home semifinals.

The Valke, meanwhile, created the upset of the weekend as they defeated the SWD Eagles 24-19 in Kempton Park, which pushed them into the top four on the standings.

The Leopards bounced back strongly from their first defeat of the season last week by thumping the Boland Cavaliers 54-32 in Potchefstroom to maintain their four-point lead on the log, while the Down Touch Griffons registered a 37-32 victory against the Border Bulldogs in Welkom.

With three rounds of matches remaining the Leopards and Down Touch Griffons are in pole position to secure home semifinals, while all of the teams with the exception of the Border Bulldogs still have a realistic chance of qualifying for the playoff rounds.

Valke 24 (6) SWD Eagles 19 (13)

The clash in Kempton Park was exciting as the Valke staged a dramatic comeback from 13-6 down at half-time to topple the SWD Eagles for an invaluable home win. The Eagles took advantage of their point-scoring chances in the first half as centre Elric van Vuuren kicked two penalties in the first 19 minutes which was followed by a try by speedy wing Alshaun Bock in the 23rd minute. In return the hosts were only able to score two penalties by flyhalf Jaun Kotze, which left them trailing at the break.

The second half, meanwhile, proved to be an arm-wrestle as both teams battled to breach the defence and again settled for penalties to keep the scoreboard ticking. The Valke, however, managed to dig deep in the last 10 minutes and breached the visitors’ defence twice to secure the morale-boosting 24-19 victory.

Scorers:

Valke – Tries: Bruce Muller, Coert Cronje. Conversion: Jaun Kotze. Penalties: Jaun Kotze (4).

SWD Eagles – Try: Alshaun Bock. Conversion: Elric van Vuuren. Penalties: Elric van Vuuren (4).

Down Touch Griffons 37 (22) Border Bulldogs 32 (20)

In Welkom in the Down Touch Griffons and Border Bulldogs were involved in a tight tussle from the outset as both teams threw everything at each other. With both teams showing guts on attack, a total of nine tries were scored in the match, but it was the five tries by the Down Touch Griffons to only four by the visitors that earned them the victory.

The hosts signalled their intentions early on as centre Japie Nel scored their first try in the opening minute and they supported this with another five-pointer nine minutes later. Border, however, fought back and scored back-to-back tries, and this pattern continued for the remainder of the match. So closely matched were the teams the Down Touch Griffons had a narrow two-point lead at the break, but they managed to remain in control despite the visitors’ determined efforts to create an upset.

Scorers:

Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Aubrey McDonald, Japie Nel (2), Johan van der Hoogt, Nicky Steyn. Conversions: Franna du Toit, Louis Strydom (2). Penalties: Louis Strydom (2).

Border Bulldogs – Tries: Lithabile Mgwadleka, Lundi Ralarala, Masixole Banda, Rynardt van Wyk. Conversions: Hansie Graaff, Masixole Banda (2). Penalties: Hansie Graaff, Masixole Banda.

Leopards 54 (26) Boland Cavaliers 32 (18)

The Leopards were in fine form against the Boland Cavaliers as they scored an impressive eight tries to rack up their 54 points. Centre Hoffman Maritz earned a hat-trick, while flank Johan Deysel and centre George Tossel each scored two tries to add to one by hooker Jacques Vermaak, while flyhalf and captain Andre Pretorius kicked seven conversions. The Boland Cavaliers, however, also showed off their attacking skills and earned a four-try bonus point for their efforts.

The first half was hard fought as the teams attacked with intent and earned the rewards with the Leopards scoring three tries to two by the visitors for a 26-18 lead. But two tries in two minutes by the Leopards early in the second half pushed them into a position to control proceedings. Boland, however, refused to give up and scored two more tries, but the Leopards’ eighth five-pointer in the dying minutes allowed the team to breach the 50-point mark and secure the convincing victory.

Scorers:

Leopards – Tries: George Tossel (2), Hoffman Maritz (3), Jacques Vermaak, Johan Deysel (2). Conversions: André Pretorius (7).

Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Christian Rust, Jovelian de Koker, Richard Lawson, Victor Kruger. Conversions: Eric Zana (2), Morne Hugo. Penalties: Morne Hugo (2).

Absa Currie Cup First Division log table:

TEAM

P

W

L

D

PF

PA

PD

TF

TA

LOSS BONUS

TRIES BONUS

POINTS

Leopards

7

6

1

0

399

169

230

57

19

0

6

30

Down Touch Griffons

7

5

2

0

223

221

2

29

30

1

5

26

SWD Eagles

7

4

3

0

199

233

-34

24

28

1

3

20

Valke

7

3

4

0

206

221

-15

26

28

1

2

15

Boland Cavaliers

7

2

5

0

188

216

-28

24

29

2

3

13

Border Bulldogs

7

1

6

0

164

319

-155

21

47

2

2

8

 

 

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