WP, Pumas continue winning ways in Premier Division

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DHL Western Province and the Steval Pumas this weekend continued their winning ways in a thrilling round of Absa Currie Cup Premier Division rugby which marked the halfway stage of the competition.

DHL Western Province thrashed the EP Kings 49-14 in Cape Town on Friday to stretch their unbeaten run in the series to five matches, while the Steval Pumas defeated the Toyota Free State Cheetahs 31-17 in Bloemfontein for their fourth victory in the series.

GWK Griquas and the Vodacom Blue Bulls, meanwhile, created upsets as they registered morale-boosting victories against the Cell C Sharks and Xerox Golden Lions respectively.

A late drop goal by GWK Griquas captain and flyhalf Francois Brummer secured his team a last gasp 21-18 victory against the Cell C Sharks in Durban, while the Vodacom Blue Bulls showed fantastic character to shut out the Xerox Golden Lions for a 36-26 victory in Pretoria.

These results saw the Steval Pumas leap into second place on the log table – five points behind log-leaders DHL Western Province – followed closely by the Xerox Golden Lions and Cell C Sharks.

DHL Western Province 49 (21) EP Kings 14 (7)

DHL Western Province dominated their clash against the EP Kings from the outset thanks to a solid performance all around. Such was the high quality of their attack they scored seven converted tries to only two by the EP Kings, with the team having already secured their four-try bonus point in the 48th minute.

An impressive brace of three tries in 11 minutes by the Cape side in the first half pushed them onto the front foot shortly after the first quarter, and with the players using their point-scoring chances well throughout the match, the EP Kings battled to contain them. The Port Elizabeth side, meanwhile, scored their first try in the first half and their second in the final minute of the match as they gathered the ball while the hosts were trying to score a possible eighth try and ran the full length of the field to push their score into double figures.

Scorers:

DHL Western Province – Tries: Cheslin Kolbe, Juan de Jongh (2), Kobus van Wyk, Rynhardt Elstadt, Siya Kolisi (2). Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (5), Kurt Coleman (2).

EP Kings – Tries: Paul Schoeman, Tim Whitehead. Conversions: Scott van Breda (2).

Toyota Free State Cheetahs 17 (7) Steval Pumas 31 (16)

In Bloemfontein the Steval Pumas’ ability to capitalise on their point-scoring chances allowed them to topple the Toyota Free State Cheetahs for the second time this season and register their first away-win in the series. The first quarter was closely contested, but the visitors made a breakthrough in the 18th minute through a try by Hennie Skorbinski, which was supported by two penalties by flyhalf Justin van Staden for a 13-0 lead. But the hosts hit back seven minutes before the break with their first try. Another penalty by Van Staden, however, handed the Steval Pumas an encouraging 16-7 half-time lead.

The Cheetahs fought back after the break and earned the rewards as scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius touched down their second try to reduce the deficit, but another penalty by Van Staden and a strong finish by the Nelspruit team which saw them score two tries in the last 10 minutes inflated their score to 31-17.

Scorers:

Toyota Free State Cheetahs – Tries: JP du Plessis, Sarel Pretorius. Conversions: Pieter-Steyn de Wet (2). Penalty: Pieter-Steyn de Wet.

Steval Pumas – Tries: Hennie Skorbinski, Marius Coetzer, Rosco Speckman. Conversion: JC Roos, Justin van Staden. Penalties: Justin van Staden (4).

Cell C Sharks (8) GWK Griquas (15)

The battle between the Cell C Sharks and GWK Griquas was tense as the teams threw everything at each other in the first half, but were denied on several occasions by the oppositions’ solid defence. Such was the tight nature of the first half all 15 points by the visitors were compliments of penalties by fullback Gouws Prinsloo. The hosts, meanwhile, earned an early penalty by flyhalf Fred Zeilinga, and later managed to put together an effective rolling maul, which earned them the only try of the half.

The Durban side lifted the tempo of their game in the second half and continued to apply pressure on GWK Griquas, who were reduced to 14 men after Johnathan Francke received a yellow card for a dangerous tackle. This allowed the hosts to create two possible try-scoring chances, but penalties conceded close to the tryline denied them from adding to their score. Their determined efforts, however, paid off in the last quarter with replacement back Lionel Cronje slotting over a penalty after which prop Thomas du Toit scooped up the ball from a ruck and powered his way to the tryline, which levelled the scores at 18-18.

The home team’s hopes of holding on for a draw, however, were dashed after the final whistle as Brummer kicked a well-timed drop goal to snatch the 21-18 victory.

Scorers:

Cell C Sharks – Tries: Louwrens Adriaanse, Thomas du Toit. Conversion: Lionel Cronje. Penalties: Fred Zeilinga, Lionel Cronje.

GWK Griquas – Penalties: Gouws Prinsloo (6). Drop Goal: Francois Brummer.

Vodacom Blue Bulls 36 (19) Xerox Golden Lions 26 (12)

The first half of the Gauteng derby between the Vodacom Blue Bulls and Xerox Golden Lions proved to be a penalty festival as both teams infringed in kickable positions. The Johannesburg wing Ruan Combrinck kicked four penalties, while Vodacom Blue Bulls flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter slotted over four in the first half. The hosts, however, managed to score the first try of the match thanks to fullback Ulrich Beyers in the 23rdminute, which handed them a 19-12 lead at the break.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls continued their ascendancy early in the second half with Potgieter slotting over another penalty to add to a try by Burger Odendaal, who collected a deflected chip kick by Potgieter. Two tries in five minutes by the Xerox Golden Lions, however, reduced the deficit to only three points with five minutes left in the match. But a well-worked maul by the hosts earned them their third try of the match for a 36-26 victory and denied the opposition a bonus point.

Scorers:

Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Burger Odendaal, Grant Hattingh, Ulrich Beyers. Conversions: Jacques-Louis Potgieter (3). Penalties: Jacques-Louis Potgieter (5).

Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Kwagga Smith, Martin Muller. Conversions: Ruan Combrinck (2). Penalties: Ruan Combrinck (4).

Absa Currie Cup Premier Division log after round five:

TEAM

P

W

L

D

PF

PA

PD

TF

TA

LOSS BONUS

TRIES BONUS

POINTS

DHL Western Province

5

5

0

0

175

79

96

22

8

0

3

23

Steval Pumas

5

4

1

0

141

109

32

16

11

0

2

18

Xerox Golden Lions

5

3

2

0

182

117

65

21

13

0

3

15

Cell C Sharks

5

3

2

0

124

110

14

11

10

1

1

14

Toyota FS Cheetahs

5

2

3

0

124

130

-6

15

14

2

2

12

Vodacom Blue Bulls

5

2

3

0

114

156

-42

11

17

1

1

10

GWK Griquas

5

1

4

0

112

152

-40

12

19

2

1

7

EP Kings

5

0

5

0

96

215

-119

13

29

1

0

1

 

 

 

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