Steval Pumas, Sharks setting pace; Leopards produce record win – Vodacom Cup Round 2 Review
Only two teams retain 100 per cent records after the opening two rounds of the Vodacom Cup while a further three can boast of being unbeaten as the tournament has made a fascinating kick off to 2013.
Sitting pretty at the top of the respective sections are the Steval Pumas, who edged the Vodacom Blue Bulls in a thriller for their second successive victory, while The Sharks XV were also on the road to edge out DHL Western Province in a similarly tense affair.
The EP Kings, Regent Boland Cavaliers and Standard Bank Pampas XV also had second round wins – to add to opening day draws – to preserve their unbeaten records.
At the other end of the logs are the SWD Eagles, Border Bulldogs, Assupol Blue Bulls and defending champion DHL Western Province who are the four teams yet to record a victory.
The Sharks XV and DHL Western Province teams were on the receiving end of countless penalties and a red and yellow card for ill-discipline. Province finished the game with 13 players on the park and the Sharks with 14 as the latter edged to a 24-23 victory.
Riaan Viljoen, veteran fullback of the Sharks, scored the winning try for the visitors with his flyhalf Fred Zeilinga keeping a cool head to convert in the dying seconds of the game to give his side the one-point win.
It took a similarly last-gasp penalty from the Steval Pumas to edge past the Vodacom Blue Bulls 44-42 on the Loftus Versfeld B field in Pretoria on Saturday.
The Pumas had seemingly been in control of the match as they stretched their lead to 41-23 with 13 minutes left to play. But two tries for the Blue Bulls through replacement forward Roelof Smit and left wing Sampie Mastriet narrowed the gap to 41-37 with seven minutes left to play and the hosts finally looked to have sealed a magnificent fightback when right wing Travis Ismaiel nipped over for an unconverted try with one minute left to play.
However, flyhalf Tony Janties crucially missed with his conversion attempt.
The Blue Bulls held a 42-41 lead but with the hooter having already sounded Pumas replacement flyhalf Carl Bezuidenhout stepped up to slot the winning penalty to seal the nail-biting win.
It was another tough day at the office for the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls whio conceded the most points and biggest defeat in the 15-year history of the competition. The 113 points and 110-point win by the Leopards surpassed the 110-17 beating the Weltwitschias suffered at the hands of EP in 2001.
The 17 tries scored by the Leopards was also a new competition record with hat-tricks from Ian Heyns (4) and Rhyk Welgemoed while former Springbok flyhalf Andre Pretorius kicked a record 14 conversions.
All the scorers
Western Province 23 (9) Sharks XV 24 (14)
DHL Western Province – Tries: Michael van der Spuy, Rayn Smid. Conversions: Gary Van Aswegen (2). Penalties: Van Aswegen (2). Drop goal: Van Aswegen.
Sharks XV – Tries: S'bura Sithole, Riaan Viljoen, Sizo Maseko. Conversions: Zeilinga (3). Penalty: Zeilinga.
Down Touch Griffons 12 (0) GWK Griquas 26 (12)
Down Touch Griffins - Tries: Colin Herbert, Japie Nel. Conversion: Hansie Graaff.
GWK Griquas - Tries: Justin Downey, Leon Karemaker, Marnus Schoeman, Francois Brummer. Conversions: Francois Brummer.
Border Bulldogs 22 (10) Eastern Province Kings 30 (22)
Bulldogs - Tries: Joe Seerane, Sinovuyo Nyoka. Conversions: Karlo Aspeling. Penalty: Aspeling.
EP Kings - Tries: Devin Oosthuizen, Paul Schoeman, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Virgile Lacombe. Conversions: Wesley Dunlop (2). Penalties: Scott van Breda, Dunlop.
Vodacom Blue Bulls 42 (23) Steval Pumas 44 (31)
Vodacom Blue Bulls - Tries: Dries Swanepoel (2), Roelof Smit, Sampie Mastriet, Travis Ismaiel. Conversions: Tony Jantjies (4). Penalties: Jantjies (3).
Steval Pumas - Tries: Ivann Espag, Marius Coetzer, Renaldo Bothma, Rosko Specman, Stefan Watermeyer, Vincent Koch. Conversions: Tiaan Marx (4), Carl Bezuidenhout. Penalty: Marx.
Toyota Free State XV 23 (11), Regent Boland Cavaliers 27 (14)
Toyota Free State XV: Tries: Tewis de Bruyn, Joubert Engelbrecht, Ludwig Erasmus. Conversions: De Bruyn (1). Penalties: De Bruyn (2)
Regent Boland Cavaliers (27): Tries: Thor Halvorsen (2), Tythan Adams. Conversions: Ricardo Croy (2), Garth April (1). Penalties: Croy (2)
SWD Eagles 17 (7) Standard Bank Pampas 22 (17)
SWD Eagles - Tries: Alshaun Bock, Lyndon Hartnick; Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (2); Penalties: Van Vuuren.
Pampas - Tries: Penalty Try, Tomas Cubelli, Manuel Montero. Conversions: Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias (2). Penalty: Iglesias.
Leopards 113 (47), Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 3 (3)
Leopards XV – Tries: Jaques Vermaak (2), Adriaan Engelbrecht (2), Danie Dames, Ian Heyns (4), Edmar Marais (2), Rhyk Welgemoed (3), Andre Pretorius, Johan Smith, Malherbe Swart. Conversions: Pretorius (14).
Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls – Penalty: Bronwyn Craill.
Valke 27 (14) MTN Golden Lions 22 (17)
Valke - Tries: Nico Engelbrecht (2), Kyle Hendricks. Conversions: Wesley Roberts (3). Penalties: Jaun Kotze (2).
MTN Lions – Tries: Ashlon Davids, Chris Newman, Henri Boshoff, Van Zyl Botha. Conversion: Hanco Deale.