DHL Western Province clinched pole position in the South Section of the Vodacom Cup, but the North Section is still wide open with one round of league action to go.
The Capetonians beat the SWD Eagles by 29-14 at the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn and can’t be surpassed at the top of the South Section log.
DHL WP scored four tries to two to move up to 27 points, meaning the Sharks XV (21 points), Pampas XV, EP Kings and Regent Boland Kavaliers (all 20) will play for second spot next week.
In the North Section, GWK Griquas moved back to the top of the log after they edged the Leopards by 42-40 in a high-scoring Vodacom Cup match in Potchefstroom on Friday. The visitors scored 30 points to 13 by the home team in the second half.
The defeat by the Leopards means they now have to rely on other teams to make the playoffs. Three of the top four in the North – GWK Griquas (20 points), Ford Pumas (18) or the Vodacom Blue Bulls (16) – can still play themselves into the top two.
The MTN Golden Lions (third on 17 points) lost their last league match, by 37-33 against the Ford Pumas in Johannesburg, and can’t finish higher than their current position.
Jaco Bouwer (2), Deon Scholtz and Torsten van Jaarsveld scored tries for the team from Mpumalanga as they recorded probably their biggest win of the season.
The other matches all went according to the form book this weekend.
In Durban, Lubabalo Mtembu scored two early tries to help the Sharks XV get their campaign back on track with a 28-18 win over the EP Kings. Although the home team raced to a handy lead early on, they never managed to get away from the plucky Kings, who never gave up as they lost only their second match of the season.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer would have been happy to see the experienced test prop Tendai Mtawarira come through the first 55 minutes of the game – his first action this year after picking up a serious ankle injury in pre-season.
On Friday, the Regent Boland Kavaliers clinched their win for a second time this season thanks to a late try by winger Brendon April as they came from behind to beat the Border Bulldogs by 45-40 in an open game at the Boland Stadium in Wellington.
The Bulldogs probably deserved more, but are still winless after the Kavaliers pounced on an unforced error by Border to score the match-winner.
In Kempton Park, Griffons flyhalf Reinhardt Erwee produced a 100% kicking performance as his team won their first match of the Vodacom Cup season when they beat the Valke by 38-33.
Erwee kicked six from six and proved to be the the difference between winning and losing as both teams scored five tries apiece.
The defending Vodacom Cup champions, the Pampas XV, handed the Toyota Free State XV a 20-point defeat in Bloemfontein as Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias scored 25 points – including a try, four conversions, three penalties and a dropped goal – in the Argentineans’ 40-20 win at the Free State Stadium.
ALL THE SCORERS:
TOYOTA FREE STATE XV 20 (13) PAMPAS XV 40 (23)
TOYOTA FREE STATE XV – Tries: Marcel van der Merwe, Stephan van der Merwe. Conversions: Nico Scheepers (2). Penalties: Scheepers (2).
PAMPAS XV – Tries: Juan Gomez, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Gabriel Ascarate; Penalty try. Conversions: Gonzalez Iglesias (4). Penalties: Gonzalez Iglesias (3). Drop goal: Gonzalez Iglesias.
REGENT BOLAND KAVALIERS 45 (26) BORDER 40 (22)
REGENT BOLAND KAVALIERS – Tries: Adam Barlow, Franzel September, Ashton Constant, Jacquin Jansen (2), Zandre Jordaan, Brendon April. Conversions: Elgar Watts (4), Ricardo Croy.
BORDER BULLDOGS – Tries: Vuyo Mbotho, Ntando Kebe, Lubabalo Mzwakali, Matthew Taljaard, Logan Basson. Conversions: Ntabeni Dukisa (3). Penalties: Dukisa (3).
VALKE 33 (14) GRIFFONS 38 (21)
VALKE – Tries: Frederick Cronje (2), Wikus Coetzer, Willem Odendaal, Juan Kotze. Conversions: Kotze (4).
GRIFFONS – Tries: Danie van der Merwe, Thabang Molefe, Willie Britz, Shane Hancke, Tertius Maarman. Conversions: Reinhardt Erwee (5). Penalty: Erwee.
SWD EAGLES 14 (0) DHL WESTERN PROVINCE 29 (14)
SWD EAGLES – Tries: Delroy Rhoode, Clinton Wagman. Conversions: Rhoode (2).
DHL WP – Tries: Tyrone Holmes, Kurt Coleman, Nic Groom, Rohan Kitshoff. Conversions: Kurt Coleman (3). Penalty: Demetri Catrakilis.
LEOPARDS 40 (27) GWK GRIQUAS 42 (12)
LEOPARDS – Tries: Hoffman Maritz, Henro-Pierre Swart, Berty Visser, Adriaan Engelbrecht. Conversions: André Pretorius (4). Penalties: Pretorius (3). Drop goal: Pretorius.
GWK GRIQUAS – Tries: Rynard Landman (2), PJ Vermeulen, Marnus Schoeman, Jean Stemmet, Jonathan Adendorff. Conversions: Rudi Vogt (3). Penalties: Vogt (2).
SHARKS XV 28 (19) EP KINGS 18 (7)
SHARKS XV – Tries: Lubabalo Mtembu (2), Brynard Stander. Conversions: Gouws Prinsloo (2). Penalties: Prinsloo (3).
EP KINGS – Tries: Scott van Breda, Darron Nell. Conversion: Justin van Staden. Penalties: Van Breda (2).
MTN GOLDEN LIONS 33 (20) FORD PUMAS 37 (17)
MTN GOLDEN LIONS – Tries: Hendrik Roodt, Bradley Moolman, Ruan Combrinck. Conversions: Guy Cronje (3). Penalties: Cronje (4).
FORD PUMAS – Tries: Jaco Bouwer (2), Deon Scholtz, Torsten van Jaarsveld. Conversions: Coenie van Wyk (4). Penalties: Van Wyk (3).