The Steval Pumas set a new record for the biggest victory ever in first class rugby in South Africa when they beat the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls by 154-0 in a Vodacom Cup massacre at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Saturday.
It was a weekend of big scores, with one century of points and three 50s in the eight encounters as the top teams start their push for the playoffs.
The previous record, a 153-point win, was held by Lowveld with their 163-10 victory over Transkei in 1994. The Steval Pumas’ 154 points is the second most ever scored in South Africa, and surpassed DHL Western Province’s 151-3 win over the Valke (then still called Eastern Transvaal) in 1995.
Former Springbok Sevens flyer Danwel Demas scored four of the ruthless Steval Pumas’ 22 tries. They lead 70-0 at half-time. Jaco Bouwer and JW Bell scored three tries each, while the home team’s two flyhalves, Carl Bezuidenhout and Coenie van Wyk, converted 11 each.
This North Section win secured the Steval Pumas a place in the quarter-finals and the smart money has to be on them to qualify for home field advantage in the playoff.
The Sharks XV, the only other unbeaten team in the Vodacom Cup, needs one log point in the South Section to secure a playoff spot, with only two league matches remaining before the quarter-finals.
The KwaZulu-Natalians secured a comfortable 54-24 win over the Regent Boland Cavaliers in Durban on Friday afternoon, with Brynard Stander bagging two tries and Fred Zeilinga moving to 100 season points thanks to a personal haul of 24 points with the boot.
Also in the South Section, EP Kings wingers Yamkela Ngam and Siyanda Grey both bagged two tries as they beat the SWD Eagles by 52-10 at the NMMU Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday. The hosts ran in seven tries against their Southern Kings franchise partners.
DHL Western Province, the defending champions, fought back in the second half of their match against 2011 champions, the ICBC Pampas XV, at DHL Newlands. Early in the second half, the Argentineans lead by 17-5, but the Capetonians never gave up and ended up winning by 28-17 after scoring 23 unanswered points in the last 35 minutes.
The Toyota Free State XV scored four tries – two of them by their captain. Tertius Daniller, as they won only their second match of the season by beating a gallant Border Bulldogs side by 26-25 in a thrilling match at the University of Fort Hare in Alice on Saturday.
In the North Section, the Vodacom Blue Bulls were far too good for the Valke as they clinched a 74-14 win at Hugenote High School on Saturday afternoon. The three-time champions scored 12 tries, with Sampie Mastriet bagging four and three players – Courtnall Skosan, Travis Ismail and former SA Under-20 captain Wiaan Liebenberg – scoring two tries each.
Mastriet (left wing) got his first three tries within the first 25 minutes and scored his fourth early in the second half during this one-sided match.
On Friday afternoon, the MTN Golden Lions resurrected their hopes of a playoff place thanks to a hard-fought 24-11 victory over GWK Griquas at the UJ Stadium in Johannesburg.
It was the MTN Golden Lions’ second win of the season and a very vital victory, as it kept them in the hunt for a quarter-final berth.
The Leopards XV remained in second position on the North Section log with a good 27-7 win over the Down Touch Griffons in Potchefstroom on Friday afternoon. Winger Danie Dames scored two tries, but an electrical storm saw play suspended for 33 minutes early in the match.
All the scorers:
Leopards XV 27 (6) Down Touch Griffons 7 (0)
Leopards XV – Tries: Danie Dames (2), Morné Hanekom. Conversions: André Pretorius (3). Penalties: Pretorius (2).
Down Touch Griffons – Try: Aubrey McDonald. Conversion: Inus Kritzinger.
Sharks XV 54 (34) Regent Boland Cavaliers 24 (10)
Sharks XV – Tries: Brynard Stander (2), S’bura Sithole, Heimar Williams, Murray Bondesio, Jaco van Tonder. Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (6). Penalties: Zeilinga (4).
Regent Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Ulrich Pretorius, Jacquin Jansen, Penalty Try. Conversions: Ricardo Croy (3). Penalty: Croy.
MTN Golden Lions 24 (16) GWK Griquas 11 (6)
MTN Golden Lions – Tries: Warren Whiteley, Deon van Rensburg, Michael Bondesio. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (3). Penalty: Boshoff.
GWK Griquas – Try: Jacques Coetzee. Penalties: Pieter-Steyn de Wet (2).
EP Kings 52 (38) SWD Eagles 10 (5)
EP Kings – Tries: Yamkela Ngam (2), Sianda Grey (2), Scott van Breda, Luke Watson, Tiger Mangweni. Conversions: Scott van Breda (7). Penalty: Scott van Breda.
SWD Eagles – Tries: Jeff Taljard, Kabamba Floors.
Valke 14 (7) Vodacom Blue Bulls 74 (14)
Valke – Tries: Anrich Richter, Juan Kotze. Conversions: Kotze (2).
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Sampie Mastriet (4), Clayton Blommetjies, Wiaan Liebenberg (2), Travis Ismail (2), Courtnall Skosan (2), Piet Lindeque. Conversions: Willie du Plessis (7).
DHL Western Province 28 (5) ICBC Pampas XV 17 (12)
DHL Western Province – Tries: Pat Howard (2), Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Tim Swiel. Conversion: Dillyn Leyds. Penalty: Leyds. Drop goal: Swiel.
ICBC Pampas XV – Tries: Manuel Montero, Leonardo Senatore, Matias Massera. Conversion: Benjamin Madero.
Steval Pumas 154 (70) Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 0
Steval Pumas – Tries: Danwel Demas (5), Jaco Bouwer (3), JW Bell (3), Frank Herne (2), RW Kember, Ashwin Scott, Jerome Pretorius, De-Jay Terblanche, Doppies le Roux, Renaldo Bothma (2), Eduan van der Walt, Drew van Coller. Conversions: Carl Bezuidenhout (11), Coenie van Wyk (11)
Border Bulldogs 25 (12) Toyota Free State XV 26 (12)
Border Bulldogs – Tries: Niell Jacobs, Mkhafu Khwezilokusa, Ernst Landendorf. Conversions: Karlo Aspelling (2). Penalties: Aspelling (2).
Toyota Free State XV – Tries: Tertius Daniller (2), Noel Marx, Joubert Engelbrecht. Conversions: Elgar Watts, Nico Scheepers (2).