The Women’s Interprovincial series will go down to the wire in the final round of pool matches in two weeks as there are still two semifinal spots up for grabs in the A Division, while three teams will battle it out for final spots in the B Division.
With one round of matches to go, only Border and the Sharks have cemented their places in the A Division semifinal, while Western Province, the Blue Bulls, Free State and Boland are all still in the running for the other two spots.
The B Division remained equally competitive with the Limpopo Blue Bulls, Griquas and the Valke still in contention for spots in the final.
With only five teams competing in the division, the top two teams automatically qualify for the final.
The Sharks completed their round-robin stages in style on Friday as they thumped the Free State 55-15 in Durban to complete their run with a full-house of points, while Western Province beat SWD 24-10 in Bridgton, and Eastern Province held on for a 17-12 victory against the Blue Bulls in Uitenhage.
Boland, meanwhile, outplayed the Golden Lions 36-10.
This result dashed the Gauteng team’s faint hopes of sneaking into the semifinal and handed Boland a lifeline with one game left. Boland, however, will have to win their last match with a bonus point and a big points difference, while the Free State have to suffer a defeat without a bonus point against the Lions for the Wellington side to sneak into the semifinals.
The Sharks will be delighted with their victory against the Free State, as they again showed their class on attack and defence, which undoubtedly established them as the favourites to win the competition.
Such was the high quality of their attack they outscored the visitors eight tries to three, which took their tally for the competition to 37.
For the Free State their defeat marked the first in the series, and with the team failing to secure the one point they needed to guarantee their semifinal spot, they will be hoping to secure it against the Golden Lions in their final round-robin match.
Western Province, meanwhile, staged a strong second-half fight back to secure their bonus-point 24-10 victory against SWD away from home.
This will certainly boost their confidence with one match to go, as it placed them ahead of Eastern Province - who have played all four of their matches - on points’ difference.
This in turn dashed the Eastern Cape team’s semifinal aspirations.
WP, however, still have work to do in order earn a semifinal berth, as the Blue Bulls have a mathematical chance of finishing in the top four despite trailing by four points.
In the B Division the Limpopo Blue Bulls registered their second successive 50 point score as they outclassed the Valke, with the side running in eight tries in a stunning attacking display.
With their set pieces functioning well and the players doing well to spot the gaps in the defence, it was one-way traffic for most of the match.
In contrast the Leopards had to work hard for their 22-15 victory against the Pumas.
These results pushed the Limpopo Blue Bulls and Leopards to the top of the log with 11 points.
However, the Valke are only three points back and also have a game in hand, meaning the finalists will only be determined in two weeks.
Women’s Interprovincial results:
Golden Lions 19 – 36 Boland
EP 17 – 12 Blue Bulls
SWD 10 – 24 Western Province
Sharks 55 – 15 Cheetahs
Limpopo Blue Bulls 55 – 12 Valke
Pumas 15 – 22 Leopards