Leopards take hard knock
Defeats for the Leopards and Boland Cavaliers in the First Division this weekend dealt a knock to their campaigns.
Defeats for the Leopards and Boland Cavaliers in the First Division this weekend dealt a knock to their campaigns, while the Pumas powered their way further ahead to remain in pole position for the top spot on the log.
In the weekend’s matches, the Pumas thumped the Griffons 42-24 in Welkom, the EP Kings defeated the Leopards 44-26 in Potchefstroom and the Border Bulldogs surprised the Boland Cavaliers with a 21-19 victory in East London. In the other match, the SWD Eagles beat the Falcons 58-42 in George.
These results allowed the Pumas to extend their lead to 13 points at the top of the table with four pool rounds to go, while the Leopards dropped down from second to fourth place. The SWD Eagles and EP Kings, meanwhile, moved into second and third place respectively.
Given the Pumas’ impressive run they are virtually guaranteed of a semifinal spot, while the Cavaliers face hard work ahead to sneak into the semifinals.
Griffons 24-42 Pumas
In Welkom, the Pumas overcame a tightly-fought first half against the Griffons as both teams were reduced to 14 men following yellow cards, to secure their 10th back-to-back victory.
So close was the match the Pumas scored five tries to four by the Griffons, but goal kicks proved to be the big difference for the visitors on the scoreboard. The teams each scored two first-half tries, but two penalties by flyhalf JC Roos handed the Pumas an 18-12 lead at the break.
The visitors built on their lead in the second half as they outscored the Griffons three tries to two, but another penalty by Roos to add to his three conversions for the match and one by Carl Bezuidenhout allowed them to finish the match with a convincing lead.
For the Griffons:
Tries: Sithole, Maarman 2, Ngoza
Cons: Engelbrecht 2
For the Pumas:
Tries: Le Roux, Van Wyk, Fourie, Du Toit, Bothma
Cons: Bezuidenhout, Roos 3
Pens: Roos 3
Griffons: 15 Vuyo Mboto, 14 Werner Griesel (captain), 13 Joubert Engelbrecht, 12 Japie Nel, 11 Shane Hancke, 10 Tertius Maarman, 9 Inus Kritzinger, 8 Tertius Daniller, 7 Thato Ngoza, 6 Martin Sithole, 5 Chris Ehlers, 4 Marnus Briedenhann, 3 Sarel Louw, 2 Derick van Heerden, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 AJ Le Roux, 17 Daniel van der Merwe, 18 Mlungisi Bali, 19 Nicky Steyn, 20 Oshwill Nortje, 21 Norman Nelson, 22 Bernardo Botha.
Pumas: 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 JW Bell, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Rosco Speckman, 10 JC Roos, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Christo le Roux, 6 Jaco Bouwer, 5 Eduan van der Walt (captain), 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Ivann Espag, 2 Drew van Coller, 1 Vincent Koch.
Replacements: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Marius Coetzer, 19 RW Kember, 20 Corné Steenkamp, 21 Tiaan Marx, 22 Carl Bezuidenhout.
Leopards 26-44 EP Kings
The Leopards started strongly in Potchefstroom with two early tries to take a 12-3 lead against the EP Kings. But three tries in 14 minutes for the visitors earned them a 25-12 lead at the break.
The second half took a similar shape with the Leopards running in two tries in the third quarter, but the Kings took control of the match soon after and made good use of their try-scoring chances to take their tally for the match to six. Pumas flyhalf George Whitehead added to this with the boot as he slotted over four conversions and two penalties for 14 points.
For the Leopards:
Tries: Marutlulle, Tossel, Obi, Lusaseni
Cons: Engelbrecht 3
For the EP Kings:
Tries: Du Preez, Killian, Fihlani, Willemse 2, Mangweni
Cons: Whitehead 4
Pens: Whitehead 2
Leopards: 15 Danie Dames, 14 Luther Banks St Charles Obi, 13 Hennie Skorbinski, 12 George Tossel, 11 Edmar Marais, 10 Adriaan Engelbrecht, 9 Johann Laker, 8 SJ Niemand, 7 Robert Kruger, 6 Philip de Wet, 5 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 4 Peet van der Walt, 3 Elardus Venter, 2 Edgar Marutlulle (captain), 1 BG Uys.
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 John Roy Jenkinson, 18 Martin Dreyer, 19 Victor Kruger, 20 Bernie van Rooyen, 21 Tiaan Dorfling, 22 Jarryd Buys.
EP Kings: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Michael Killian, 13 Wayne Stevens, 12 Tiger Mangweni, 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Nicolas Vergallo, 8 Cornell du Preez, 7 Tim Agaba, 6 Devin Oosthuizen, 5 Darron Nell (captain), 4 Samora Fihlani, 3 Charl du Plessis, 2 Hannes Franklin, 1 Brenden Olivier.
Replacements: 16 Coenraad Britz, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Thabo Mamojele, 19 Stefan Willemse, 20 Dwayne Kelly, 21 Ntabeni Dukisa, 22 Brian Skosana.
Border Bulldogs 21-19 Boland Cavaliers
In East London, the Border Bulldogs showed immense character to create an upset against the Boland Cavaliers despite the home side entering the clash with only one victory.
The match proved to be an arm-wrestle from the outset, with the first half dominated by penalties as neither side gave an inch. The Bulldogs took a 13-9 lead at the break thanks to a superior start in which in they scored the only try of the first half, while fullback Dale Sabbagh and Boland flyhalf Eric Zana were involved in a kicking duel.
Tries by Boland No.8 PJ van Zyl and captain Franzel September, however, to only one by the Bulldogs in the second half, resulted in the match coming down to kicks. And with Sabbagh having converted one of his two conversions to none by Zana, Border emerged victorious.
For the Border Bulldogs:
Tries: Krause, Pretorius
Pens: Sabbagh 3
For Boland Cavaliers:
Tries: September, Van Zyl
Pens: Zana 3
Border Bulldogs: 15 Dale Sabbagh, 14 Andrew van Wyk, 13 Quinton Crocker, 12 Dwayne Jenner, 11 Chrislyn van Schalkwyk, 10 Karlo Aspeling, 9 Sinovuyo Nyoka, 8 Rynardt van Wyk, 7 Gareth Krause (captain), 6 Siyabulela Mdaka, 5 Stephan Gerber, 4 Sthembiso Mhlongo, 3 Wesley Cloete, 2 Dean Muir, 1 Khwezi Mkhafu.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Taljaard, 17 Renier Schoeman, 18 Brian Shabangu, 19 Juan Pretorius, 20 Shannon Rick, 21 Niell Jacobs, 22 Ruan Jacobs.
Boland Cavaliers: 15 Cheswin Williams, 14 Senan van der Merwe, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Braam Gerber, 11 Brendon April, 10 Eric Zana, 9 Ricky Schroeder, 8 PJ van Zyl, 7 Bradley Fortuin, 6 Franzel September (captain), 5 John-Charles Astle, 4 Ben Venter, 3 Francois Hanekom, 2 Clemen Lewis, 1 Jacques Kotze.
Replacements: 16 Ulrich Pretorius, 17 Rossouw Kruger, 18 Hanno Kitshoff, 19 Lodewyk Uys, 20 Ntando Kebe, 21 Ricardo Croy, 22 Tythan Adams.
SWD Eagles 58-42 Falcons
The clash in George proved to be a try festival as the SWD Eagles and Falcons showed fantastic skills on attack to run in a combined total of 14 tries.
Such was the frantic start to the match five tries were scored in the first 20 minutes – three of which were by the Falcons, who have been languishing at the foot of the log. The Kempton Park side continued to stamp their authority as the half progressed and secured two more tries before the break to take their tally to five and build an encouraging 35-22 lead.
But the balance of power shifted in the second half as the Eagles controlled proceedings and earned the rewards with two tries in two minutes by prop Roy Godfrey. By the 70th minute, the Eagles had racked up four tries for the half and scored another four minutes from time to take their total for the match to eight. Unfortunately for the Falcons, they were only able to cross the line only once in the second half, which dashed their hopes of a surprise victory.
For the SWD Eagles:
Tries: Bock 2, Hopp, Pedro, Du Toit, Zito, Godfrey 2
Cons: Van Staden 5, Du Toit
Pens: Van Staden 2
For the Falcons:
Tries: Muller, Cronje, Mostert, Hendricks, Du Randt, Penalty try
Cons: Kotze 6
SWD Eagles: 15 Justin van Staden, 14 Clinton Wagman, 13 Gerrit Smith, 12 Jeff Taljard, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Martin du Toit, 9 Jandré Blom, 8 Christo du Plessis, 7 Lyndon Hartnick, 6 Kabamba Floors (captain), 5 Mzwanele Zito, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Grant Kemp, 2 Hansie van Dyk, 1 Roy Godfrey.
Replacements: 16 Layle Delo, 17 Dean Hopp, 18 Grant le Roux, 19 Buran Parks, 20 Deroy Rhoode, 21 Daniel Roberts, 22 Hentzwill Pedro.
Falcons: 15 Kyle Hendricks, 14 Sandile Ngcobo, 13 Coert Cronje, 12 Willie Odendaal, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Jaun Kotze, 9 Jaco Snyman, 8 MP van Eeden, 7 Jacques Verwey, 6 Vince Gwavu, 5 JP Mostert (captain), 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Nicolaas Pretorius, 2 Birtie Powell, 1 Bruce Muller.
Replacements: 16 Wessel du Rand, 17 Dandre van der Westhuizen, 18 Jacques Alberts, 19 Francois Fourie, 20 Anrich Richter, 21 Wesley Roberts, 22 Franco Maritz.
First Division standings:
(Under played, won, points)
1. Pumas (10, 10, 47)
2. SWD Eagles (10, 6, 34)
3. EP Kings (10, 6, 33)
4. Leopards (10, 6, 32)
5. Cavaliers (10, 6, 28)
6. Griffons (10, 2, 16)
7. Bulldogs (10, 2, 15)
8. Falcons (10, 1, 12)