The unbeaten Pumas will host the SWD Eagles in Nelspruit and the EP Kings take on the Leopards in Port Elizabeth next Friday in the national First Division semifinals.
These fixtures were confirmed on Friday following the conclusion of the round-robin stages.
In a thrilling round, the Leopards defeated the SWD Eagles 35-24 in George, the Pumas thumped the Falcons 67-17 in Kempton Park, the EP Kings beat the Border Bulldogs 38-20 in East London and the Boland Cavaliers and Griffons played to a 26-26 draw in Wellington.
While the Pumas’ victory maintained their unbeaten run in the pool stages, the Leopards’ victory allowed them to leap into third place on the log above the SWD Eagles to ensure their semifinal against the EP Kings.
SWD Eagles 24-35 Leopards
At Outeniqua Park, three tries in the first 23 minutes by the Leopards signalled their intentions early on against the SWD Eagles.
They backed this up with another two tries in the last five minutes of the first half to seal their ninth bonus point for tries this season.
Unfortunately for the visitors, however, centre Adriaan Engelbrecht had a bad day with the boot, and was unable to convert a single conversion. The hosts, meanwhile, scored two tries by Roy Godfrey and Marshell Boesak to add to an early penalty by Gerrit Smith to remain in the game at 25-17 down at the break.
The Eagles stepped up their defence in the second half and limited the Leopards to only two tries, while they were able to cross the line once. But with seven tries to three, the visitors had done enough to secure the victory.
For the SWD Eagles:
Tries: Boesak, Godfrey, Raubenheimer
Cons: Smith 3
For the Leopards:
Tries: Engelbrecht, Snyman, Demas, Laker, De Wet 2, Niemand
SWD Eagles: 15 Gerrit Smith, 14 Clinton Wagman, 13 Luzuko Vulindlu, 12 Marshell Boesak, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Jandré Blom, 9 Deroy Rhoode, 8 Lyndon Hartnick, 7 Shaun Raubenheimer, 6 Kabamba Floors (captain), 5 Mzwanele Zito, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Grant Kemp, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey.
Replacements: 16 Wayne Khan, 17 Raoul Larson, 18 Grant le Roux, 19 Dumisane Meslane, 20 Mzo Dyantyi, 21 Jeff Taljard, 22 Hentzwill Pedro.
Leopards: 15 Danie Dames, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Dumisani Matyeshana, 12 Adriaan Engelbrecht, 11 Edmar Marais, 10 Warren Gilbert, 9 Johann Laker, 8 SJ Niemand, 7 Morne Hanekom, 6 Philip de Wet, 5 Brendon Snyman (captain), 4 Peet van der Walt, 3 Elardus Venter, 2 Jacques Vermaak, 1 BG Uys.
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Johan Smith, 18 Stephan Bezuidenhout, 19 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 20 Bernie van Rooyen, 21 Tiaan Dorfling, 22 SW Oosthuizen.
Falcons 17-67 Pumas
The Pumas were in fine form from the start against the Falcons in Kempton Park as their attack and defence proved dominant.
Such was the effectiveness of their performance they worked their way into a 29-7 half time lead and finished the match with a total of 10 tries.
The Falcons, however, managed to cross the tryline three times, with flank and captain JP Mostert scoring twice. But unfortunately for the hosts the Pumas were in a league of their own.
For the Falcons:
Tries: Powell, Mostert 2
For the Pumas:
Tries: Scott 4, Le Roux, JW Bell 2, Speckman 3
Cons: Bezuidenhout 7
Falcons: 15 Jaun Kotze, 14 Kyle Hendricks, 13 Coert Cronje, 12 Willie Odendaal, 11 Anrich Richter, 10 Jaco Oosthuizen, 9 Jaco Snyman, 8 MP van Eeden, 7 JP Mostert (captain), 6 Jacques Verwey, 5 Rinus Luan Bothma, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Nicolaas Pretorius, 2 Birtie Powell, 1 Wessel Du Rand.
Replacements: 16 Bruce Muller, 17 Devlin Hope, 18 Jacques Alberts, 19 Vince Gwavu, 20 Sandile Ngcobo, 21 Dauw Steyn, 22 Russell van Wyk.
Pumas: 15 JW Bell, 14 Ashwin Scott, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Rosco Speckman, 10 Carl Bezuidenhout, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 RW Kember (captain), 7 Christo le Roux, 6 Jaco Bouwer, 5 Eduan Van Der Walt, 4 Rudi Mathee, 3 De-Jay Terblanche, 2 Frank Herne, 1 Corné Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Francois Du Toit, 17 Stephan Kotze, 18 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 19 Uzair Cassiem, 20 Corne Steenkamp, 21 Reynier van Rooyen, 22 Dewald Pretorius.
Border Bulldogs 20-38 EP Kings
In East London the Border Bulldogs put up a brave fight in the first half against the EP Kings to trail only 26-20 at the break.
The home team came out firing and scored two converted tries in the first eight minutes for an early 14-0 lead. But EP Kings flyhalf George Whitehead hit back with two tries in seven minutes to close the gap.
The hosts were reduced to 14 men soon after as hooker Dean Muir was sent to the sin-bin, and the EP Kings took full advantage as they crossed the tryline twice more to seal their bonus point for four tries.
Bulldogs fullback Dale Sabbagh, however, kept his team within striking range of the Kings with two penalties, which left them trailing 26-20 at the break.
The second half was much tighter as the teams threw everything at each other. The rub of the green, however, favoured the Kings as the Bulldogs were pinned for penalties, which allowed Kings fullback Scott van Breda to slot over four penalties to seal their 38-20 victory, and an invaluable home semifinal.
For the Border Bulldogs:
Tries: Jenner, Spring
Cons: Sabbagh 2
Pens: Sabbagh 2
For the EP Kings:
Tries: Nell, Whitehead 2, Sykes
Cons: Van Breda 3
Pens: Van Breda 4
Border Bulldogs: 15 Dale Sabbagh, 14 Andrew van Wyk, 13 Quinton Crocker, 12 Dwayne Jenner, 11 Shane Spring, 10 Karlo Aspeling, 9 Shannon Rick, 8 Rynardt van Wyk, 7 Siyabulela Mdaka, 6 Brian Shabangu (captain), 5 Stephan Gerber, 4 Alister Keet, 3 Wesley Cloete, 2 Dean Muir, 1 Khwezi Mkhafu.
Replacements: 16 Blake Kyd, 17 Wayne Lemley, 18 Nomani Tonga, 19 Juan Pretorius, 20 Dillon Smit, 21 Niell Jacobs, 22 Ruan Jacobs.
EP Kings: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Michael Killian, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Tiger Mangweni, 11 Brian Skosana, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Dwayne Kelly, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Mpho Mbiyozo, 6 Devin Oosthuizen, 5 Darron Nell (captain), 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Charl du Plessis, 2 Albe De Swardt, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Coenraad Britz, 17 Ross Geldenhuys, 18 Wayne van Heerden, 19 Thabo Mamojele, 20 Kayle van Zyl, 21 Ntabeni Dukisa, 22 Wayne Stevens.
Boland Cavaliers 26-26 Griffons
In Wellington the Boland Cavaliers staged a comeback from 14-5 down against the Griffons thanks to a hat-trick of tries by right wing Brendon April to save themselves from a disappointing end to the season.
Both teams scored four tries in what proved to be a tense encounter as they gave everything to finish their season on a high in a clash that was played purely for pride. The three points for the Griffons for the draw with four tries, however, allowed them to hop into sixth place of the log.
For the Boland Cavaliers:
Tries: April 3, Kruger
Cons: Zana 3
For the Griffons:
Tries: Nel, Engelbrecht, Sithole, Nelson
Cons: Du Toit 3
Boland Cavaliers: 15 Eric Zana, 14 Brendon April, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Braam Gerber, 11 Cheslyn Roberts, 10 Leonard Olivier, 9 Ntando Kebe, 8 PJ van Zyl, 7 Bradley Fortuin, 6 Franzel September (captain), 5 John-Charles Astle, 4 Ben Venter, 3 Rossouw Kruger, 2 Clemen Lewis, 1 Francois Hanekom.
Replacements: 16 Ulrich Pretorius, 17 Jacques Kotze, 18 Hanno Kitshoff, 19 Lodewyk Uys, 20 Ricardo Croy, 21 Cheswin Williams, 22 Wynand Pienaar.
Griffons: 15 Bernardo Botha, 14 Werner Griesel (captain), 13 Joubert Engelbrecht, 12 Japie Nel, 11 Norman Nelson, 10 Franna du Toit, 9 Inus Kritzinger, 8 Nicky Steyn, 7 Tertius Daniller, 6 Martin Sithole, 5 Chris Ehlers, 4 Jeremy Jordaan, 3 Heinrich Roelfse, 2 Derick van Heerden, 1 Daniel van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Gideon Gouws, 17 Rudi Britz, 18 Marnus Briedenhann, 19 Frans Sisita, 20 Oshwill Nortje, 21 Tertius Maarman, 22 Vuyo Mboto.