MyPlayers takes a look at the Currie Cup Premier Division and First Division action from last weekend, which included a fourth straight win for the Sharks.
It was a thrilling weekend of Currie Cup Rugby as the Cell C Sharks extended their unbeaten run to four matches, while DHL Western Province secured their first victory of the season, and Griquas and the Xerox Golden Lions came out tops in their clashes.
In the Currie Cup First Division, the Leopards continued their dominance to register their third back-to-back victory, while Border outplayed the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias for their first win of the season, and the Hino Valke snatched a late victory against SWD.
Currie Cup Premier Division
Cell C Sharks and Junior Springbok fullback Curwin Bosch remained calm and collected in a tight clash against the Vodacom Blue Bulls to steer to the team to a 26-19 victory at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban. The 19-year old scored a try and kicked two conversions, three penalty goals and a well-timed drop goal for a personal total of 21 points.
The visitors struck first with a try by Jamba Ulengo in the eighth minute, but a kicking battle followed between Bosch and his Vodacom Blue Bulls counterpart Tian Schoeman.
A yellow card for the visitors, however, paved the way for the Cell C Sharks to score their first try shortly before the break, which Bosch followed up with a drop goal for a 16-10 lead. The home team scored their second try after the break compliments of Bosch, which was the turning point of the match. The teams exchanged penalty goals until the end, with the Cell C Sharks winning 26-19.
In Port Elizabeth, DHL Western Province dominated possession against the EP Kings and used a number of their chances to score tries, which resulted in them crossing the chalk six times for a 36-6 victory.
Three of these tries were scored by the in-form Huw Jones. The Cape side ran in three tries in the first half, and could have scored five had it not been for a foot in touch and forward pass respectively en route to the tryline on two other occasions.
The EP Kings received two yellow cards in the first half and made several mistakes on attack, which didn’t assist their cause, while they also found themselves scrambling on defence for most of the match. This left them with only two penalty goals to show for their efforts.
The clash between the Steval Pumas and Griquas at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday evening was hard-fought from start to end as both teams gave everything to emerge victorious. In the end two extra penalty goals by Griquas proved to be the difference on the scoreboard.
The lead was exchanged a few times in the first half as the teams opened up their account with penalty goals and each scored two first-half tries. But Griquas centre Clinton Swart added two more penalties in the half to hand his team a 23-18 lead. The second half followed a similar pattern, with each side scoring two tries to secure their bonus points. But again two late penalties by Swart to only one by the Steval Pumas, earned them the 41-35 victory.
The Xerox Golden Lions delivered a classy display all around to outplay Boland 60-12 at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Friday afternoon. Their lineouts and scrums were superior, and this coupled with their fantastic handling skills, electric pace and solid finishing allowed them to score nine tries to only two by the visitors. Such was their dominance they had secured their bonus point try in the first half, and they added five more after the break, while denying Boland from adding to their score.
Currie Cup First Division
In the table-topping First Division clash between the Leopards and Down Touch Griffons in Potchefstroom, a hat-trick by Leopards flanker Henro-Pierre Swart allowed the team to overcome two second-half yellow cards to secure a 43-33 victory.
The first half was frantic as the teams touched down seven times between them, with the Leopards scoring four tries and the Down Touch Griffons three. Two of the hosts’ tries were scored in the first 11 minutes. A penalty by the Leopards to add to this pushed them 31-19 ahead. Each team added two tries after the break, despite the Leopards being reduced to 14 men for 20 minutes, which allowed them to emerge victorious.
Hino Valke No 8 Friedle Olivier stole the show against SWD in Kempton Park as a try in the dying moments to complete his hat-trick secured a 34-32 victory for his team. The East Randers were in fine form in the first half and scored four tries to only one by SWD who added a penalty goal, which left them trailing 24-10 at the break.
The George side fought back in the second half with three tries to only one by the hosts take the lead. But the match turned in the last minute as the Hino Valke took advantage of a SWD yellow card to crash over for a two-point victory.
Border, meanwhile, were in fine form in their clash against the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias as they ran riot on attack and delivered a solid defensive effort. This effective performance earned them nine tries, with a brace by Sipho Nofemele and Sonwabiso Mqalo for their 61-7 victory.
Such was Border’s dominance, they scored five tries in the first 25 minutes, and then added another shortly before the break, while they leaked only one try. They built on this in the second half as they scored three more tries, while they denied the visitors from scoring.
Currie Cup Premier Division Scorers
Xerox Golden Lions 60 (27) Boland 12 (12)
Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Anthony Volmink, Dillon Smit, Dylan Smith, Howard Mnisi, Jacques Nel, JW Bell, Selom Gavor (2), Victor Sekekete. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (6). Penalty Goal: Marnitz Boshoff.
Boland – Tries: Joubert Horn, Wayne Wilschut. Conversion: Theuns Kotze.
Steval Pumas 35 (18) Griquas 41 (23)
Steval Pumas – Tries: Frankie Herne, Jannie Stander, JP Lewis, Marnus Schoeman. Conversions: Francois Brummer (3). Penalty Goals: Francois Brummer (3).
Griquas – Tries: Alshaun Bock, Rudi van Rooyen (2), Wendal Wehr. Conversions: Clinton Swart (3). Penalty Goals: Clinton Swart (5).
EP Kings 6 (6) DHL Western Province 36 (17)
EP Kings – Penalty Goals: Kobus Marais (2).
DHL Western Province – Tries: Huw Jones (3), Jano Vermaak, Leolin Zas, Sikhumbuszo Notshe. Conversions: Brandon Thomson (3).
Cell C Sharks 26 (16) Vodacom Blue Bulls 19 (10)
Cell C Sharks – Tries: Curwin Bosch, Ruan Botha. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2). Penalty Goals: Curwin Bosch (3). Drop Goal: Curwin Bosch.
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Try: Jamba Ulengo. Conversion: Tian Schoeman. Penalty Goals: Tian Schoeman (4).
Currie Cup First Division
Leopards 43 (31) Down Touch Griffons 33 (19)
Leopards – Tries: Bradley Moolman, Francois Robertse, Henro-Pierre Swart (3), Loftus Morrison. Conversions: Johan Deysel (5). Penalty Goal: Johan Deysel.
Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Boela Venter, George Whitehead, Japie Nel, Martin Sithole, Warren Williams. Conversions: George Whitehead (4).
Border 61 (42) Windhoek Draught Welwitschias 7 (7)
Border – Tries: Makazole Mapimpi, Masixole Banda, Oliver Zono, Onke Dubase, Sinovuyo Nyoka, Sipho Nofemele (2), Sonwabiso Mqalo (2). Conversions: Masixole Banda (8).
Windhoek Draught Welwitschias – Try: Lesley Klim. Conversion: Eugene Jantjies.
Hino Valke 34 (24) SWD 32 (10)
Hino Valke – Tries: Coert Cronje, Friedle Olivier (3), Jan Enslin, Johan Pretorius. Conversions: Karlo Aspeling (2).
SWD – Tries: Andisa Ntsila, Carlo Radebe, Hentzwill Pedro, Janneman Stander. Conversions: Hansie Graaff (3). Penalty Goals: Hansie Graaff (2).