With a single exception, the Free State XV, all last year’s Currie Cup Premier Division sides, won their matches in the second round of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge on Saturday.
The Free State XV, despite fielding several players with PRO14 experience, were beaten by the Boland Cavaliers with six od the remaining seven in easy wins against their opponents from the First Division, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
The Pumas had a real fight on their hands and beat the Valke narrowly, 26-19. With both sides adding only one try after halftime, when the Pumas had led by 19-14. Die final scored was 26-19 to the men from Mpumalanga.
There was one extraordinarily high score, with the Blue Bulls beating the visiting Welwitschias from Namibia 87-21 (13 tries) at Loftus after leading 49-0 at halftime, and the Lions were too strong for the leopards (55-27) in another big win with the EP Elephants also winning by a huge margin, 59-31, against the SWD Eagles.
♦ SA Rugby Communications report that three hat-tricks were scored by the Gauteng neighbours – No 8 Jo-Hanko de Villiers and winger Madosh Tambwe dotting down three times for the Golden Lions XV, to join the mark set by Erich Cronje for the Blue Bulls earlier in the day.
However, the defending champions from Nelspruit, the Pumas, had to bank on a late try to beat the Valke in Brakpan, while Griquas, twice runners up in the competition, remained undefeated in the North Section by beating the Griffons in a hard-fought affair in Welkom.
The Pumas, Golden Lions XV and Griquas are yet to taste defeat in the North Section.
There are only two undefeated teams left in the South Section, where the presence of 2017 champions, Western Province, looms large. They had the better of Border in East London on Saturday, while Boland kept their winning ways going by beating Free State XV in Paternoster.
The EP Elephants also got their first win under the belt by beating SWD Eagles in Port Elizabeth, while the Sharks XV outplayed the Zimbabwe Academy in Cape Town for their opening win of the competition.
After two rounds, 998 points (140 tries, 104 conversions, two drop goals and 28 penalty goals) have been scored.
South Section summary –
Western Province kept their good form going with a strong 48-24 (halftime 13-7) victory over a game Border Bulldogs team at Old Selbornians Rugby Club in East London on Saturday afternoon. The home side showed good determination, especially in the first half and after the first 40 minutes, they were still competitive. WP's superior fitness came through in the second half, in which 52 points were scored.
A strong first half performance by the Boland Cavaliers saw them claim a 21-10 (halftime 21-0) victory over the Free State XV in the coastal town of Paternoster. Three tries in the first 40 minutes laid the foundation for the Cavaliers’ victory.
The EP Elephants scored nine tries to five to beat their western neighbours, the SWD Eagles, by 59-31 (halftime 33-7) at Wolfson Stadium in KwaZakhele, Port Elizabeth on Saturday afternoon.
And the Sharks XV secured their first victory of the 2019 edition of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge when they scored a 36-14 (halftime 14-0) victory over the Zimbabwe Academy at the False Bay Rugby Club in Cape Town.
North Section summary –
Griquas held on to their number one spot in the North Section of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge after beating the Griffons 35-26 (halftime 24-12) at the HT Pelatona Projects Stadium in Welkom on Saturday. Despite 21 points from Jaywinn Juries, the home side could not contain the efforts of the visitors, who started like a house on fire, scoring four tries in the opening 40.
The Golden Lions XV outplayed the Leopards 55-27 (halftime 18-8) at Wolmaransstad High School in Wolmaransstad on Saturday to score a second win in as many matches in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge. In all, the visitors scored eight tries, with the Leopards picking up a bonus point with four of their own.
The Blue Bulls bounced back to winning ways in impeccable fashion as they outplayed the Welwitschias 87-21 (half-time 49-0) in Pretoria. The home team flew out of the starting blocks and ran in seven unanswered tries in the opening half.
A late try from replacement flanker Marco Palvie handed the Pumas a 26-19 (halftime 19-14) victory over the Valke at the Bosman Stadium in Brakpan. Both sides secured a bonus-point for their efforts as the home side lost within seven points while the visitors secured theirs through scoring four tries.
Results and points’ scorers
North Section –
Griffons 26 (12), Griquas 35 (24)
Griffons - Tries: Jaywinn Juries, Neill Stannard. Conversions: Juries (2). Penalties: Juries (4).
Griquas - Tries: Wendal Wehr, Andre Swarts, Anthony Volminck, AJ le Roux, Kwezi Mkhafu. Conversions: George Whitehead (2). Penalties: Whitehead (2).
Valke 19 (14), Pumas 26 (19)
Valke - Tries: Marco Klopper, Anrich Richter, Coert Cronje. Conversions: Richter (2).
Pumas - Tries: Devon Williams (2), Jeandre Rudolph, Marco Palvie. Conversions: Chris Smith (2), Kobus Marais.
Leopards 27 (8), Golden Lions XV 55 (27)
Leopards - Tries: Marius Stander, Johan Retief, Chriswill September, Eugene Hare. Conversions: Lincoln Daniels (2). Penalty: Daniels.
Golden Lions XV - Tries: Jo-Hanko de Villiers (3), Madosh Tambwe (3), PJ Botha, Ulrich Maritz. Conversions: Jeanluc Cilliers (6). Penalty: Cilliers.
Blue Bulls 87 (49), Welwitschias 21 (0)
Blue Bulls - Tries: Erich Cronje (3), Duncan Matthews (2), Ruan Steenkamp, Embrose Papier, Madot Mabokela, Fiela Boshoff, Travis Ismaiel, Vaughan Isaacs, Earll Douwrie, Nic de Jager. Conversions: JT Jackson (9), Vaughan Isaacs (2).
Welwitschias - Tries: Leneve Damans, Oderich Mouton, Adriaan Booysen. Conversions: Pieter Steenkamp (2), Cliven Loubser.
South Section –
Zimbabwe Academy 14 (0), Sharks XV 36 (14)
Zimbabwe Academy - Tries: Bisele Tshamala (2). Conversions: Jeremiah Jaravaza, Hilton Mudariki.
Sharks XV - Tries: Murray Koster (2), Adam Mountford, Lunga Ncube, Connor Botha, Kwanda Dimaza. Conversions: Rhyno Smith (3).
Border Bulldogs 24 (7), Western Province 48 (13)
Border Bulldogs - Tries: Billy Dutton, Lonwabo Ntleki, Penalty Try. Conversions: Aphiwe Stemele (2). Penalty: Stemele.
Western Province - Tries: Nico Leonard, Chad Solomon (2), Marco Redelinghuys, Cornel Smit, Craig Barry. Conversions: Abner van Reenen (6). Penalties: Van Reenen (2).
Boland 21 (21), Free State XV 10 (0)
Boland Cavaliers - Tries: Adriaan Ludick, Tapiwa Tsomondo, Michaine Fick. Conversions: Garrick Mattheus (3).
Free State XV - Tries: Jamba Ulengo, Boan Venter.
EP Elephants 59 (33), SWD Eagles 31 (7)
EP Elephants - Tries: Mike Botha, Luvuyo Pupuma, Richmond Gora (2), Rynardt van Wyk, Mhlali Mpafi, Oliver Zono, Diego Williams, Meli Rokoua. Conversions: Oliver Zono (6), Ntabeni Dukisa.
SWD Eagles - Tries: Ganfried May, Dillin Snel, Vuyo Mboto, Marquit September (2). Conversions: Gerhard Nortier, Divan Nel (2).
The log after two rounds of play can be viewed at https://www.springboks.rugby/tournaments/league?lid=9
Issued by SA Rugby Communications