There is something exciting happening at the Boland Cavaliers and they are doing something very right.
Boland Cavaliers reached the semi-finals of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge by beating the Free State Cheetahs XV to finish second in the Southern Division of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge on a points difference of a single point (147 to 146) to Western Province.
Boland, in the eyes of the rugby community and supporters, is one of the small unions, and struggling without finances, as most of the unions outside of the franchises do. Still they finished ahead of two of the representatives of the franchise unions, the Free State Cheetahs XV and the Sharks XV, and on Sunday scored a nail-biting 22-21 win over WP.
Their success is undoubtedly the result of the hard work over the past seasons to set up a rather intricate and very successful club structure – the biggest in the country with more than 16 000 players and more than 200 clubs, supported by huge crowds at their matches in the many centres every week.
♦ Defending champions Pumas will meet Boland and Western Province will face Griquas next Sunday in the semi-finals of the 2019 edition of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge.
Both matches will be played at KaNyamazane Stadium near Nelspruit on Sunday, 16 June in the penultimate Rugby Festival of the competition, to determine who will travel to the West Coast on Sunday, 23 June where the final will be played at the Saldanha Sports Stadium.
♦ The last finalist was only determined earlier on Sunday at the Rugby Festival in Ravensmead, where Boland scored the 22-21 win over WP. This result at Florida Park meant that the Cape side edged their Winelands counterparts on the narrowest of points’ difference, with both sides finishing on 30 log points.
WP ended with a points’ difference of 147, edging Boland’s 146 in the tightest finish possible.
♦ On Saturday, the Free State Cheetahs XV moved past the Boland into second place on the log in the South Section with a strong 82-7 win over Border and then had to wait to see if their hard work would be rewarded. The Bloemfontein men will be gutted, but still finished ahead of more fancied opponents such as the Sharks XV.
♦ The Durban team finished strongly as well, beating SWD in the first match of the Rugby Festival in Cape Town to secure fourth spot in the South Section.
♦ On Saturday, the Pumas kept their perfect record intact with a maximum of 35 log points after beating Griffons 48-33 in Welkom to finish top in the North Section.
♦ Griquas secured the second spot on the North log by beating Golden Lions XV 45-26 in Kimberley.
♦ The Joburg side was overhauled on the log by a fast-finishing Blue Bulls, who on Friday scored nine tries in their 63-36 win over the Leopards at Loftus Versfeld, moving into third on the log.
♦ In the other North Section clash, Valke travelled to Namibia, where they outplayed Welwitschias 56-12 to finish fifth on the log.
Thabo Mabuza and Rodney Damons both scored hat-tricks in that match on a weekend that saw no less than five players getting three. Anthony Volmink (Griquas), Jeandre Rudolph (Pumas) and Tapiwa Mafura (Free State Cheetahs XV) also notched up three apiece.
Click here for the final standings
A summary of the scores and results are below (click on link for match report)
Welwitschias - Tries: Gerhard Thirion, Millan van Wyk. Conversion: Lorenzo Louis.
Valke - Tries: Thabo Mabuza (3), Juandre Nel (2), Rodney Damons (3), Jan Venter, Coert Cronje. Conversions: Jan Truter, Anrich Richter (2).
Griquas - Tries: Anthony Volmink (3), Khwesi Mona (2), Gideon van der Merwe. Conversions: George Whitehead (5), Tinus de Beer. Penalty goal: George Whitehead.
Golden Lions XV - Tries: James Venter, Mandisi Mithiyane, Dillon Smit, Kenedy Mpeku. Conversions: Eddie Fouche (3).
Griffons - Tries: Jaywinn Juries, Mosoeu Maruping, Nkosi Nofuma, Allistair Mumba. Conversions: Juries (2). Penalties: Juries (2), Danrich Visagie.
Pumas - Tries: Jeandre Rudolph (3), Ruwellyn Isbell (2), Corniel Els, Stefan Willemse, Marko Janse van Rensburg. Conversions: Jaco Marais (2), Ashlon Davids (2).
Blue Bulls - Tries: Werner Fourie, Andrew Kota (2), Lian du Toit, Muller Uys, Matthys Basson, Jade Stighling, Roelof Smit, Theo Maree. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (8), Fiela Boshoff.
Leopards - Tries: Chuinier van Rooyen (2), Edmund Rheeder (2), Bradley Moolman. Conversions: Schalk Hugo (3), Van Rooyen. Penalty: Hugo.
Free State Cheetahs XV - Tries: Albertus de Bod, Tapiwa Mafura (3), Francois Agenbag (2), Jamba Ulengo (2), Gunther Janse van Vuuren, Lubabalo Dobela (2), Dian Badenhorst. Conversions: Lubabalo Dobela (9), Adriaan Carelse.
Border Bulldogs - Try: Bangihlombe Kobese. Conversion: Lwando Mapuko.
Zimbabwe Academy - Tries: Sam Phiri, Jafnos Chiwanza. Conversion: Kuzi Kazembe. Penalty: Jeremiah Jaravaza.
EP Elephants - Tries: Mihlali Mpafi, Stephan de Wit, Martin Du Toit, Riaan Arends, Sherwin Slater, Tristan Fourie, Oliver Zono. Conversions: Richman Gora, Oliver Zono (3).
Sharks XV - Tries: Gideon Koegelenberg, Jacques Ackerman, Banda Ndlovu, Luyanda Mngadi, Leolin Zas, Lwazi Mvovo. Conversions: Rhyno Smith (5).
SWD Eagles - Tries: Shario Rosekrantz, Dewald Dekker. Conversions: Gerhard Nortier, Divan Nel. Penalty: Nortier.
Western Province 21 (10), Boland 22 (19)
Western Province - Tries: Schalk Erasmus, David Brits. Conversion: Abner van Reenen. Penalties: Van Reenen (3).
Boland Cavaliers - Tries: Valentino Wellman, Neil Rautenbach, Penalty Try. Conversion: Garrick Mattheus. Penalty: Mattheus.
Issued by SA Rugby Communications