The MTN Golden Lions booked their place in the top four of the Absa Currie Cup when they fought back to clinch an unlikely draw against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday. By moving up to 45 log points, the Golden Lions ensured they will play in their first semifinal in the Premier Division for the first time since 2008.
Later on Saturday, DHL Western Province moved back into the top four on the log with a well-deserved 15-10 victory over The Sharks in a scrappy match in Durban.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls and GWK Griquas have both kept their play-off aspirations alive with bonus point victories over the Ford Pumas and Platinum Leopards respectively.
In the Absa Currie Cup First Division, the Regent Boland Cavaliers have finished top of the standings after the league phase of the competition, while the Valke snuck into the semifinals thanks to a late try against the Border Bulldogs in East London.
In the semifinals, the Cavaliers will host the Tasol Solar Griffons in Wellington and the Valke will travel to Port Elizabeth to take on the defending champions, the EP Kings.
Vodacom Blue Bulls 47 (28) Ford Pumas 12 (7)
The Vodacom Blue Bulls secured only their third try scoring bonus point when they beat the Ford Pumas by 47-12 in an action packed Absa Currie Cup encounter at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Friday evening.
The home team scored six tries in total as they remained in contention for the Absa Currie Cup semifinals, moving into the top four for 24 hours before DHL WP’s victory over The Sharks in Durban pushed the Blue Bulls back to fifth again.
The Ford Pumas were left to rue some bad discipline, when they had to play with 13 players briefly early in the second half when first Ashley Buys (prop) and then Willem Serfontein (lock) were yellow carded in quick succession.
It was only the second time this season the Pumas were thoroughly beaten and is testament to their performances of 2011, where they’ve won two games thus far and made most teams work very hard to beat them.
Louis Fouché, the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ young pivot, scored 22 points, while the current SA U20 captain, Arno Botha, was amongst the try-scorers for the home team.
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries
: Flip van der Merwe, Louis Fouché, CJ Stander, Francois Venter, Arno Botha, Bjorn Basson. Conversions: Fouché (4). Penalties: Fouché (3).
Ford Pumas – Tries
: Jaco Bouwer, Marius Coetzer. Conversion: Coenie van Wyk.
Vodacom Blue Bulls
: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Gerhard van den Heever, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Gary Botha (captain), 1 Werner Kruger. Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Dustin Jinka, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Jurgen Visser.
: 15 MJ Mentz, 14 Wilhelm Loock, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Siviwe Magaba, 11 Johan Jackson, 10 Coenie van Wyk, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Christo le Roux, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Corné Steenkamp (captain), 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Willem Serfontein, 3 Ashley Buys, 2 Pellow van der Westhuizen, 1 Dawie Steyn. Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Brett Nel, 18 Eduan van der Walt, 19 JP Mostert, 20 Hendrik van der Nest, 21 Dewald Pretorius, 22 Carl Bezuidenhout.
Toyota Free State Cheetahs 25 (15) MTN Golden Lions 25 (5)
Two late converted tries with an opponent in the sin bin saw the MTN Golden Lions snatch an unlikely 25-25 draw at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon.
With five minutes to go, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs were ahead by 25-11 and seemingly on their way to their third consecutive victory against a higher-placed team on the Absa Currie Cup log, but when Tewis de Bruyn (replacement scrumhalf) was yellow carded, the Golden Lions cut loose and scored two converted tries – by replacement prop Jacobie Adriaanse and left wing Michael Killian – to level the scores.
The visitors from Johannesburg scored three tries to the one of the Cheetahs, whose SA U20 flyhalf Johan Goosen kept the scoreboard ticking over with his accurate goal kicking. He scored 15 points through four penalty goals and a dropped goal, while young scrumhalf Piet van Zyl scored the home team’s only try in the second half.
His direct opponent and last year’s SA U20 flyhalf, Elton Jantjes, struggled with the boot and only kicked four out of eight kicks at goal, with 11 possible points left on the table for the Golden Lions.
It was the second time in a month that the Toyota Free State Cheetahs drew a match after conceding a heap of points late in the game. On 10 September, the Vodacom Blue Bulls clawed their way back from 12-22 to draw 22-22 with a late converted try and a penalty goal, also in Bloemfontein.
Toyota FS Cheetahs – Try
: Piet van Zyl. Conversion: Sias Ebersohn. Penalties: Johan Goosen (4) Sias Ebersohn. Drop goal: Goosen.
MTN Golden Lions – Tries
: Cobus Grobbelaar, Jacobie Adriaanse, Michael Killian. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2). Penalties: Jantjies (2).
Toyota FS Cheetahs
: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Ryno Benjamin, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Philip Snyman, 11 Cameron Jacobs, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Pieter Labuschagne, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Marcel van der Merwe. Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Andries Strauss.
MTN Golden Lions
: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Doppies la Grange, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg. Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 David Bulbring, 19 Warren Whiteley, 20 Burton Francis, 21 James Kamana, 22 Dylan des Fountain.
Platinum Leopards 23 (10) GWK Griquas 38 (3)
Five second half tries saw GWK Griquas keep alive their slim hopes of reaching the Absa Currie Cup semifinals when they beat the gutsy Platinum Leopards by 38-23 at Profert Olën Park in Potchefstroom on Saturday afternoon.
After 40 minutes, the home team still lead by 10-3, but then GWK Griquas coach Abré Minnie sent up scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, who scored his team’s first try minutes after taking to the field.
After that followed a mini-avalanche of two more tries, by left wing Rocco Jansen and flyhalf Riaan Viljoen, as the team from the Northern Cape stamped their authority on the match. The Leopards managed to stop Griquas try scoring exploits and hit back with a second try of their own, but the visitors finally cut loose with two more tries late in the match.
Wesley Dunlop scored 16 points for the Leopards through a try, a conversion, two penalties and a drop-goal.
Platinum Leopards – Tries
: Wesley Dunlop, Vainon Willis. Conversions: Dunlop, Clayton Durand. Penalties: Dunlop (2). Drop goal: Dunlop.
GWK Griquas – Tries
: Sarel Pretorius, Rocco Jansen, Riaan Viljoen, Jonathan Mokuena, Leon Karemaker. Conversions: Rudi Vogt (3), Monty Dumond (2). Penalty: Vogt.
: 15 Hofmann Maritz, 14 Jovan Bowles, 13 Charl Weideman, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht (captain), 11 Vainon Willis, 10 Wesley Dunlop, 9 Johan Laker, 8 Robert Kruger, 7 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 6 Philip de Wet, 5 Brad Mockford, 4 Brendon Snyman, 3 Dewald Coetzee, 2 Gavin Williamson, 1 Jean-Jacques Rossouw. Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Alfred Wauts, 18 Christo van Niekerk, 19 Siya Mdaka, 20 Spanner Pretorius, 21 Liam Slatem, 22 Clayton Durand.
: 15 Rudi Vogt, 14 Dusty Noble, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Matthew Rosslee, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Riaan Viljoen, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Jonathan Mokuena (captain), 7 Justin Downey, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Jaco Nepgen, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Ivann Espag. Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Steph Roberts, 18 Edwin Hewitt, 19 Leon Karemaker, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21 Hanno Coetzee, 22 Monty Dumond.
The Sharks 10 (7) DHL Western Province 15 (7)
DHL Western Province scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage scored a late try to go with his penalty goal that helped seal a 15-10 Absa Currie Cup victory over the defending champions, The Sharks, at Mr Price Kings Park in Durban on Saturday evening.
It was a scrappy match that was played in very windy conditions, with The Sharks struggling to convert an early advantage mainly because of unforced errors and good defence by WP.
Jean Deysel, who was moved to lock in a shuffled Sharks line-up shortly before kick-off, got the home team on the board with a try in the tenth minute and while it looked like The Sharks had the ascendancy upfront, they could not score any more points. In fact, it took them another hour before they troubled the scorers again, when replacement flyhalf Fred Michalak levelled the scores at 10-10 with a penalty goal.
WP took their chances in the difficult circumstances, with Danie Poolman (right wing) scoring a well-worked converted try to level the scores at 7-7 shortly before the break. Duvenage’s penalty put the visitors ahead midway through the second half.
Just as it looked like the game was headed for a draw, he hacked through a loose ball and scored the match winner with three minutes left in a game that will probably not be remembered for the right reasons.
The Sharks – Try
: Jean Deysel. Conversion: Meyer Bosman. Penalty: Fred Michalak.
DHL Western Province – Tries
: Danie Poolman, Dewaldt Duvenage. Conversion: Lionel Cronje. Penalty: Duvenage.
: 15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Adrian Jacobs, 12 Marius Joubert, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Meyer Bosman, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Jean Deysel, 3 Eugene van Staden, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick. Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Anton Bresler, 19 Jan Andre Marais, 20 Conrad Hoffmann, 21 Fred Michalak, 22 Jacques-Louis Potgieter.
DHL Western Province
: 15 Heinrich Steyl, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 JJ Engelbrecht, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nick Fenton-Wells, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg (captain), 1 JC Kritzinger. Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Tertius Daniller, 19 Pieter Louw, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Johann Sadie, 22 Conrad Jantjes.
Absa Currie Cup First Division
The Regent Boland Cavaliers secured their place at the top of the Absa Currie Cup First Division standings with an emphatic 53-24 victory over the SWD Eagles at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday and will host the Tasol Solar Griffons in the semifinals.
The EP Kings and the Valke will contest the other semifinal after the East Randers snuck into third position after an exciting last round of matches, thanks to a 34-31 victory over the Border Bulldogs at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London, also on Friday.
While the result in the match between the Eagles and Cavaliers was according to the form book – Boland and EP were in a class of their own this season and completely dominated the First Division, each losing only one match the entire season – the Valke had to erase a 21-point deficit to go through to the playoffs.
At halftime, the Bulldogs were leading by 21-10, which they stretched to 31-10 midway through the second half. But four tries in the final half hour – two of them in the final seven minutes – saw the Valke sneak past to take the win and a place in the semifinals.
The match-winner was scored by replacement wing Kyle Hendricks after the team from Kempton Park won a turnover, quickly swung the ball left as Hendricks beat the cover defence to score the Valke’s most important try of 2011.10.02
In George, Elgar Watts contributed 23 points as Boland crushed the Eagles, with Willie le Roux adding two tries to the visitors’ impressive tally.
The exact dates and times of the two semifinals will be confirmed on www.sarugby.co.za. The Regent Boland Cavaliers will play the Tasol Solar Griffons in Wellington, and the EP Kings will host the Valke in Port Elizabeth.
SWD Eagles 24 (17) Regent Boland Cavaliers 53 (22)
SWD Eagles – Tries
: Wilhelm Koch, Braam Immelman, Mzo Dyantyi. Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (2), Deroy Rhoode. Penalty: Rhoode.
Regent Boland Cavaliers – Tries
: Willie le Roux (2), Ashton Constant, Zandré Jordaan, Elgar Watts, Danwel Demas, Bolla Conradie. Conversions: Watts (6). Penalties: Watts (2).
Border Bulldogs 31 (21) Valke 34 (10)
Border Bulldogs – Tries
: Ntabeni Dukisa, Vuyo Mboto, Shane Spring. Conversions: Dukisa, Dale Sabbagh. Penalties: Dukisa (2), Sabbagh (2).
Valke – Tries
: Jaco Snyman (2), Kyle Hendricks, Chris Ehlers, Clinton Kayser. Conversions: Juan Kotze (3). Penalty: Kotze.