THE MTN Golden Lions are the only unbeaten team left in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division following their victory at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday and defeats to The Sharks and DHL Western Province earlier during the weekend.
GWK Griquas repeated their feat from 2010 when they beat The Sharks in Kimberley on Friday evening. On Saturday the Toyota Free State Cheetahs beat DHL WP in Bloemfontein.
In the fourth Premier Division match of the weekend, the Platinum Leopards ended an Absa Currie Cup losing streak of almost two years when they beat the Ford Pumas in Potchefstroom on Friday evening.
In the Absa Currie Cup First Division, the EP Kings and SWD Eagles won their games on the road against the Valke and the Tasol Solar Griffons respectively.
Platinum Leopards 27 (24) Ford Pumas 15 (12)
The Platinum Leopards won their first Absa Currie Cup Premier Division game since 28 August 2009 when they beat the Ford Pumas by 27-15 at Profert Olën Park in Potchefstroom on Friday evening, thereby ending a 23-game losing streak.
The team from North West opened the scoring in the seventh minute when right wing Danie Dames scored a converted try, but the Ford Pumas hit back with two quick tries – by winger Deon Scholtz and centre Dewald Pretorius – to take the lead.
However, the game swung back in the Leopards’ favour in the second quarter when they scored 17 unaswered points through two further converted tries in a matter of minutes by flank Luvoyiso Lusaseni and fullback George Tossel, as well as a penalty goal by former College Rovers and Tuks flyhalf Wesley Dunlop.
Compared to the five tries scored in the first 40 minutes, the second half was a dull affair, with both sides adding only a penalty goal each to their points tallies.
Platinum Leopards – Tries: Danie Dames, Luvoyiso Lusaseni, George Tossel. Conversions: Wesley Dunlop (3). Penalty goals: Dunlop (2).
Ford Pumas – Tries: Deon Scholtz, Dewald Pretorius. Conversion: Coenie van Wyk. Penalty goal: Van Wyk.
Platinum Leopards: 15 George Tossel, 14 Danie Dames, 13 Charl Weideman, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 Vainon Willis, 10 Wesley Dunlop, 9 Whestley Moolman, 8 Morné Hanekom (captain), 7 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 6 Philip de Wet, 5 Brendon Snyman, 4 Christo van Niekerk, 3 Stephan Bezuidenhout, 2 Gavin Williamson, 1 BG Uys. Replacements: 16 Bêrend Botha, 17 Marius Fourie, 18 Bradley Mockford, 19 Juan Pretorius, 20 Theo van Wyk, 21 Walter Venter, 22 Clayton Durand.
Ford Pumas: 15 MJ Mentz, 14 Deon Scholtz, 13 Tiaan Marx, 12 Dewald Pretorius, 11 Ashwin Scott, 10 Coenie van Wyk, 9 Hendrik van der Nest, 8 Christo le Roux, 7 RW Kember, 6 Corné Steenkamp (captain), 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Rudi Mathee, 3 Ashley Buys, 2 Pellow van der Westhuizen, 1 Dawie Steyn. Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Eduan van der Walt, 19 Jaco Bouwer, 20 Tian Meyer, 21 Johan Jackson, 22 JC Roos.
GWK Griquas 43 (14) The Sharks 22 (16)
A flawless kicking display by GWK Griquas fullback Rudi Vogt, coupled with four well-worked tries by the home side were too much for The Sharks, who lost their first game in their the Absa Currie Cup title defence in Kimberley on Friday night.
Vogt contributed 23 points through four conversions and five penalty goals, while all four of Griquas’ tries were scored by forwards, which is where they laid the foundation for this victory. The Sharks also lost in the Northern Cape last year.
By dominating upfront against a few inexperienced Sharks forwards, GWK Griquas had the upper hand for most of the game. It was the first time the KwaZulu-Natal pack came up short this year and also their first defeat in Absa Currie Cup in 2011.
The Griquas pack did not shy away from the hard stuff, while their patience on attack also paid off – lock Hendrik Roodt’s try came after a staggering 24 phases in The Sharks’ half.
Even when Sharks coach John Plumtree decided to send on Springboks Ryan Kankowski (loose forward), Charl McLeod (scrumhalf) and Pat Lambie (flyhalf), it never looked like GWK Griquas were going to slip.
GWK Griquas – Tries: Ryno Barnes, Hendrik Roodt, Jacobie Adriaanse, Jonathan Mokuena. Conversions: Vogt (4). Penalty goals: Vogt (5).
The Sharks – Try: Craig Burden. Conversion: Frederick Michalak. Penalty goals: Michalak (3), Pat Lambie (2).
GWK Griquas: 15 Rudi Vogt, 14 Riaan Viljoen, 13 Jean Stemmet, 12 Barry Geel, 11 Dusty Noble, 10 Earl Rose, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Burger Schoeman, 7 Davon Raubenheimer, 6 Jonathan Mokuena (captain), 5 Martin Muller, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Jean Botha. Replacements: 16 Matthew Dobson, 17 Ivann Espag, 18 Frikkie Spies, 19 Marnus Schoeman, 20 Matthew Rosslee, 21 Monty Dumond, 22 Wilmaure Louw.
The Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Mark Richards, 13 Stefan Terblanche, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Jan André Marais, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Dale Chadwick. Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Eugene van Staden, 18 Peet Marais, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Pat Lambie, 22 Marius Joubert.
Toyota Free State Cheetahs 28 (9) DHL Western Province 22 (13)
Toyota Free State Cheetahs flyhalf Sias Ebersohn kicked 23 points as the team from Bloemfontein won their first Absa Currie Cup match since the first round when they beat DHL Western Province by 28-22 at the Free State Stadium on Saturday.
Ebersohn was successful with seven penalty goals, punishing the visitors’ indiscretions regularly and keeping the Free Staters in touch after DHL WP raced to a lead of 13-0 inside the first 20 minutes thanks to a counter-attacking try from outside Johann Sadie, as well as two penalty goals and a conversion from flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis.
After Sadie’s try in the tenth minute, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs’ defence held out for the rest of the game, while they got their first and only try of the match in the 74th minute when replacement centre Corné Uys intercepted and sprinted clear to score under the uprights.
With Catrakilis adding a fifth penalty goal to pull the visitors back to within six points on the score board, DHL WP tried hard to score the potential match winning try, but they could not breach the Cheetahs’ defence.
The national selectors would have been happy to see Heinrich Brüssow make his return in the second half. The Springbok flanker looked sharp and made life difficult at the breakdowns as he came through 25 minutes of rugby unscathed. He would be assessed with a view to joining the Bok squad in Durban for their first home Test of the Castle Tri-Nations against Australia on Saturday.
Toyota FS Cheetahs – Try: Corné Uys. Conversion: Sias Ebersohn. Penalty goals: Sias Ebersohn (7).
DHL Western Province – Try: Johann Sadie. Conversion: Demetri Catrakilis. Penalty goals: Catrakilis (5).
Toyota Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Rayno Benjamin, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Johan Wessels, 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen. Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Marcel van der Merwe, 18 Izak van der Westhuizen, 19 Heinrich Brüssow, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Corné Uys, 22 Philip Burger.
DHL Western Province: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 JJ Engelbrecht, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nick Koster, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Rohan Kitshoff, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Hilton Lobberts, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg (captain), 1 Wicus Blaauw. Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Adriaan Fondse, 19 Pieter Louw, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Berton Klaasen, 22 Marcel Brache.
Vodacom Blue Bulls 27 (19) MTN Golden Lions 36 (16)
Discipline and goal kicking were the big differences between the Vodacom Blue Bulls and the MTN Golden Lions as the team from Johannesburg took first spot on the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division log with a solid 36-27 victory in the Jukskei Derby at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Two second half tries by fullback Michael Killian and a 21 points with the boot by flyhalf Elton Jantjies proved to be the undoing of the Vodacom Blue Bulls as they lost their third game out of four and were consigned to the bottom place on the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division log.
The MTN Golden Lions meanwhile are the only unbeaten side left in the competition and are four points clear of the second placed Sharks on the log.
Vodacom Blue Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe became the first player red carded this Absa Currie Cup season after he received a second yellow card with 10 minutes left on the clock. Both were for infringements at the breakdown, a disciplinary issue that haunted the home side for most of the game.
Both sides scored three tries each, but while Jantjies missed only two out of his 10 kicks at goal (80%), Bulls flyhalf Francois Brummer had an unhappy evening with the boot, slotting only four penalty goals out of his eight kicks at goal for a success rate of 50%.
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Stefan Watermeyer, Akona Ndungane. Penalty goals: Francois Brummer (4).
MTN Golden Lions – Tries: Josh Strauss, Michael Killian (2). Conversions: Elton Jantjies (3). Penalty goals: Jantjies (5).
Vodacom Blue Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Stephan Dippenaar, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Dustin Jinka, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 6 Derick Küun, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling. Replacements: 16 Gary Botha, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Fudge Mabeta, 19 Deon Stegmann, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 Marntiz Boshoff, 22 Jurgen Visser.
MTN Golden Lions: 15 Michael Killian, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Lionel Mapoe, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Josh Strauss (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg. Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Michael Rhodes, 19 Warren Whiteley, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Jaco Taute.
Absa Currie Cup First Division
The EP Kings top the Absa Currie Cup First Division log after they won their fourth successive game of 2011 when they beat the Valke by 36-20 at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park on Friday afternoon.
It was hard work for the team from Port Elizabeth though, perhaps even harder than the scoreline suggests. With a few minutes left on the clock, the Valke closed the gap to 29-20, but a last-minute try by Mathew Tayler-Smith, his second of the game, gave the EP Kings a bit more breathing space on the score board.
Apart from Tayler-Smith’s brace, EP fullback SP Marais scored a hat-trick.
With the Regent Boland Cavaliers enjoying a bye this weekend, the Kings will stay at the top of the First Division log until at least next weekend.
On Saturday afternoon in Welkom, the SWD Eagles closed the gap between them and the two front runners on the Absa Currie Cup First Division log when they beat the Tasol Solar Griffons by 48-45 at the North West Stadium.
Thirteen tries were scored in this game, with five players dotting down twice each – Tiaan van Wyk and Nicky Steyn for the home team, and Elric van Vuuren, Howard Noble and Baldwin McBean for the visitors. Of the total of 93 points scored in the game, 60 came in the second half when the game transformed into an open, attacking encounter where the points came at 1.5 per minute.
Valke 20 (3) EP Kings 36 (17)
Valke – Tries: Coert Cronje, Kyle Hendricks (2). Conversion: Dillon Laubscher. Penalty goal: Laubscher.
EP Kings – Tries: SP Marais (3), Norman Nelson, Mathew Taylor-Smith (2). Conversions: George Whitehead (2), Louis Strydom.
Tasol Solar Griffons 45 (14) SWD Eagles 48 (19)
Tasol Solar Griffons – Tries: Werner Griesel, Tiaan van Wyk (2), Nicky Steyn (2), Shane Hancke. Conversions: Van Wyk (3). Penalties: Van Wyk (3).
SWD Eagles – Tries: Elric van Vuuren (2), Hein Potgieter, Howard Noble (2), Baldwin McBean (2). Conversions: Van Vuuren (5). Penalty: Van Vuuren.-SA Rugby.net