Griquas took a giant stride in their quest to be the eighth and final team in the Currie Cup Premier Division, by beating Border 52-5 in their first round qualifier.
Flank Marnus Schoeman scored a hat-trick and fullback Gouws Prinsloo converted six of Griquas’ eight tries, while Border could only manage a single try by promising fullback Coyi Banda in Kimberley.
In Welkom, the Griffons also got their qualifying campaign off to a winning start, edging the Boland Kavaliers 27-25.
Boland outscored their hosts three tries to two, but the boot of Franna du Toit kept the Griffons in the hunt.
Du Toit slotted five penalties and a conversion. His opposite, Eric Zana, bagged 20 of Boland’s 25 points with two tries, two conversions and two penalties, but it wasn’t enough to sink the home side.
The Leopards thumped SWD with a 51-23 bonus point victory in Potchefstroom.
Former Springbok flyhalf André Pretorius controlled the match nicely for the home team, who ran in seven tries.
Pretorius ended the match with a personal tally of 16 points, while SWD flyhalf Karl Aspeling added 13 points to his team’s cause. They also breached the Leopards’ defence twice when fullback Jarryd Buys and prop Kurt Haupt scored. The result places the Leopards second on the log, behind Griquas.
Griquas (52) – Tries: Burger Schoeman, Carel Greeff, Jaco Negpen, Jonathan Francke, Marnus Schoeman (3), Martin Bezuidenhout. Conversions: Gouws Prinsloo (6).
Border (5) – Try: Coyi Banda.
Griffons (27) – Tries: Norman Nelson, Penalty try. Conversion: Franna du Toit. Penalties: Du Toit (5).
Boland (25) – Tries: Eric Zana (2), Ulrich Pretorius. Conversions: Zana (2). Penalties: Zana (2).
Leopards (51) – Tries: Juan Language (2), Luther Obi, Philip de Wet, Rhyk Welgemoed, Sylvian Mahuza (2). Conversions: André Pretorius (5). Penalty: Pretorius. Drop Goal: Pretorius.
SWD (23) – Tries: Jarryd Buys, Kurt Haupt. Conversions: Karlo Aspeling (2). Penalties: Aspeling (3).
Photo: Louis Botha/Gallo Images