There were victories for the Leopards, Boland Kavaliers and Border Bulldogs in round one of the 2015 Currie Cup qualifier this weekend.
Seven teams battle it out for the last available spot in the Currie Cup Premier Division, while the remaining six teams will participate in the First Division.
The Leopards scored six tries to defeat the SWD Eagles 45-17 at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday. The visitors fought back from 10-3 down inside the opening 10 minutes with two converted tries to lead 17-10 at the interval. They took full control of the match in the second half, though, with four more touchdowns that included a hat-trick from left wing Adri Jacobs to secure a bonus-point win.
In Malmesbury, the Boland Kavaliers ran in four first-half tries against the Griffons on Saturday to set up a 32-22 bonus-point victory.
Boland got off to a strong start, scoring three tries in the first 24 minutes, with right wing Senan Van Der Merwe bagging a brace. The Kavaliers remained dominant and secured the four-try bonus point shortly before half-time.
But the Griffons bounced back in the second stanza with two tries and defended well to prevent Boland from building on their impressive first-half performance, with the hosts only able to add a penalty to their tally. But despite this, they held on for the victory.
In the other match, a strong second-half surge saw the Border Bulldogs surprise Griquas with a 20-13 victory in East London.
The first half was closely contested and the teams were deadlocked at 3-3 going into the break. The Kimberley side, however, had the first say after the interval with a try by Stephan Kotze, which pushed them into a 10-3 advantage. But Border soon took control of proceedings by retaining possession and using it effectively.
This and a solid defensive effort, saw them outscore Griquas three tries to none, to register a morale-boosting victory. Griquas managed a late penalty goal to close the deficit to seven, earning them a valuable losing bonus point.
SWD Eagles (17) – Tries: Elric van Vuuren, Peet van der Walt. Conversions: Van Vuuren (2). Penalty: Van Vuuren.
Leopards (45) – Tries: Adri Jacobs (3), Johan Smith, Sergio Torrens, Wian Fourie. Conversions: Adriaan Engelbrecht (6). Penalties: Engelbrecht.
Boland Kavaliers (32) – Tries: Hanno Kitshoff, Senan van der Merwe (2), Wilneth Engelbrecht. Conversions: Eric Zana (3). Penalties: Zana (2).
Griffons (22) – Tries: Alvin Brandt, Rudi Britz, Tertius Maarman. Conversions: Louis Strydom (2). Penalty: Strydom.
Border Bulldogs (20) – Tries: Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, Sipho Nofemele. Conversion: Masixole Banda. Penalty: Banda.
Griquas (13) – Try: Stephan Kotze. Conversion: Gouws Prinsloo. Penalties: Prinsloo (2).
Photo: Petri Oeschger/Gallo Images