Wing Enver Brandt scored four tries as Griquas beat the Leopards 46-31, while there were also wins for Western Province, the Welwitschias, Pumas, Border Bulldogs and Free State XV in the Provincial Rugby Challenge.
In a dramatic encounter in Potchefstroom, the Leopards went 24-15 ahead against Griquas, a lead they held until the 65th minute as they ran out of steam against the men from Kimberley.
Brandt’s four tries not only helped his side get the win but also set a new mark for tries scored in the competition (11), as he improved upon the nine-try record he held with Pumas hooker Frank Herne in the inaugural season last year.
The Leopards remain the only winless team in the competition while the victory allowed the second-placed Griquas to close the gap on the Central Section-leading Free State XV.
In the other match in the Central Section, the Free State XV kept their clean slate with a hard-fought 33-19 win over the Griffons in Bloemfontein.
The home side blitzed the Welkom visitors in the first half and led 26-0 at the break. Their pack laid a powerful foundation, with No 8 Jasper Wiese scoring a brace. The Griffons scored all three of their tries in the second half, as they came back hard at the home side.
Defending champions Western Province kept their unbeaten streak going in a brilliant second-half display against the EP Elephants in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. The home side actually held the lead at the break (21-19), but whatever WP coach John Dobson said at half-time worked wonders for the visitors, who dominated the second half, winning 75-28.
No less than 10 WP players scored tries as they overwhelmed the home side with a team effort. Centre Dan du Plessis got a brace, while the two kickers, Joshua Stander and Tristan Leyds, converted 10 of the 11 tries.
With WP running away in the South Section, the second playoff spot remains undecided and fiercely competitive. The Border Bulldogs are making a charge after their slow start, edging out the Boland Cavaliers 29-14 in East London.
The home side delivered a knockout to the visitors, who held a 14-8 lead at the break. The second half of the clash belonged to the Bulldogs, who not only prevented Boland from scoring again, but also thrilled the locals with some great tries of their own.
The North Section saw two telling results on Saturday. First, the Pumas outplayed the Blue Bulls in Pretoria to confirm their credentials as the Section’s top dog so far, winning 34-22 at Loftus Versfeld.
They held a 22-5 lead at the break and with Ruwellyn Isbel again in fine form, scoring a brace, kept their undefeated status in check.
The Blue Bulls will seemingly have to contest the second playoff spot with the Golden Lions XV, especially after the Valke came up short 34-24 in Kempton Park against the Welwitschias.
The Namibians scored their first win of the year and more significantly, their first away win in two years.
Round 6 results:
Valke (24) – Tries: Andrew van Wyk, Sikhumbuzo Mabuza, Martin Sithole, Marco Klopper. Conversions: André du Plessis (2).
Welwitschias (34) – Tries: JC Winkler, Pieter Steenkamp, Johan Tromp, Janre du Toit. Conversions: Steenkamp (4). Penalties: Steenkamp (2).
Blue Bulls (22) – Tries: Edgar Marutlulle, JT Jackson, Jamba Ulengo, Jaco Bezuidenhout. Conversion: Earll Douwrie.
Pumas (34) – Tries: Marko Janse van Rensburg, Jerome Pretorius, Ruwellyn Isbell (2). Conversions: Chris Smith (3), Justin van Staden. Penalties: Smith (2).
EP Elephants (28) – Tries: Reuben de Vos, JP Smith, Bakkies Brown, Dewald Barnard. Conversions: De Vos (4).
Western Province (75) – Tries: Chris Massyn, Grant Hermanus, Edwil van der Merwe, Dan du Plessis (2), Luke Stringer, Steph de Witt, Johan du Toit, Tristan Leyds, Chad Solomons, Duncan Saal. Conversions: Josh Stander (6), Leyds (4).
Border Bulldogs (29) – Tries: Siphosenkosi Nofemele, Somila Mantyoyi, Somila Jho, Sinovuyo Nyoka. Conversions: Bangi Kobese (3). Drop goal: Aphiwe Stemele.
Boland Cavaliers (14) – Tries: Jacquin Jansen, Francois Esterhuyzen. Conversions: Elgar Watts (2).
Leopards (31) – Tries: Louis van der Westhuizen, Evardi Boshoff, Joe Smith (2). Conversions: Schalk Hugo (3). Penalties: Hugo (2).
Griquas (46) – Tries: Enver Brandt (4), FP Pelser, Christiaan Meyer, Ederies Arendse. Conversions: André Swarts, George Whitehead (3). Penalty: Swarts.
Free State XV (33) – Tries: Jasper Wiese (2), Erich de Jager, Neil Jordaan, Penalty Try. Conversions: Ernst Stapelberg (3).
Griffons (19) – Tries: Rodney Damons, Danie van der Merwe, Jaun Kotze. Conversions: Kotze (2).
Photo:Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images