The Blue Bulls claimed a last-minute 27-20 win against the Golden Lions XV in Oudsthoorn, while there were also wins for Western Province, the Free State XV, Griquas, Boland Cavaliers and Pumas in round five of the Provincial Rugby Challenge.
In the first match of a double-header at the Bridgetown Sports Ground, the Bulls and Lions were tied at 20-20 going into the final five minutes.
However, Man of the Match Duncan Matthews received a pass out wide and dotted down to give the Bulls the win, allowing them to climb over their Gauteng rivals into second place in the North Section.
Meanwhile, five tries from wing Ruwellyn Isbell powered the Pumas to a 54-7 thrashing of the Valke.
In the late kick-off on Sunday, a brace from fullback Craig Barry helped WP to a convincing 50-3 win against the SWD Eagles to maintain their unbeaten run and keep them in pole position in the South Section.
With WP looking set to top the section, the Boland Cavaliers’ close but deserving 40-37 win against the winless EP Elephants in Montagu could prove decisive, as they sit second on the log.
In other results, a converted try from hooker Reinach Venter allowed the Free State XV to hold out against a late fightback from the Sharks XV and win 12-10. The win keeps the men from Bloemfontein among the unbeaten sides and on top of the highly competitive Central Section.
The other match in this section was just as close. The Griffons outscored the Griquas seven tries to five in Kathu on Saturday, but could only convert one in their 38-37 defeat. A late penalty by Andre Swarts delivered the knockout blow.
Round 5 results:
Free State XV (12) – Tries: Tertius Kruger, Reinach Venter. Conversion: Ernst Stapelberg.
Sharks XV (10) – Try: Tera Mtembu. Conversion: Danrich Visagie. Penalty: Visagie.
Griquas (38) – Tries: AJ Coertzen, Kyle Steyn (2), Christopher Bosch, Jonathan Janse van Rensburg. Conversions: Pieter-Steyn de Wet (3), André Swarts (2). Penalty: Swarts.
Griffons (37) – Tries: Cody Basson (2), Shirwin Cupido, Neil Claassen, Rodney Damons (2), Vincent Maruping. Conversion: Jaun Kotze.
Pumas (54) – Tries: Marko Janse van Rensburg, Ruwellyn Isbell (5), Hennie Skorbinski, JP Lewis. Conversions: Chris Smith (6), Justin van Staden.
Valke (7) – Try: Anrich Richter. Conversion: Andrew van Wyk.
Blue Bulls (27) – Tries: Boom Prinsloo, Jamba Ulengo, Johan Grobbelaar, Duncan Matthews. Conversions: Earll Douwrie, Francois Brummer. Penalties: Earll Douwrie
Golden Lions XV (20) – Tries: Vincent Tshituka, Siya Masuku, Conversions: Jeanluc Cilliers, Siya Masuku. Penalties: Jeanluc Cilliers (2).
Boland Cavaliers (40) – Tries: Rhinus Bothma, Valentino Wellman (2), Charles Mayeza, Rayno Benjamin, Kenan Cronjé. Conversions: Elgar Watts (4), Adriaan Carelse.
EP Elephants (37) – Tries: Johan van Wyk, Xander Vos, Zingisa April, Henry Brown. Conversions: Ruben de Vos (4). Penalties: De Vos (3).
SWD Eagles (3) – Penalty: Leighton Eksteen.
Western Province (50) – Tries: Craig Barry (2), Duncan Saal, Jaco Coetzee, Justin Philips, Joshua Stander, Steff de Wit, Brendon Esterhuizen, Conversions: Joshua Stander (5).
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images