Western Province beat the Blue Bulls 30-16 at Newlands in the opening round of the Currie Cup qualifiers, while there were also wins for Border, Griquas, Boland, the Valke, Free State and SWD.
While it wasn’t a convincing performance from Province, they still managed to score three tries to one to get their campaign off to a winning start.
Pivots Brandon Thomson and Tony Jantjies traded early penalties, but WP struck a double blow when Dan du Plessis powered over from close range and his midfield partner Tim Whitehead glided through the Bulls defence to put the hosts 17-3 up.
The Bulls, however, fought back to within a point via prop Nqobisizwe Mxoli's converted score and two further penalties by Jantjies to trail 17-16.
But those were their last points of the match. Thomson knocked over two penalties either side of the interval to stretch Province’s lead to seven, before the Bulls conceded a yellow card which allowed the hosts to score a late try through Meyer Swanepoel.
In other matches, the Border Bulldogs upset the Golden Lions 27-23 at Ellis Park. The visitors led 13-3 at the break and while the Lions fought back to lead 23-20 with four minutes remaining, lock Wandile Putuma powered over for a late converted try to hand the Bulldogs a deserved victory.
The Sharks XV slumped to a 37-25 defeat against the Boland Cavaliers at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Clermont, while the Valke beat the Pumas 12-9 in Nelspruit.
On Saturday, the Free State Cheetahs XV outscored the Welwitchias six tries to two for a comfortable 32-17 win in Bloemfontein. In Port Elizabeth, a strong second-half performance saw the SWD Eagles beat the EP Kings 37-14.
On Thursday, flyhalf Clinton Swart scored 19 points to guide Griquas to a comfortable 34-14 win over the Griffons in Kimberley.
Currie Cup qualifier results (Round 1):
Western Province (30) – Tries: Daniel du Plessis, Tim Whitehead, Meyer Swanepoel. Conversions: Brandon Thomson (3). Penalties: Thomson (3).
Blue Bulls (16) – Tries: Nqobisizwe Mxoli. Conversion: Tony Jantjies. Penalties: Jantjies (3).
Lions (23) – Tries: Ricky Schroeder, Lourens Erasmus. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (2). Penalties: Boshoff (3).
Border Bulldogs (27) – Tries: Siphosethu Tom, Makazola Mapimpi, Wandile Putuma. Conversions: Oliver Zono, Masixole Banda, Logan Basson. Penalties: Zono (2).
Sharks XV (25) – Tries: S’bura Sithole, Khaya Majola, Wandile Mjekevu. Conversions: Innocent Radebe (2). Penalties: Radebe (2).
Boland Cavaliers (37) – Tries: Shaun Adendorff, Shaun McDonald, Ryan Nell, Danwell Demas, Adriaan Carelse. Conversions: Nico Scheepers (3). Penalties: Scheepers (2).
Pumas (9) – Penalties: Justin van Staden (3).
Valke (12) – Tries: Dean Muir, Andrew van Wyk. Conversion: Karlo Aspeling.
Free State Cheetahs (32) – Tries: Reniel Hugo, Reinardt Erwee (2), Oupa Mohoje, Joseph Dweba, Elandre Huggett. Conversion: Ruan van Rensburg.
Welwitchias (17) – Tries: Melcolm Moore, Johan Tromp. Conversions: Tromp, Shaun Kaizembi. Penalty: Tromp.
EP Kings (14) – Tries: Penalty try, Jeremy Ward. Conversions: Michael Brink (2).
SWD Eagles (37) – Tries: Daniel Roberts, Martin du Toit, Riaan Arends, Leighton Eksteen. Conversion: Hansie Graaff (3), Jacquin Jansen. Penalties: Hansie (3).
Griquas (34) – Tries: Mzwanele Zito, Jonathan Francke, AJ Coertzen, Clinton Swart. Conversion: Swart. Penalties: Swart (4).
Griffons (14) – Tries: Martin Sithole, Selwyn Davids. Conversions: George Whitehead (2).
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images