The Golden Lions XV beat the Blue Bulls 55-49, while there were also Provincial Rugby Challenge wins for the Pumas, Griquas, Sharks XV, EP Kings and Western Province.
An away victory for EP and a seven-try spree by the Pumas secured them both playoff spots, while a hard-fought 46-41 win over the SWD Eagles in Oudtshoorn confirmed Western Province as the only unbeaten team in the tournament after eight rounds.
WP (39 log points) finished top of the South Section, while EP (25) scored a 48-29 win over Boland in Bredasdorp to sneak past Border into second place.
The Pumas claimed a 47-33 win over the Valke to secure third sport in the North Section. Due to a superior points difference, they finished as the best of the third-placed teams.
Griquas (35) topped the Central Section, with the Sharks XV (29) in second place. The Kimberley-based side scored a 49-35 win over the Griffons, while the KwaZulu-Natalians crushed the Free State XV 52-7 in Bloemfontein.
The Golden Lions XV (36), who dramatically edged past the Blue Bulls (29), topped the North Section, with their Pretoria neighbours finishing second, thanks to a better points difference than the Pumas, who also finished on 29 points.
The Free State XV and Border both finished on 22 log points, but the Bloemfontein-based team (-48) sneaked into the playoffs by the narrowest of margins due to a better points difference than that of Border (-49).
The Eastern Cape side, who had a bye this weekend, first had to witness being pipped by EP on the log and then saw themselves losing out again to the Free State XV.
The dates and venues of the quarter-finals will be confirmed as soon as the logistics have been confirmed by all stakeholders.
Round 8 results:
Pumas (47) – Tries: Francois Kleinhans, Hennie Skorbinski, Emile Temperman, Frank Herne, Ryan Nell, Ruwellyn Isbell, penalty try. Conversions: Sias Ebersohn (4), Justin van Staden (2).
Valke (33) – Tries: Christian Rust (2), Anrich Richter, Dwight Pansegrouw, Etienne Taljaard. Conversions: Rust (4).
Golden Lions (55) – Tries: Kwagga Smith, Akker van der Merwe, Lourens Erasmus, Jacques van Rooyen, Marvin Orie, penalty try, Michael Tambwe (2). Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (6). Penalty: Reynolds.
Blue Bulls (49) – Tries: Pierre Schoeman, Duncan Matthews, penalty try, Andre Warner, Dries Swanepoel, Jaco Visagie. Conversions: Tian Schoeman (5); Penalties: Schoeman (3).
Griquas (49) – Tries: Tertius Kruger, Enver Brandt (2), Koch Marx, Wilmar Arnoldi, Tiaan Meyer, Eric Zana. Conversions: George Whitehead (7).
Griffons (35) – Tries: Carel Coetzee, Vuyo Mbotho (2), Louis Venter, Alrin Eksteen. Conversions: Wynand Pienaar (2); Penalties: Duan Pretorius (2).
Free State XV (7) – Tries: Joseph Dweba. Conversions: Marco Mason. Penalties: Michael van der Spuy.
Sharks XV (52) – Tries: Christoffel van der Walt, Cobus Reinach (2), Stephan Coetzee, Daniel du Preez, Ettienne Ootshuizen, S'bura Sithole, Andre Esterhuizen. Conversions: Garth April (6).
Boland Cavaliers (29) – Tries: Vian van der Walt, Edwin Sass, Gerrit van Wyk, McMillan Muller. Conversions: Divan Nel (3). Penalty: Nel.
EP Kings (48) – Tries: Michael Willemse, Keanu Vers (2), Neil Maritz (3), Malcolm Jaer, Tango Balekile. Conversions: Pieter-Steyn de Wet.
SWD Eagles (41) – Tries: Teunis Nieuwoudt, Kirsten Heyns, Adri Jacobs, Quaid Langeveldt, Dillin Snel, Lodewyk Uys. Conversions: Leighton Eksteen (4). Penalties: Leighton Eksteen.
Western Province (46) – Tries: Nyasha Tarusenga, Eduard Zandberg, Craig Barry (3), Marcello Sampson (2), Bjorn Basson. Conversions: Brandon Thomson (2), Errol Jaggers.
Western Province vs Free State XV
Golden Lions XV vs Pumas
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings
Sharks XV vs Blue Bulls
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images