Western Province are among the five undefeated teams after three rounds in the highly-competitive Rugby Challenge following another weekend of high drama.
This weekend’s rugby festival took place at D’Almeida Stadium in Mossel Bay on Sunday, and saw South Section competitors SWD Eagles beat Zimbabwe Academy 31-30, while the Free State Cheetahs XV outplayed the EP Elephants by 49-12.
Fans who attended the festival in the Southern Cape were entertained to the tune of 18 tries in the two matches, with the result in the main match in the balance until the last minutes.
Earlier in the weekend, the two undefeated sides in the South Section nailed their colours to the mast.
First up, Western Province travelled to Durban on Friday to deliver an ominous warning to their competitors by beating the Sharks XV 47-20 to remain top of the standings with a full house of 15 points. WP wing Edwill van der Merwe scored a brace, to go with tries from Craig Barry and Paul de Wet.
Meanwhile, the Boland Cavaliers also scored a good win away from home, beating the Border Bulldogs 52-0 in East London to move into second position on the log. With tries galore across all the matches, another hat-trick was no surprise, with Boland flanker Tapiwa Tsomondo getting three against Border.
The North Section had some nail biters with a number of tight results.
The Golden Lions XV, who walked away with a 43-40 win, almost had their undefeated status removed by the Valke, who came back strongly in the second half on Saturday.
Griquas and the Pumas remained unbeaten with hard-fought wins against the Welwitschias and Leopards respectively. The Vodacom Blue Bulls scored a good victory at Loftus Versfeld on Friday, beating the Griffons 35-20 in a tight match.
Round three results:
Welwitschias (24) – Tries: Daryl de la Harpe, Thomasau Forbes, Chrysander Botha. Conversions: Cliven Loubser (3). Penalty: Loubser.
Griquas (61) – Tries: Cody Basson, Godfrey Ramaboea, Wilmar Arnoldi, Anthony Volmink, George Whitehead, Michal Haznar, Sias Koen, Gideon van der Merwe, Penalty Try. Conversions: Tinus de Beer (3), Whitehead (4).
Golden Lions XV (43) – Tries: Jo-Hanko de Villiers (2), Stean Pienaar (2), Ruben Schoeman, James Venter, Madosh Tambwe. Conversions: Jeanluc Cilliers (4).
Valke (40) – Tries: Anrich Richter (2), Marco Klopper, Friedle Olivier, Errol Jaggers, Hardus Pretorius. Conversions: Richter (5).
Pumas (40) – Tries: JP Lewis (2), Stefan Willemse, Devon Williams, Francois Kleinhans, HP van Schoor. Conversions: Chris Smith (5).
Leopards (30) – Tries: Jimmy Mpailane, Edmund Rheeder, Keagan Tait, Shane van Rooyen. Conversions: Schalk Hugo (2). Penalty: Hugo. Drop Goal: Hugo.
Blue Bulls (35) – Tries: Duncan Matthews, Fiela Boshoff, Ruan Steenkamp (2), Diego Appollis. Conversions: JT Jackson (5).
Griffons (20) – Tries: Jean Pretorius, Arthur Williams. Conversions: Jaywinn Juries (2). Penalties: Juries (2).
Boland Cavaliers (52) – Tries: Valentino Norman (2), Tapiwa Tsomondo (3), Patrick O’Brien, Shilton van Wyk (2). Conversions: Garrick Mattheus (3), Joshua Vermeulen, Monty Dumond (2).
Border Bulldogs (0)
Sharks XV (20) – Tries: Kwanda Dimaza, Wian Vosloo. Conversions: Rhyno Smith (2); Penalties: Smith (2).
Western Province (47) – Tries: Edwill van der Merwe (2), Paul de Wet, Marno Redelinghuys, Craig Barry, Penalty Tries (2). Conversions: Abner van Reenen (4).
EP Elephants (12) – Tries: Mikey Botha, Michael Makase. Conversion: Oliver Zono.
Free State Cheetahs XV (49) – Tries: Jamba Ulengo, Ernst Stapelberg (2), Tapiwa Mafura, Jasper Wiese, Marlou van Niekerk, Marnus van der Merwe. Conversions: Stapelberg (7).
SWD (31) – Tries: Dillin Snel, Shario Rosenkrantz, Marquit September (2), Lwando Mabenge. Conversions: Gerhard Nortier (2), Leighton Eksteen.
Zimbabwe Academy (30) – Tries: Kuzai Mashawi, Aiden Burnett, George Saungweme, Cleopas Kundiona. Conversion: Jeremiah Jaravaza, Kadakwashe Mudariki. Penalties: Jaravaza (2).
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images