The Free State XV edged Griquas 32-31, while there were also wins for the Pumas, Sharks XV, Border Bulldogs, Boland Cavaliers and Golden Lions XV in the Provincial Rugby Challenge.
At a sunny Impala Rugby Club in Rustenburg, the Free State XV raced into a 24-0 half-time lead before Griquas came out firing in the second half, scoring 31 points to come within a whisker of victory.
Tries from centre Tertius Kruger, flank Gerhard Oliver and flyhalf Ernst Stapelberg, who also kicked two penalties and three conversions, put the Free State XV ahead.
However, Griquas came back in the second half, with wing Kyle Steyn scoring a brace to add to tries from No 8 Conway Pretorius, wing Enver Brandt and lock Pieter Jansen van Vuuren. However, it was not enough as wing Alrich Coetzee’s try proved the difference between the two sides.
In other results, a clinical Sharks XV performance ensured that they saw off a spirited Leopards with a 57-28 win. A brace from wing Aphelele Fassi, who set up lock Hyron Andrews with a brilliant offload, saw the Sharks claim a well-deserved victory.
The Pumas scored eight tries, one of them a penalty try, to ease to a 54-12 win against the Welwitschias in Windhoek. Both debutants, Heino Marais and Jeandre Rudolph, dotted down for the Nelspruit-based team.
The Border Bulldogs won the battle of the bottom-dwellers, beating the EP Elephants 22-17, thanks to two tries from wing Siphosenkosi Nofemele. The Elephants are the only side in the South Section yet to claim a win this season.
Also in the South Section, the Boland Cavaliers handed the SWD Eagles their first defeat of the season, winning 37-12.
In the other match in the North Section, the Golden Lions XV had too much pace and class for the Valke, running in 10 tries to win 68-12 in Kempton Park on Saturday. Lions flyhalf Shaun Reynolds scored 27 points, including a hat-trick of tries and six conversions.
Round 4 results:
Border Bulldogs (22) – Tries: Siphosenkosi Nofemele (2), Lelethu Gcilitshane. Conversions: Bangihlombe Kobese (2). Penalty: Bangihlombe Kobese.
EP Elephants (17) – Tries: Siya Grey, JP Smith. Conversions: Ruben de Vos (2). Drop goal: De Vos.
Boland Cavaliers (37) – Tries: Jovelian de Koker, Edwin Sass (2), Zandré Jordaan, Valentino Wellman, Sergio Torrens. Conversions: Elgar Watts (2). Penalty: Jacquin Jansen.
SWD Eagles (12) – Tries: Leighton Eksteen, Marlo van Niekerk. Conversion: Eksteen.
Welwitschias (12) – Tries: Pieter Steenkamp (2). Conversion: Pieter Steenkamp.
Pumas (54) – Tries: Jeandre Rudolph, Ruwellyn Isbell, Cameron Lindsay, Henko Marais, JP Lewis, Abrie Griesel, Hugo Kloppers, penalty try. Conversions: Justin van Staden (6).
Valke (12) – Tries: TBC. Conversion: TBC
Golden Lions XV (68) – Tries: Shaun Reynolds (3), Jan-Louis la Grange (2), James Venter (2), Jeanluc Cilliers, Corné Fourie, Vincent Tshituka. Conversions: Reynolds (6), Siya Masuku (3).
Griquas (31) – Tries: Conway Pretorius, Enver Brandt, Pieter Jansen van Vuuren, Kyle Steyn (2). Conversions: Pieter-Steyn de Wet (3).
Free State XV (32) – Tries: Tertius Kruger, Gerhard Oliver, Ernst Stapelberg, Alrich Coetzee. Conversions: Stapelberg (3). Penalty: Stapelberg (2).
Leopards (28) – Tries: Gideon van der Merwe, Gene Willemse, Bradley Moolman, Justin Newman, Conversions: Schalk Hugo (3), DP de Lange.
Sharks XV (57) – Tries: Grant Williams, Aphelele Fassi (2), Leolin Zass, Hyron Andrews, Courtney Winnaar, Johan Deysel, Tristan Blewett, Tera Mtembu. Conversions: Garth April (5), Danrich Visagie.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images