Griquas beat the Free State XV 43-36, while there were also wins for the Sharks XV, Golden Lions, Western Province, Border and Blue Bulls in round nine of the Provincial Rugby Challenge.
Griquas extended their lead at the top of the central section standings to six, after claiming a thrilling bonus-point win in Kimberley. Free State started the game superbly and raced out to a 17-0 lead, thanks to two intercept tries by wing Luther Obi and a penalty goal. But the hosts recovered and overturned the deficit in no time to take a 33-17 advantage into the break.
The hosts edged even further ahead with another try early in the second half to hit the 40-point mark. A late flurry of tries brought Free State back into the game, but Griquas held them off to secure the victory.
In the other central section match, the Sharks XV trounced the Leopards 40-24 in Potchefstroom. Centre André Esterhuizen scored a brace for the Sharks.
Meanwhile, the Golden Lions demolished the Welwitschias 84-0 to consolidate their place atop the north section standings. Gerhardus Labuschagne bagged a hat-trick, while Hacjivah Dayimani, Bobby de Wee and James Venter all scored two tries.
The Blue Bulls edged the Valke 33-12 in Kempton Park. In his first game back from injury, Handré Pollard slotted three conversions for the Bulls before being replaced.
In the south section, Western Province won their derby against the Boland Cavaliers 22-8, after the scores were tied 8-8 at half-time, and the Border Bulldogs inflicted an agonising 26-25 defeat on hosts SWD in George.
Griquas (43) – Tries: Renier Botha, Ederies Arendse (2), Andre Swarts, Wendall Wehr (2). Conversions: Swarts (5). Penalty: Swarts.
Free State XV (36) – Tries: Luther Obi (2), JW Jonker, Ruan van Rensburg, Justin Basson. Conversions:: Marco Mason (4). Penalty: Mason.
Leopards (24) – Tries: Henko Marais (2), Johan Smith. Conversions: Gerhard Nortier (2), Schalk Hugo. Penalties: Nortier.
Sharks XV (40) – Tries: André Esterhuizen (2), Wian Vosloo, Stephan Coetzee, Khaya Majola, Andrew du Plessis. Conversions: Garth April (4), Benhard Janse van Rensburg.
Golden Lions (84) – Tries: Gerhardus Labuschagne (3), Hacjivah Dayimani (2), Bobby De Wee (2), James Venter (2), Gerdus van der Walt, Jano Venter, Adriaan Bester, Selom Gavor, Morne van der Berg. Conversions: Masuku (7).
Valke (26) – Tries: JP Mostert, Marco Klopper, Warren Potgieter, Etienne Taljaard. Conversions: Potgieter (3).
Blue Bulls (33) – Tries: Duncan Matthews, Boom Prinsloo, André Warner, Kefentse Mahlo (2). Conversions: Handré Pollard (3), Divan Rossouw.
Western Province (22) – Tries: Eital Bredenkamp, Kurt Coleman, Michal Hazner. Conversions: Coleman (2); Penalty: Coleman.
Boland Cavaliers (8) – Try: Clinton Theron. Penalty: Divan Nel.
SWD Eagles (25) – Tries: Marlou van Niekerk, Freginald Afrika, Adri Jacobs. Conversions: Leighton Eksteen (2). Penalties: Eksteen (2).
Border Bulldogs (26) – Tries: Oliver Zono (2), Sinovuyo Nyoka. Conversion: Zono. Penalties: Zono (3).
Photo: Louis Botha/Griquas