The quarter-final lineup for the Community Cup has been confirmed after a dramatic final round on Saturday.
Western Province is the only union with two representatives in the last eight – Cape Town’s Hamiltons and Durbanville-Bellville – while one team each from Boland, Eastern Province, KwaZulu-Natal, the Golden Lions, Blue Bulls and Leopards will fight it out for the priceless Gold Cup at Impala Rugby Club in Rustenburg from 2-6 April.
In Pool A, 14 points from the boot of fullback Raymond Olivier helped Durbanville-Bellville beat defending champions Rustenburg Impala 24-10 to top the group and set up a repeat of their 2013 quarter-final against KZN’s College Rovers.
Second-placed Impala will now have to face unbeaten Pretoria Police, who topped Pool B. College Rovers cemented second spot in the group when they beat Raiders 25-15 in Johannesburg, thanks to a brace of tries from fullback Chris Jordaan.
In Pool C, Hamiltons skipper and eighthman Jody Burch scored twice as they beat Evergreens 45-21 in Cape Town to set up a mouthwatering WP-Boland quarter-final against Wesbank of Malmesbury. Wanderers, in their maiden Community Cup, beat Sishen 27-21 to qualify.
Wanderers will now play Despatch, who, despite a 41-30 defeat at home to Durban Collegians, finished top of Pool D. There was a nailbiting conclusion to the match at the WJ de Wet Stadium when Collegians, who needed to win with a bonus point and deny Despatch any log points to pip Wesbank, appeared to have done enough when they led 41-20 with time running out.
But replacement flyhalf Francois Nel broke Durban hearts when he scored Despatch’s fourth try with eight minutes remaining to ensure they finished on 16 points, thereby leaving Collegians and Wesbank tied on 15 points apiece.
And while the KZN champions finished with a far better points difference than their Boland rivals, it's Wesbank who will pack their bags for Sun City thanks to the rule which states that, should two teams be tied on log points, then the winner of the match between those two sides will advance.
Durbanville-Bellville (24) – Tries: Rohan Kitshoff, Karl Liebenberg. Conversion: Raymond Olivier. Penalties: Olivier (4).
Rustenburg Impala (10) – Try: Aubrey McDonald. Conversion: Willie Kok. Penalty: Wilco de Wet.
Springs (10) – Try: Pierre Foord. Conversion: Johan Zondagh. Penalty: Zondagh.
Old Selbornians (19) – Tries: Roy Bursey, Curtis Kleinhans (2). Conversions: Leon Mauer (2).
Raiders (15) – Tries: Marceau Alberts, Penalty try. Conversion: Arno Coetzee. Penalty: Coetzee.
College Rovers (25) – Tries: Kyle Wilkinson, Chris Jordaan (2). Conversions: Jordaan, Chris Micklewood. Penalty: Micklewood. Drop goal: Micklewood.
Noordelikes (22) – Tries: Wickus Visser, Sinthamdile Memese, Leslie Venton, Gert van der Merwe. Conversion: Zander Byleveldt.
Bloemfontein Crusaders (25) – Tries: Sherwin Slater, Brandon Colby, Blaine Tlhapane. Conversions: Griffin Colby (2). Penalties: Colby, Morné Morolong.
Hamiltons (45) – Tries: Jody Burch (2), Iewan Bartels, Greg van Jaarsveld, Craig Pheiffer, Braam Gerber. Conversions: Monty Dumond (4), Shane Vallender (2). Penalty: Vallender.
Evergreens (21) – Tries: Luzanne Williams, Joseph Fortuin. Conversion: Leegan Moos. Penalties: Moos (3).
Wanderers (27) – Tries: Richard Aingworth, Nicolas van Rooyen, Jonathan Mallett, Geoff Wood. Conversions: Darryn Rentzke (2). Penalty: Rentzke.
Sishen (21) – Tries: Prince Mofokeng (2), Jovan Cookson. Conversions: Stewart Jacobs, Tiaan le Roux (2).
Despatch (30) – Tries: Francois Nel, Dyllan Lamprecht, Billy Mentoor (2). Conversions: Nel, Ryan Brown. Penalties: Nel, Justin Peach.
Durban Collegians (41) – Tries: Kyle Hartley (2), Ferdie Horn, Brendon Groenewald, Brendan Cope. Conversions: Cope (3), Duncan Campbell (2). Penalties: Cope (2).
Ferros (67) – Tries: Tommie Collen, Pule Sibiya (2), Louis Roos (2), Jannie van der Merwe, Izan Green, Christiaan Els, Bennie Mashabane. Conversions: Armand Botha (3), Van der Merwe (5). Penalties: Van der Merwe (2).
Rovers Welkom (35) – Tries: Wayne Ludick, Shaun Prins, LC van Tonder, Freddie Wepener (2). Conversions: Tiaan van Wyk (5).
Hamiltons vs Wesbank
Durbanville-Bellville vs College Rovers
Despatch vs Wanderers
Rustenburg Impala vs Pretoria Police
Photo: Peter Heeger/ImageSA/Saru