Western Province claimed a convincing 32-12 Vodacom Cup win over the Sharks XV on Saturday, while there were also wins for the Free State, Lions and Blue Bulls.
Province hosted the Sharks at City Park Stadium in Cape Town knowing the winner of this contest would overtake Griquas at the top of the South Section log.
Paul Dobson’s side raced to a 15-point lead with tries from No 8 Rayn Smid and prop Wilco Louw and a conversion and penalty each from young Jean-Luc du Plessis. Despite a poor start, the Sharks replied through flank Khaya Majola, but conceded immediately thereafter, as Province carried a 22-7 advantage into the break.
They started the second half in the same fashion, when Grant Hermanus, on his senior debut, crossed for the bonus-point score, with Du Plessis adding the extras.
Replacement wing Khulu Marwana sparked hopes of a Sharks comeback when he dotted down, but Du Plessis had the final say with a penalty to seal the match for Province.
In Heidedal, the Free State XV bounced back from their 33-17 defeat to the SWD Eagles last week, with a 52-15 demolition of Boland. In Kempton Park, the Golden Lions outscored the Valke six tries to four to register a 48-26 victory, while in Pretoria the Blue Bulls battled to an unconvincing 20-18 home win over the Pumas.
Western Province (32) – Tries: Wilco Louw, Rayn Smid, Grant Hermanus, Sikhumbuzo Notshe. Conversions: Jean-Luc du Plessis (3). Penalties: Du Plessis (2).
Sharks XV (12) – Tries: Khaya Majola, Khulu Marwana. Conversion: Lionel Cronjé.
Free State XV (52) –Tries: Enver Brandt (2), Coenie van Wyk, Devin Oosthuizen, Louis Venter, Louwrens Strydom, Reuben Johannes, Zingisa April. Conversions: Van Wyk (5), Kevin Stevens.
Boland (15) – Tries: Christian Rust, Eric Zana. Conversion: Rust. Penalty: Zana.
Valke (26) – Tries: Anrich Richter (2), Arno Poley, Jacques Alberts. Conversions: Jaun Kotze (3).
Golden Lions (48) – Tries: Kobus de Kock (2), Malcolm Marx, Ruaan Lerm, Stephan de Wit (2). Conversions: Ashlon Davids (5), Warren Potgieter. Penalties: Davids (2).
Blue Bulls (20) – Tries: Jamba Ulengo, Marquit September. Conversions: Kobus Marais (2). Penalties: Marais (2).
Pumas (18) – Penalties: Justin van Staden (6).
Photo: Gallo Images