The Sharks XV beat the Griffons 45-43, while there were also wins for Western Province, the SWD Eagles, Free State XV, Blue Bulls and Pumas in the Provincial Rugby Challenge.
In a crucial Central Section clash in Welkom on Saturday, the Sharks XV led 28-14 against the Griffons at half-time thanks to tries from No 8 Tera Mtembu, wings Aphele Fassi and Tristan Blewett and centre Jeremy Ward.
The Griffons came out firing in the second half, with wing Rodney Damons, centre Duan Pretorius, fullback Ezrick Alexander and replacement JJ Pretorius scoring tries.
But Blewett then added his second and Grant Williams also crossed to allow the visitors to come away with a hard-fought victory and close in on a playoff place.
The Central Section is becoming highly competitive. The Free State XV stayed undefeated with a solid 38-26 win over the Leopards in Potchefstroom on Friday. The Leopards held a slim 20-19 lead at the break but the visitors were simply too strong in the second half.
In other results, braces from wing Duncan Saal and No 8 Jaco Coetzee gave Western Province a 53-25 victory against the Border Bulldogs in False Bay, allowing the Cape side to stay unbeaten and in the driving seat in the Southern Section.
Staying in that section, the SWD Eagles intensified the race for a playoff spot with a 47-28 win against the EP Elephants, which allowed them to pull away from their opponents and come within a single point of the Boland Cavaliers, who occupy second place.
The North Section saw a crucial 43-35 win for the Pumas over the dangerous Golden Lions XV in Nelspruit. The home side held a 21-14 lead at the break and despite a good comeback effort by the young Lions, the men from Mpumalanga held out.
The second playoff spot in this section is becoming a race between the Lions XV and Blue Bulls, who travelled to Windhoek, where they scored a 47-31 win over the Welwitschias. The visitors were always in control of the match but the Namibian side showed how much progress they have made by tightening the scores despite trailing 28-7 at the break.
Round 7 results:
Western Province (53) – Tries: Duncan Saal (2), Jaco Coetzee (2), Daniel du Plessis, Justin Phillips, Cornel Smit, Herschel Jantjies. Conversions: Tristan Leyds (5), Tiaan Swanepoel.
Border Bulldogs (25) – Tries: Lonwabo Nteki (2), Mihlali Mpafi, Base Dubase. Conversions: Athenkosi Manentsa.
SWD Eagles (47) – Tries: Marlou van Niekerk, Johannes Steyn, Ruben Schoeman, Alshaun Bock, Tyler Fisher, Johannes Stander, Leighton Eksteen. Conversions: Leighton Ektseen (6).
EP Elephants (28) – Tries: Riaan Arends, Nkululeko Marwana, Mbeko Kota, Quinton Haasbroek. Conversions: Ruben de Vos, Simon Bolze (3).
Leopards (26) – Tries: Sthembiso Mhlongo, Gene Willemse. Conversions: Schalk Hugo (2). Penalties: Hugo (4).
Free State XV (38) – Tries: Joseph Dweba, Gunther Janse van Rensburg, Niell Jordaan, Ernst Stapelberg, Daniel Maartens, Zee Mkhabela. Conversions: Benhard Janse van Rensburg (3), Stapelberg.
Griffons (43) – Tries: JP Mans, Cody-Anthony Basson, Rodney Damons, Duan Pretorius, Ezrick Alexander, JJ Pretorius. Conversions: Jaun Kotze (5). Penalty: Jaun Kotze.
Sharks XV (45) – Tries: Tera Mtembu, Aphelele Fassi, Jeremy Ward, Tristan Blewett (2), Grant Williams. Conversions: Danrich Visagie (6). Penalty: Danrich Visagie.
Welwitschias (31) – Tries: Johan Tromp, Johan Greyling, Daniel van Vuuren, Darryl de la Harpe, Rohan Kitshoff. Conversions: Pieter Steenkamp (3).
Blue Bulls (47) – Tries: Franco Naude, Xolisa Guma (2), Nqobisizwe Mxoli, Matthys Basson, Jamba Ulengo, Johan Grobbelaar. Conversions: Andell Loubser (6).
Pumas (43) – Tries: Stefan Ungerer, Stefan Willemse, Gerrit Smith, Frank Herne, Willie Engelbrecht, Alwayno Visagie. Conversions: Justin van Staden (4), Barend Smit. Penalty: Van Staden.
Golden Lions XV (35) – Tries: Sithembiso Sithole, Jan-Louis La Grange, Wayne van der Bank, Xolane Mnisi, Marco Janse van Rensburg. Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (5).
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images