Defending Currie Cup champions, the Pumas, Western Province, the Cheetahs and Sharks delivered a statement of intent with bonus-point wins in the opening round of the 2023 competition.
On Sunday, Jimmy Stonehouse’s men from Mpumalanga delivered the performance of the weekend with their record 63-15 victory over the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
With young flyhalf Kade Wolhuter pulling all the strings, WP used their running game to dismantle the Lions 44-28 in an entertaining fixture at Ellis Park on Saturday afternoon.
In Saturday’s earlier fixture, the Sharks recovered from a slow start to beat newly promoted Griffons 32-16 at Kings Park in Durban, and on Friday, the Cheetahs sent a clear signal of their title ambitions when they outclassed Griquas 42-19 in Kimberley, with Ruan Pienaar turning back the clock with a classy display at scrumhalf.
In next weekend’s round 2 action, the Pumas face the Lions on Friday at the Mbombela Stadium (5:05pm) and the Bulls host WP in a 7:05pm kick-off in Pretoria.
The two remaining games take place on Saturday – the Griffons face the Cheetahs in Welkom (2pm) and Griquas entertain the Sharks from 4pm in Kimberley.