The Sharks triumphed in Welkom to move to the top of the Currie Cup log, while the Lions and Vodacom Bulls secured crucial wins to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Durbanites took some time to get into the contest against the Griffons on Friday. A fine second-half performance, however, earned them a 35-9 win as well as a bonus-point.
Griquas did the Sharks a favour when they held the Free State Cheetahs to a 29-29 draw in Bloemfontein on Saturday. Thanks to that result, the Durbanites have overtaken the Free Staters at the top of the standings.
The Cheetahs managed to accumulate three log points from the draw. The upshot is that they are just two log points behind the Sharks with two rounds to play, and still very much in the hunt for a home semi-final.
The Pumas suffered a campaign-threatening 24-17 loss to the Bulls on Saturday. The defending champions currently sit in third place in the standings, and are five log points behind the second-placed Free Staters.
The scrap for fourth spot took another interesting turn over the weekend. Due to the shock losses for the home teams in Cape Town and Nelspruit, three sides – Western Province, the Lions and the Bulls – sit on 31 log points after 12 rounds. Province, despite a 32-12 defeat to the Lions, remain in fourth place by virtue of their superior points difference.
Griquas aren’t out of the playoff race either. While they are currently in seventh place, they are one log point behind the aforementioned trio, and six behind the third-placed Pumas. They could climb the rankings if they upset WP in the next round.
Looking ahead to round 13, Griquas host WP on Friday in Kimberley (3pm), before the Bulls and Griffons clash at Loftus Versfeld (5:05pm). In the remaining fixtures of the weekend, the Pumas and Cheetahs will face off in Nelspruit (5pm), with the Sharks and Lions set to lock horns at Kings Park on Saturday (7:05pm).