Vodacom Cup wrap: Round 4
The Pumas and Sharks XV are still the only teams in the Vodacom Cup with perfect records and held onto their positions at the top of the North and South Section respectively with solid away victories this weekend.
They are followed, in the south, by the Argentinean Pampas, who’ve won three on the trot after a draw in the opening round, and in the north by the Leopards XV, who recorded an impressive win in Pretoria over the Blue Bulls.
Former Springbok flyhalf André Pretorius was the Leopards’ hero as he kicked 23 points in the Potchefstroom team’s 33-26 win at Loftus B on Saturday afternoon. He landed eight of his nine attempts at goal to help his side to an unlikely victory after trailing by 14 points early in the second half.
The Pumas stepped up a number of gears after the break and 'won' second half 34-7, scoring almost a point a minute, as they beat Griquas by an impressive 47-31 in Kimberley on Friday afternoon.
With 36 minutes gone, it was looking good for the home team, who were leading by 24-7 at that stage. But then the Pumas started playing some serious attacking rugby and tore Griquas apart in the second half, with Carl Bezuidenhout contributing 15 of the visitors’ points.
Also on Friday, the Down Touch Griffons scored three tries in the space of 19 minutes to beat the Golden Lions for the first time in the Vodacom Cup since their victory in the opening season in 1998, when they won by 30-19 at the North West Stadium in Welkom on a Friday night.
Flyhalf Hansie Graaff was instrumental in the win – he kicked half the Griffons’ points with three conversions, two penalty goals and a 70th minute drop goal.
In a bottom-of-the-log North Section clash, the Valke were too strong for the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls, winning their match in Tzaneen by a convincing 69-7. A familiar name on the score sheet was that of former Springbok speedster Jongi Nokwe, who scored three of the Valke’s tries, with his team-mate JP Mostert bagging four.
Round four action in the South Section kicked off in George on Friday evening, where Sharks XV flyhalf Fred Zeilinga, the top points’ scorer in the Vodacom Cup thus far this season, delivered another impressive kicking display that helped his team hold off a brave South Western Districts Eagles by 26-22 at Outeniqua Park.
With 15 minutes to go, the Eagles were ahead by 22-16, but a fourth penalty goal by Zeilinga, as well as a converted try by replacement wing Sean Robinson with 10 minutes to go, was the difference between the two teams in the end.
On Saturday in Paarl, reigning Vodacom Cup champions DHL Western Province had to work hard to beat the last placed team in the South Section, the Border Bulldogs, by 22-13.
Also on Saturday, the EP Kings showed that they probably enjoy playing away from home more when they beat the Toyota Free State XV by 17-13 in Bloemfontein. It was the Kings’ second away victory in as many matches this season. In their two home games, they drew and lost.
In the final match in the South, 2011 champions, the Standard Bank Pumas, played some scintillating running rugby in their convincing 65-23 win over the Regent Boland Cavaliers in Wellington.
All the scorers (click on the link for the match breakdown):
Griquas – Tries: Deon Carney, Jonathan Adendorf, Leon Karemaker, Richard Lawson. Conversions: Pieter-Steyn de Wet (4). Penalty: De Wet.
Pumas – Tries: Carl Bezuidenhout, JW Bell, Renaldo Bothma, Rosko Specman (2), Stefan Watermeyer, Wilhelm Loock. Conversions: Bezuidenhout (5), Tiaan Marx.
Griffons – Tries: Japie Nel, Shane Hancke, Vuyo Mbotho. Conversions: Hansie Graaff (3). Penalty goals: Graaff (2). Drop goal: Graaff.
Golden Lions – Tries: Ruaan Lerm, Vian van der Watt. Penalty goals: Marais Schmidt (3).
SWD Eagles – Try: Mzo Dyantyi. Conversion: Jeff Taljard. Penalty goals: Taljard (5).
Sharks XV – Tries: Francois Kleynhans, Sean Robinson. Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (2). Penalty goals: Zeilinga (4).
Free State XV – Tries: Ludwig Erasmus, Teboho Mohoje. Penalty goal: Tewis de Bruyn.
EP Kings – Try: Wayne Stevens. Penalty goals: Scott van Breda (4).
Limpopo Blue Bulls – Try: Rory Cresswell. Coversion: Bronwyn Craill.
Valke – Tries: Marco van Eeden, Arno Poley, JP Mostert (4), Russel van Wyk, Jongi Nokwe (3), Coert Cronje. Conversions: Juan Kotze (6), Cronje.
Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Brendon April, Cheslin Roberts, Ulrich Pretorius, Tythan Adams. Penalty goal: Ricardo Croy.
Pampas – Tries: Santiago Gonzales Iglesias (2), Tomas de la Vega, Manuel Montero (2), Martin Landajo (2), Martin Garcia Veiga. Conversions: Iglesias (6), Benjamin Madero (2). Penalty goals: Iglesias: (3).
WP – Tries: Chris Cloete, Devon Williams, Jody Reyneke. Conversions: Coleman (2). Penalty goal: Coleman.
Border Bulldogs – Tries: Duane Adams, Juan Bester. Penalty goal: Karlo Aspelling.
Blue Bulls – Tries: Jean Cook, Roelof Smit. Conversions: Tony Jantjies (2). Penalty goals: Jantjies (4).
Leopards XV – Tries: Rhyk Welgemoed, Morné Hanekom; Conversion: Andre Pretorius; Penalties: Andre Pretorius (7).