Vodacom Cup wrap: Round 5
The Pumas set a new record for the biggest victory ever in South African first class rugby when they beat the Limpopo Blue Bulls 154-0 in their Vodacom Cup clash in Nelspruit on Saturday.
It was a weekend of big scores, with one century of points and three 50s in the eight encounters as the top teams started their push for the play-offs.
The previous record, a 153-point win, was held by Lowveld with their 163-10 victory over Transkei in 1994. The Pumas’ 154 points is the second most ever scored in South Africa, and surpassed Western Province’s 151-3 win over the Valke (then still called Eastern Transvaal) in 1995.
Former Springbok Sevens flyer Danwel Demas scored four of the Pumas’ 22 tries. They lead 70-0 at half-time. Jaco Bouwer and JW Bell scored three tries each, while the home team’s two fly-halves, Carl Bezuidenhout and Coenie van Wyk, converted 11 each.
This North Section win secured the Pumas a place in the quarter-finals and the smart money has to be on them to qualify for home field advantage in the playoff.
The Sharks XV, the only other unbeaten team in the Vodacom Cup, needs one log point in the South Section to secure a play-off spot, with only two league matches remaining before the quarter-finals.
The KwaZulu-Natalians secured a comfortable 54-24 win over the Boland Cavaliers in Durban on Friday afternoon, with Brynard Stander bagging two tries and Fred Zeilinga moving to 100 season points thanks to a personal haul of 24 points with the boot.
Also in the South Section, EP Kings wingers Yamkela Ngam and Siyanda Grey both bagged two tries as they beat the SWD Eagles by 52-10 at the NMMU Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday. The hosts ran in seven tries against their Southern Kings franchise partners.
Western Province, the defending champions, fought back in the second half of their match against 2011 champions, the Pampas XV, at Newlands.
Early in the second half, the Argentineans lead by 17-5, but the Capetonians never gave up and ended up winning by 28-17 after scoring 23 unanswered points in the last 35 minutes.
The Free State XV scored four tries – two of them by their captain, Tertius Daniller, as they won only their second match of the season by beating a gallant Border Bulldogs side by 26-25 in a thrilling match at the University of Fort Hare in Alice on Saturday.
In the North Section, the Blue Bulls were far too good for the Valke as they clinched a 74-14 win at Hugenote High School on Saturday afternoon. The three-time champions scored 12 tries, with Sampie Mastriet bagging four and three players – Courtnall Skosan, Travis Ismail and former SA Under-20 captain Wiaan Liebenberg – scoring two tries each.
Mastriet (left wing) got his first three tries within the first 25 minutes and scored his fourth early in the second half during this one-sided match.
On Friday afternoon, the Golden Lions resurrected their hopes of a playoff place thanks to a hard-fought 24-11 victory over Griquas at the UJ Stadium in Johannesburg.
It was the Golden Lions’ second win of the season and a very vital victory, as it kept them in the hunt for a quarter-final berth.
The Leopards XV remained in second position on the North Section log with a good 27-7 win over the Griffons in Potchefstroom on Friday afternoon. Winger Danie Dames scored two tries, but an electrical storm saw play suspended for 33 minutes early in the match.