Vodacom wrap: Round Six
While the four teams who will contest the Vodacom Cup quarter-finals from the South Section have been decided, the race to get into the play-offs in the North Section is not over yet after the penultimate round of pool action.
And to add some spice, next weekend four of the top five teams in the North Section take on each other in two highly anticipated clashes. The defending champion Golden Lions (currently fourth on the log) host 2013’s runners-up the Pumas (first), while Griquas (second) have to travel to North West province to take on the Leopards XV (fifth).
The Blue Bulls (third) host their neighbours to the north, the Limpopo Blue Bulls, in Pretoria and a likely win should cement their place in the quarter-finals.
Of the top five, only the Leopards XV lost in round six when they went down to the Pumas in Middelburg on Saturday afternoon (44-31), where big Rudi Matthee scored two of the winning team’s tries.
The Golden Lions carded the first century of points for 2014 when they trounced the Limpopo Blue Bulls by 110-0 in Polokwane on Saturday, and on Friday afternoon Griquas and the Blue Bulls were too strong for the Valke (64-34) and Griffons (49-10) respectively in two high scoring matches.
Loose forward Carel Greeff scored three tries for the team from the Northern Cape in Kempton Park while four of the Blue Bulls’ six tries were scored by prop Hencus van Dyk and full-back Clayton Blommetjies, who both crossed the Griffons’ tryline twice in Welkom.
The top four in the South Section will be the Sharks XV, Western Province, Free State XV and SWD Eagles. However, their final positions on the log will only be confirmed after next weekend’s last round of pool matches.
On a very hot Saturday afternoon at City Park in Cape Town, the Sharks XV and Western Province cemented their positions at the top of the South Section log with good victories.
First, the visiting KwaZulu-Natalians scored four tries on their way to a 40-3 win over the Tusker Simba XV from Kenya, after which Western Province ground out a great 28-15 win over the Free State XV.
Despite beating the Boland Cavaliers by 28-21 in Port Elizabeth on Friday evening, the EP Kings will not qualify for the quarter-finals this year as they were basically knocked out by neighbouring SWD Eagles.
The Eagles’ bonus-point 40-26 win over the Border Bulldogs in East London was enough to ensure they finish in the top four of the South Section. Veteran speedster Alshaun Bock scored four tries for the visitors from George, who took advantage of the Bulldogs’ poor defence and handling errors.