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Three teams break away from the chasing pack

Posted on Monday, 08 Apr 2024

Three teams break away from the chasing pack

The Suzuki Griquas, Airlink Pumas and NovaVit Griffons continued with their winning streak in the third round of SA Cup, while there were also important wins for the Sanlam Boland Kavaliers and the Phangela SWD Eagles.

The NovaVit Griffons outplayed the Leopards 42-10 on Sunday afternoon in Welkom in the last fixture of the round.

On Saturday, the Sanlam Boland Kavaliers registered their first win of the campaign when they defeated Valke 29-13 in Wellington; the Eagles edged Eastern Province 24-23 in an entertaining encounter in Gqerberha; while flyhalf and skipper George Whitehead scored 49 points as Suzuki Griquas overpowered Border 119-5 in Kimberley.

In the opening game of the round, on Friday, Airlink Pumas got the third-round action underway with a comprehensive 50-0 victory over a young Toyota Cheetahs side in Bloemfontein.

Their third win in a row allowed Suzuki Griquas to stretch their tally to 15 league points, the same amount as the Airlink Pumas and NovaVit Griffons. However, the men from Kimberley have a far superior points difference, which has seen them retain top spot on the log.

The Eagles' win over EP increased their total to ten points, the same amount as Toyota Cheetahs. Thanks to their first victory, the Kavaliers moved to seven points, which is one more than EP and five points better than the Valke.

Border and Leopards complete the standings, with both still searching for their first league points. Five more games will take place in next weekend’s fourth round action.

Griffons hunt down Leopards in Welkom

The NovaVit Griffons ran in five tries and were awarded a penalty try as they beat the Leopards 42-10 on Sunday in Welkom.

The hosts led 28-3 at halftime and continued their dominance after the interval for a third straight win in the competition.

Inside centre Danrich Visagie delivered a solid performance for the Welkom side by scoring one of their tries and succeeding with all five conversions. Although the Leopards gave good account of themselves at times, they still suffered their third defeat in a row which leaves them bottom of the log.

Scorers:

NovaVit Griffons 42 (28) – Tries: Domenic Smit, Duren Hoffman, Wikus Nieuwenhuis, Chadley Wenn, Danrich Visagie, Penalty Try. Conversions: Visagie (5).

Leopards 10 (3) – Try: Buhle Qaba. Conversion: Marius Viviers. Penalty goal: Viviers.

April’s accurate boot steers Boland to first victory

Sanlam Boland Kavaliers rallied from 7-13 down at halftime to score three tries and kept the visiting Valke scoreless in the second stanza to net their first win of the campaign, by 29-13.

The Kavaliers scored four tries to one in the end for a deserving triumph in an entertaining match in front of their passionate supporters in Wellington.

Flyhalf Garth April kicked three conversions for the home side, while their tries were dotted down by four different scorers. Keagan Fortune (flyhalf) succeeded with two penalty goals and a conversion for the Valke.

Scorers:

Sanlam Boland Kavaliers 29 (13) – Tries: Thurlow Marsh, Jurick Lewis, Riaan Louw, Bentley Geldenhuys. Conversions: Garth April (3).

Valke 13 (13) – Try: Eddie Evans. Conversion: Keagan Fortune. Penalty goals: Fortune (2).

SWD Eagles snatch vital win in Gqeberha

Despite finishing their SA Cup clash against the Phangela SWD Eagles with three players in the sin bin due to two yellows and a red, Eastern Province came close to victory against their western neighbours at the Wolfson Stadium, where the game finished 24-23 in favour of the visitors from George.

The Eagles led the derby 12-9 at halftime, and despite outscoring EP by four tries to one (and a penalty try), they had to fight off a ferocious onslaught from their determined hosts in the second half.

EP flyhalf Ruben de Vos kept his side within touching distance of the visitors by slotting three penalty goals, while replacement hooker Sithembiso Befile dived over for a converted try, which was followed by a penalty try to set up a nail-biting finish.

However, the visitors managed to grab the win in dramatic fashion, with Rosco Syster (fullback) scoring two of their four tries, including the late winner when EP had three players off the field for transgressions.

Replacement prop Duncan du Buisson saw a red card midway through the second half for a high tackle, while his team-mates Gerrit Huisamen (loose forward) and Ruan Claassen (replacement loose forward) were yellow carded for repeated team offences when the rampant Eagles were piling on the pressure.

Scorers:

Eastern Province 23 (9) – Tries: Sithembiso Befile, Penalty Try. Conversion: Darryle Kameel. Penalty goals: Ruben de Vos (3).

Phangela SWD Eagles 24 (12) – Tries: Ethan Stuurman, Stone Cloete, Rosco Syster (2). Conversions: Joshua Vermeulen, Jade Stoffels.

Whitehead stars in Griquas' romp over Border

Suzuki Griquas overpowered Border Bulldogs 119-5 in their Saturday afternoon clash in Kimberley, where the home side ran in an astonishing 17 tries, with skipper and flyhalf George Whitehead playing a major role in the rout.

The hosts were already 42-5 in front at halftime and piled on the pressure after the break to more than double their points tally in the end.

Three players scored hat-tricks for the men from Kimberley, namely Whitehead, Carl Els (No 8) and Dylan Maart (right wing), while Whitehead also succeeded with an incredible 17 conversions for a personal tally of 49 points.

Scorers:

Suzuki Griquas 119 (42) – Tries: Carl Els (3), George Whitehead (3), Dylan Maart (3), Willem van der Walt (2), Athenkosi Khethani, Niel Otto, Xavier Swartbooi, Connor Mahoney, Bingo Ivanisevic, Sango Xamlashe. Conversions: Whitehead (17).

Border 5 (5) – Try: Simuthembile Ntleki.

Pumas outmuscle young Free Staters in Bloem

On Friday evening, Airlink Pumas hooker Llewellyn Classen, right wing Stefan Coetzee and replacement hooker Darnell Osuagwu each dotted down twice as the visitors from Mpumalanga ran in seven tries without reply to beat the Toyota Cheetahs by 50-0.

Flyhalf Clinton Swart also had a good day with the kicking boot as he converted six of the tries.

With the bulk of their senior squad in action in the EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16 clash in France, the young Free State side couldn’t cope with the brute power of the visitors, who showed no signs of slowing down in the second half despite their 24-0 halftime advantage.

Scorers:

Toyota Cheetahs 0

Airlink Pumas 50 (24) – Tries: Llewellyn Classen (2), Stefan Coetzee (2), Darnell Osuagwu (2), Ross Braude. Conversions: Clinton Swart (6).

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