The Currie Cup Premier Division – sponsored by Direct Axis Financial Services – saw a big reshuffle of log positions after round five of the country’s premier domestic competition delivered a dramatic weekend of action and results.
The Xerox Golden Lions suffered a nail-biting first defeat at the hands of the visiting Vodacom Blue Bulls at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday afternoon (31-26), but manage to move into top spot of the log, albeit to a better points’ difference than Tafel Lager Griquas, who had a bye.
The defeat of the Joburg pride means that all teams tasted defeat so far in the tournament, with the gut-wrenching 27-20 defeat of the Toyota Free State Cheetahs to the Cell C Sharks in Durban consigning them to two defeats in a row.
The Bloemfontein side hung onto third place on the log, but with only two rounds of regular play left they would want to change their fortunes and pick up momentum as the play-offs loom.
The Durbanites had to win to keep their play-off hopes intact and did so with a last minute score, while the Vodacom Blue Bulls also moved past the Phakisa Pumas, who propped up the log.
The Nelspruit side travelled to Cape Town on Friday, where a Bok-laden DHL Western Province side had too much to offer and won on a canter. The bonus-point win by the Cape side moved them into fourth place on the log and right back in contention.
Jaguares XV dominates First Division
In the Currie Cup First Division, sponsored by Direct Axis Financial Services The Jaguares XV do not seem to have any peers in the Currie Cup First Division – sponsored by Direct Axis Financial Services – after earning their sixth consecutive win of the competition on Saturday with a massive win over the Valke. They are cantering away with ease on the overall log, leaving a clustered bunch of contenders fighting for the other play-off spot.
The Down Touch Griffons, Valke, EP Elephants, Leopards and Boland are all chasing the second spot on the log, after the Welkom, Port Elizabeth and Potchefstroom sides registered important wins over the weekend.
Scoring summaries Premier Division:
Cell C Sharks 27 (17), Toyota Cheetahs 20 (12)
- Cell C Sharks: Tries: Lwazi Mvovo, Aphelele Fassi. Kobus van Wyk. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2), Rhyno Smith. Penalties: Bosch. Drop goal: Bosch.
- Toyota Cheetahs: Tries: Joseph Dweba, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Carel-Jan Coetzee. Conversions: Louis Fouche. Penalties: Fouche.
Xerox Golden Lions 26 (12), Vodacom Blue Bulls 31 (18)
- Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Shaun Reynolds, Stean Pienaar, Pieter Jansen, Penalty Try. Conversions: Reynolds (3).
- Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Cornal Hendricks, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Manie Libbok. Conversions: Manie Libbok (2). Penalties: Libbok (4).
DHL Western Province 45 (31), Phakisa Pumas 14 (7)
- DHL Western Province – Tries: Seabelo Senatla (2), Sergeal Petersen, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Justin Philips, Ernst van Ryhn, Ruhan Nel. Conversions: Josh Stander (3), Jean-Luc du Plessis (2).
- Phakisa Pumas: Tries: Alwayno Visagie, Chris Smith. Conversions: Chris Smith (2).