WP run rampage over Lions

Xerox Golden Lions went down at the hands of DHL Western Province over the weekend in front of their home crowd.

The Lions under-performed and their defence was shredded at will by a determined WP side. The Capetonians beat the Lions 65-38 on September 15 at Emirates Airlines Park in a Currie Cup encounter.

DHL Western Province took a big leap toward securing home ground advantage in the Currie Cup semi-finals as the Vodacom Blue Bulls remained in contention for a top-four spot and the Toyota Free State Cheetahs dropped out of the race in a decisive weekend of action.

Defending Champions, DHL Western Province, and the Cell C Sharks, who had a bye this weekend, are now the only undefeated teams in the competition.

The Capetonians blew the Xerox Golden Lions off the park in a 103-point thriller, with DHL WP outplaying their Johannesburg rivals. Such was the high quality of their attack, they scored an impressive nine tries, five in the first half, with man-of-the-match Dillyn Leyds and Sergeal Petersen each scoring twice.

The hosts fought back with intent after the break to add 28 points to their score, but they were unable to contain the visitors on defence and suffered their first defeat of the season.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls started their clash against the iCOLLEGE Pumas in Pretoria with a bang knowing that a bonus-point victory was vital to remain in contention for a semi-final berth, and they crossed the try line three times in the first 21 minutes. They wrapped up their bonus-point before half-time thanks to Jade Stighling’s second five-pointer.

The Mpumalanga outfit fought hard to stay in the match and they succeeded in earning a bonus-point for tries on the stroke of full time, but the damage inflicted by the hosts in the first half was enough for a 39-29 victory.

In Kimberley, Tafel Lager Griquas delivered a superb second-half display to overpower the Toyota Free State Cheetahs 52-24 for their first victory of the season. The result left the men from Kimberley with a slim mathematical chance of advancing to the semi-final in the next few weeks, while the defeat for their Bloemfontein neighbours eliminated them from the race.

The home side trailed 24-14 at half-time, but they burst into life after the break and scored five tries while denying their central counterparts from adding to their score for the rewarding victory. FP Pelser and George Whitehead proved to be key figures, contributing two tries, and 17 points from the boot respectively.

Currie Cup First Division

Victories by the SWD Eagles, Boland Cavaliers and Border Bulldogs breathed a new life into the Currie Cup First Division as only five points separate the log-leaders from the fifth-place team as the final stages draw closer.

The SWD Eagles leaped into the top spot on the log temporarily after staging a dramatic second-half comeback against the Hino Valke in Kempton Park from 22-12 down to win 36-34. Both teams scored six tries, but an extra conversion by SWD was the difference on the scoreboard in the end.

A penalty goal by Boland’s Damian Stevens was also decisive in their 48-45 victory against the Down Touch Griffons in Welkom, as both teams scored seven tries and kicked five conversions. The hosts dominated proceedings in the first half and led 21-7, but Boland regained their composure after the break and stamped their authority for the vital away-win.

HEAD COACH: Xerox Golden Lions Head coach Ivan Cash Van Rooyen said that they will have to work harder to maintain their Currie Cup log position.
Photo: Annette van Schalkwyk

Braces by the Border Bulldogs’ Sipho Nofemele and Soso Mqalo steered the team to them to back-to-back victories as they defeated Eastern Province 39-26 in East London. Their fine attacking display earned them seven tries, while their Eastern Cape neighbours salvaged a bonus point thanks to their four tries.

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