Top teams triumph in SA Cup

rugby13 May 2024 09:16
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Richman Gora © Gallo Images

The penultimate round of the SA Cup brought forth a series of high-calibre matches, with the top four teams all keeping their final hopes alive with the conclusion of the group stage in sight.

In an impressive display, all of the top four teams secured victories, spearheaded by Suzuki Griquas, followed closely by the Airlink Pumas, NovaVit Griffons, and Toyota Cheetahs. Unfortunately for the fifth-placed Sanlam Boland Kavaliers, defeat in Mpumalanga ended their hopes of reaching the final.

The weekend's action commenced with the Toyota Cheetahs dominating the Border Bulldogs in East London, securing a bonus point victory with a resounding 57-14 triumph.

Although the Bloemfonteiners’ hopes for a final appearance linger, they stand fourth, trailing the second-placed Pumas by four points, and with a bit of luck, they can still sneak into the top-two.

The Bulldogs struggled yet again as their dry run to put some points on the board continued and they are still last on the log.

The Sanlam Boland Kavaliers faced a crushing 49-0 defeat against the Airlink Pumas at Mbombela Stadium, shattering their playoff aspirations. Despite the defeat which has ruled them out of contention for the final, the Kavaliers remain entrenched in fifth place.

The Airlink Pumas still have a strong grip on second place and they will be aiming to extend their winning streak and secure a final spot, trailing the leaders by a mere four points.

In a thrilling 17-try clash at Suzuki Stadium in Kimberley, the Phangela SWD Eagles showcased a commendable performance against the log leading Suzuki Griquas. Despite falling short in a 53-75 loss, SWD's high-scoring effort propelled them to sixth place based on points’ difference, tied with Valke and Eastern Province on 13 log points.

However, Suzuki Griquas are still leading the pack comfortably, and this victory over SWD – where Cameron Hufke and Zane Bester both managed to score hat-tricks – meant that a draw in the final round will be enough to secure them the hosting rights for the final, which is scheduled for Saturday, 25 May.

A hat-trick from Valentino Wellman took his team, the Valke, from the bottom two thanks to a massive victory over the Leopards, beating them by 50-19 in Kempton Park on Saturday. This victory catapulted the East Randers from ninth to seventh on the log, but the Leopards dropped one position and find themselves in 9th spot with 11 points.

In Sunday's lone match, the NovaVit Griffons claimed a crucial 45-19 victory over Eastern Province as they maintained their third position, which gives them an outside chance to reach the finals should one of the front-runners trip up tine final round. The side from Gqeberha dropped to eighth place on the leaderboard.

The final round of action this coming weekend will see the top four sides in action against each other, which effectively makes it a “semifinal”, with final log positions far from guaranteed.


Border Bulldogs 14 Toyota Cheetahs 57

Border – Tries: Simuthembile Ntleki, Sakhekile Dingile. Conversions: Merlin Du Plesis (2).

Toyota Cheetahs – Tries: Louis van der Westhuizen, Pierre-Raymond Uys, Mzwanele Zito, Litha Nkula, Jooste Nel, Andell Loubser, Marnus van der Merwe, Ruan Pienaar, Tapiwa Mafura. Conversions: Ethan Wentzel (3), Loubser (2), Pienaar.

Airlink Pumas 49 Sanlam Boland Kavaliers 0

Airlink Pumas – Tries: Ruwald van der Merwe, Kwanda Dimaza, Clinton Swart, Lundi Msenge, De-an Ackermann, Stefan Coetzee (2). Conversions: Swart (6), Gene Willemse.

Suzuki Griquas 75 Phangela SWD Eagles 53

Suzuki Griquas – Tries: Janco Uys, Carl Els, Sako Makata, Zane Bester (3), Connor Mahoney, Cameron Hufke (3), Mnombo Zwelendaba. Conversions: George Whitehead (10).

Phangela SWD Eagles – Tries: Uzile Tele, Stone Cloete, Deon Carstens, Rosco Syster (2), Wayne Khan. Conversions: Sachin Toring, Joshua Vermeulen, Marlo Weich. Penalty goal: Vermeulen.

Valke 50 Leopards 19

Valke – Tries: Pierre Rabie, Zingisa April, Ezrick Alexander (2), Valentino Wellman (3), Anrich Richter. Conversions: Sergio Stalmeester (2), Richter (3).

Leopards – Tries: Charles Williams, Naiden Jaarts (2). Conversions: Williams (2).

NovaVit Griffons 45 Eastern Province 19

NovaVit Griffons – Tries: HP van Schoor, Rian Olivier, Richman Gora, Gurshwin Wehr, Randy Fillies, Duren Hoffman (2). Conversions: Danrich Visagie (5).

EP – Tries: Jayden Bantom, Mbembe Payi (2). Conversions: Ruben de Vos (2).