No major Easter surprises in the SA Cup

rugby31 March 2024 14:00
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Pumas © Gallo Images

The four Currie Cup Premier Division sides continued their strong start in the SA Cup when all of them registered convincing victories in this weekend’s second-round matches, while there was also a good win for the Phangela SWD Eagles.

The five matches on Easter Weekend delivered a total of 54 tries, with the Toyota Cheetahs scoring 12 times, Suzuki Griquas 10 and Airlink Pumas nine.

The action started on Thursday in Kempton Park, where Griquas comfortably won the opening fixture of round two by 66-25 over the Valke, and in Friday’s early evening clash, the Pumas netted a 61-0 win over Eastern Province in Nelspruit.

Three matches were played on Saturday afternoon, with the Eagles defeating Border 40-25 in East London in their all-First Division affair; the Cheetahs romping home by 76-5 in their meeting with the Leopards in Potchefstroom; and visiting NovaVit Griffons edging Sanlam Boland Kavaliers by 34-31 in Wellington.

After two rounds of action, the four Premier Division sides are all equal on 10 points each after two wins, with the Griquas sitting top of the table thanks to a superior points difference, followed by the Cheetahs, Pumas and Griffons.

All 10 teams will be in action again next weekend in the third round of the new competition, with matches scheduled for Friday (Cheetahs v Pumas), Saturday (Griquas v Border Bulldogs; Boland Kavaliers v Valke and EP v SWD Eagles), and Sunday (Griffons v Leopards).


The Valke struggled to contain the well-oiled Griquas in their Thursday afternoon clash at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park, where the hosts lost the opening clash of round two by 66-25, after falling behind 19-6 at the break.

The men from Kimberley ran in 10 tries, two of which were scored by loose forward Thabo Ndimane, while Lubabablo Dobela (flyhalf) and George Whitehead (replacement flyhalf) succeeded with eight of the conversions between them.

Pivot Keagan Fortune succeeded with two penalty goals and two conversions for the home side.


Valke 25 (6) – Tries: Kayden Kiewit, Thabo Ntunja, Anrich Richter. Conversions: Keagan Fortune (2). Penalty goals: Fortune (2).

Suzuki Griquas 66 (19) – Tries: Thabo Ndimande (2), Stephan Smit, Thomas Bursey, Dylan Maart, Sango Xamlashe, Marcqiewn Titus, Cameron Hufke, Sean Swart, Kudzwai Dube. Conversions: Lubabalo Dobela (5), George Whitehead (3).


On Friday afternoon in the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, the Pumas ran in nine tries and kicked eight conversions to defeat Eastern Province 61-0 in their second-round encounter.

EP leaked 42 points in the first half and although they defended better in the second half, the Lowvelders still managed to score 19 unanswered points.

Loose forward Jaco Labuschagne and replacement hooker Darnell Osuagwu each went over for a brace of tries, while flyhalf Clinton Swart hit the target with eight of his team's nine conversions.


Airlink Pumas 61 (42) – Tries: Jaco Labuschagne (2), Darnell Osuagwu (2), Dewald Maritz, Ross Braude, Tino Swanepoel, Llewellyn Classen, Giovan Snyman. Conversions: Clinton Swart (8).

Eastern Province 0


The visiting SWD Eagles held a slender 14-13 halftime lead over hosts the Border Bulldogs on Saturday in East London, before the Southern Cape side pulled away in the second half to secure a deserved 40-25 win in the Sisa Dukashe Stadium.

Loose forward Damon Royle had a good game and scored two of the Eagles’ seven tries, which included a penalty try, while inside centre Jade Stoffels succeeded with four out of five conversion kicks.

For Border, Layron Milborrow scored eight points via two penalty goals and a conversion.


Border 25 (13) – Tries: Luphumlo Mbiko, Onke Dubase, Simuthembile Ntleki. Conversions: Merlin Du Plessis, Layron Milborrow. Penalty goals: Milborrow (2).

Phangela SWD Eagles 40 (14) – Tries: Damon Royle (2), Deon Carstens, Thoubaan Gabriels, Mpho Ntsane, Penalty Try. Conversion kicks: Jade Stoffels (4).


Springboks Oupa Mohoje (loose forward) and Sbu Nkosi (right wing) were among the five players who scored two tries each for the Cheetahs in their 76-5 runaway victory over the Leopards in Potchefstroom on Saturday.

The visitors from Free State raced into a halftime lead of 52 points with no reply, before going on to score 12 tries in total in a comprehensive victory.

Replacement hooker Cohen Wortley scored the Leopards’ consolation try in the second half.


Leopards 5 (0) – Try: Cohen Wortley.

Toyota Cheetahs 76 (52) – Tries: Munier Hartzenberg (2), Sbu Nkosi (2), Gideon van der Merwe (2), Oupa Mohoje (2), Andy Ntsila (2), Marnus van der Merwe, Sibabalwe Xamlashe. Conversions: Reinhardt Fortuin (6), Andell Loubser (2).


For a second week in a row, the Kavaliers were involved in a high-scoring and thrilling match, however this time they finished on the wrong side of the scoreline when the Griffons snatched a close-fought 34-31 win on Saturday in Wellington.

The purple jerseys had the better of the first half exchanges and led 24-19 at the interval, and although the home side matched their tally of five tries, it was the side from Welkom who managed to edge home.

In the end, it was a successful penalty goal that separated the teams. For the Kavaliers, flyhalf Darian Hock succeeded with three conversions, while they also had five different try scorers.

Hooker Dandre Delport and fullback Domenic Smit each went over twice for the Welkom outfit.

Flyhalf Danrich Visagie proved the difference between the two sides when he slotted the match winning penalty goal, on top of his three conversions.


Sanlam Boland Kavaliers 31 (19) – Tries: Emile Booysen, Chriswill September, Cornell Engelbrecht, Xavier Mitchell, Riaan Louw. Conversions: Darian Hock (3)

NovaVit Griffons 34 (24) – Tries: Dandre Delport (2), Soso Xakalashe, Domenic Smit (2). Conversions: Danrich Visagie (3). Penalty goal: Visagie.