Currie Cup First Division semifinalists confirmed

The 2009 Currie Cup First Division semifinalists have been confirmed with the Pumas set to host the Mighty Elephants in Witbank while the Griffons will travel to George for their playoff match against the SWD Eagles.

The Eagles secured the crucial second position on the log and a home semifinal following their 18-16 victory over the Elephants at Outeniqua Park on Saturday evening.

In Welkom, the Pumas suffered their first defeat of the season after the Griffons shocked the log leaders to win 35-24 on Saturday.

The result had no impact on the log and ensured that the visitors end the season in pole position in the competition.

The victory for the Griffons, however, ensured they ended the season boasting an undefeated home record at the North West Stadium.

Former Springbok utility back Gaffie du Toit was the star performer for the Eagles in their match against the Elephants, and kicked six penalties as the hosts secured themselves a home semifinal fixture.

The Port Elizabeth team were rewarded with one try which was scored by Wesley Dunlop, and converted by Carl Bezuidenhout converted his try and also slotted three penalties.

“We are extremely happy with the result and this is exactly what we have been working for – a home semifinal,” said Eagles coach Johann Lerm.

“It’s going to be important for us to not get ahead of ourselves now and take each game as it comes for the rest of the season.

“We set ourselves goals at the start of the season and it’s great to be in charge of this side as we work to achieving those goals.”

Griffons prop Sewes Oosthuizen scored a brace of tries and was the star performer for the hosts who secured maximum points against the Pumas in Welkom.

The other try scorers were Eddie Fredericks, Roelof Steyn and Werner Griesel. Veteran flyhalf Kennedy Tsimba, who missed four penalty kicks at goal, converted all five tries.

The Pumas managed to score three tries thanks to Hannes Franklin, MJ Mentz and Tiaan Marx. Braam Pretorius converted all three tries and also kicked one penalty.

In the other First Division match of the weekend, the Border Bulldogs secured their second victory of the season by defeating the Valke 39-15 in a bottom-of-the-log clash in East London on Saturday.

The hosts ran in five tries thanks to Lolo Waka, Matthew Taljaard, Reinhardt Gerber, Thembani Mkokeli and Yongama Mkaza. Gerber kicked two conversions and two penalties while Ghafoer Luckan also converted one try.

Johannes de Bruin and Wensley Mbanje both scored tries for the Valke, while Jan Adriaan van der Merwe kicked one conversion and a penalty.

The defeat ensured that the visitors, who were relegated to the First Division after competing in last season’s Premier Division, would fill last position on the log.

The Valke also failed to win any fixtures in the competition this year.

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