Pumas still on top in Currie Cup First Division

The Pumas built on their fantastic start to the Currie Cup First Division as they held on for their eighth back-to-back win, while the SWD Eagles rose to second place on the log in an entertaining weekend of rugby.

The Pumas were made to work hard on Friday to hold onto their 33-32 victory and unbeaten status as the EP Kings delivered a fine performance in Nelspruit, while the SWD Eagles defeated a determined Border Bulldogs outfit 36-31 with a bonus point to leapfrog the Leopards on the log table.

In Saturday’s games the Leopards shut out the Boland Cavaliers for a 22-17 victory in Potchefstroom and the Griffons outplayed the Valke 50-35 in Welkom.

Pumas vs EP Kings

The clash in Nelspruit proved to be epic as the Pumas met their match in an EP Kings outfit strengthened by a number of returning Vodacom Super Rugby players.

The Kings made their presence felt early on with wing Michael Killian scoring the first of the team’s five tries in the fourth minute, which was backed up by another compliments of fullback Scott van Breda in the 28th minute.

Van Breda also slotted over a penalty to cancel out one by Pumas’ points machine Carl Bezuidenhout, which put his team 13-3 ahead. But Pumas hooker Jacques Momberg crashed over the tryline on the stroke of halftime to close the gap to 13-8.

The game opened up in the second half with both teams showing more innovation on attack, and they reaped the rewards.

The Kings had the first say after the break as Carl Bezuidenhout slotted over the second of his three penalties to add to two tries in three minutes by Steven Sykes and Tiger Mangweni.

But a hat-trick of tries by Pumas captain RW Kember, one of which was in the dying seconds, cancelled out the Kings’ third try of the half by scrumhalf Nicolas Vergallo and sealed the victory.

Unfortunately for the Kings three missed conversions and one unsuccessful penalty did not assist their cause.

Final Score Pumas 33 (8) EP Kings 32 (13)

Scorers

Pumas
Tries: Jacques Momberg, RW Kember (3)
Conversions: Carl Bezuidenhout (2)
Penalties: Carl Bezuidenhout (3).

EP Kings
Tries: Michael Killian, Nicolas Vergallo, Scott van Breda, Steven Sykes, Tiger Mangweni
Conversions: George Whitehead (2)
Penalty: Scott van Breda.

SWD Eagles vs Border Bulldogs

The first half in George was gripping as the SWD Eagles and Border Bulldogs scored two tries a piece in the first half, with the match featuring nine tries in total.

Two penalties by Bulldogs fullback Dale Sabbagh, however, forced the visitors into a 16-14 lead at the break.

But two tries in quick succession by the home team’s Clinton Wagman and Roy Godfrey provided the mental boost they needed to remain on the front-foot and keep alive their hopes of hopping into second place on the log.

The Bulldogs hit back after a few tight exchanges with Rynardt van Wyk crossing the tryline, which Stephan Gerber built on with another on the stroke of fulltime.

But the Eagles fifth try by Alshaun Bock and a penalty by Justin van Staden was enough to secure their fifth victory.

Final Score SWD Eagles 36 (14) Border Bulldogs 31 (16)

Scorers

SWD Eagles
Tries: Alshaun Bock, Clinton Wagman, Dumisane Meslane, Mzwanele Zito, Roy Godfrey. Conversions: Justin van Staden (4). Penalty: Justin van Staden.

Border Bulldogs
Tries: Chumani Booi, Rynardt van Wyk (2), Stephan Gerber.
Conversion: Karlo Aspeling.
Penalties: Dale Sabbagh (2).
Drop Goal: Karlo Aspeling.

Leopards vs Boland Cavaliers

The Boland Cavaliers started strongly in their clash against the Leopards with Cheswin Williams scoring a try in the fourth minute.

But the Leopards took control of the half

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