It was a weekend of home wins in the Absa Currie Cup Qualifier as the Down Touch Griffons, ORC Griquas and the Leopards came out tops in their respective matches.
The Down Touch Griffons pipped the SWD Eagles 25-21 in a nail-biting encounter at HT Pelatona Projects Stadium in Welkom, while ORC Griquas defeated the Boland Cavaliers 48-17 at Griquas Park and the Leopards smashed the Hino Valke 53-7 at Profert Olen Park in Potchefstroom.
The Leopards’ victory marked their second successive bonus-point win and earned them the status as the only unbeaten team in the competition after two rounds.
The Potchefstroom team is now four points ahead of the ORC Griquas at the top of the log table with 10 points.
Down Touch Griffons 25 (10) SWD Eagles 21 (7)
The clash between the Down Touch Griffons and SWD Eagles was a tight tussle as the teams threw everything at each other from the outset. The SWD Eagles has the first say with a try in the seventh minute as flank Janneman Stander crossed the chalk. But the 2014 Absa Currie Cup First Division champions hit back with a penalty followed by a try in the 27th minute to take a 10-7 lead.
Two tries by SWD wing Alshaun Bock in the 50th and 57th minutes, however, allowed them to take the lead, but this was cancelled out by the Down Touch Griffons as Watts scored a converted try followed by another by Tertius Maarman in the 71st minute. Franna du Toit added a second penalty for the hosts on the stroke of full-time to push them four points ahead on the scoreboard. The defeat for the SWD Eagles marked their second in the tournament.
Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Elgar Watts, Nicky Steyn, Tertius Maarman. Conversions: Elgar Watts (2). Penalties: Elgar Watts, Franna du Toit.
SWD Eagles – Tries: Alshaun Bock (2), Janneman Stander. Conversions: Gerrit Smith (3).
ORC Griquas 48 (26) Boland Cavaliers 17 (3)
The ORC Griquas found their rhythm against the Boland Cavaliers after their round-one defeat, and secured an encouraging 48-17 bonus-point victory at home. ORC Griquas No8 Carel Greeff was the star of the match as he ran in a fantastic four tries to push the hosts into a commanding lead. Three of his tries were scored in the first 28 minutes. The home team was dominant on attack as their forwards laid a solid platform up-front, which the backs fed off, and they supported this with a solid defensive effort. This set them up for a 26-3 halftime lead.
They picked up where they left off in the second half with prop Steph Roberts scoring their first five-pointer of the second half after only two minutes and the team eventually increased their try tally to eight. Boland fought back and managed to score two tries thanks to Christian Rust and Hanno Kitshoff, but it was a case of too little too late for the Cavaliers.
ORC Griquas – Tries: Carel Greeff (4), Jono Janse van Rensburg, Riaan Viljoen, Rudi van Rooyen, Steph Roberts. Conversions: Francois Brummer (4).
Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Christian Rust, Hanno Kitshoff. Conversions: Eric Zana. Penalty: Eric Zana.
Leopards 53 (20) Hino Valke 7 (0)
The Leopards were in fine form in their clash against the Hino Valke as they dominated proceedings completely and used their try-scoring chances well to secure the first 50-point score in the competition this season. Such was their dominance they scored two converted tries in the first eight minutes, while flyhalf Adriaan Engelbrecht added a penalty and fullback Rhyno Smith a long-range drop goal to hand them a 20-0 lead at the break.
They continued to stamp their authority in the second half by adding another three tries in the first 11 minutes. Two of these tries were scored by in-form wing Adri Jacobs, which allowed him to secure his second hat-trick in as many matches. Despite trailing far behind, the Hino Valke hit back with their first and only try in the 55th minute compliments of replacement back Jaco Oosthuizen, but the rest of their efforts to close in on the Leopards proved fruitless.
Leopards – Tries: Adri Jacobs (3), Adrian Vermeulen, Loftus Morrison, Rhyno Smith, Robert Kruger. Conversions: Adriaan Engelbrecht (6). Drop Goal: Rhyno Smith. Penalty: Adriaan Engelbrecht.
Hino Valke – Try: Jaco Oosthuizen. Conversion: Jaun Kotze.
Absa Currie Cup Qualifier log table after round two:
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