The ORC Griquas ran in eight tries to beat Leopards 48-21 on Saturday in their Absa Currie Cup qualifier at Profert Olën Park in Potchefstroom. The result moved the Kimberley side to the top team on the log standings with 11 point from three matches.
Leopards, who have occupied the top spot the previous two weeks thanks to two bonus point wins, slipped down to second while Border jumped to third following their second win of the campaign.
Border made it two from two with a 22-15 victory over the Boland Cavaliers at the Boland Stadium in Wellington, following their 20-13 win over ORC Griquas in East London two weeks ago. In the remaining clash the Hino Valke scored three tries to register their first win in two attempts. They beat the SWD Eagles 22-15 at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park. The Eagles, meanwhile, are winless after three outings.
ORC Griquas 48 (36) Leopards 21 (7)
The Griquas, who lost their opening match of the campaign to the Border Bulldogs, continued their return to form as they emerged victorious in a match that had featured the top two teams on the log.
Right wing Riaan Viljoen scored twice for the visitors as the win saw them move to the top of the log. Before the kick-off the Leopards had occupied the top spot, however, they were no match for a Griquas side that raced into a 36-7 halftime lead. The visitors made a fast start as they raced into a 24-0 lead inside just 23 minutes. Tries from right wing Riaan Viljoen (2), outside centre Jonathan Francke and in-form No 8 Carel Greeff gave them a huge lead before the home side struck back with a converted try from fullback Rhyno Smith.
However, the Griquas were not done yet and soon hit back with two more tries by lock Hilton Lobberts and inside centre Clinton Swart. The visitors continued their dominance in the second half which saw pivot Francois Brummer and flank RJ Liebenberg each dotting down. The Leopards answered with tries from replacements Damian Engeldoe and Loftus Morrison.
Leopards – Tries: Rhyno Smith, Damian Engeldoe, Loftus Morrison; Conversions: Adriaan Engelbrecht (3).
ORC Griquas – Tries: Riaan Viljoen (2), Jonathan Francke, Carel Greeff, Hilton Lobberts, Clinton Swart, Francois Brummer, RJ Liebenberg; Conversions: Gouws Prinsloo (4).
Border 22 (10) Boland Cavaliers 15 (3)
Fullback Masizole Banda scored 17 points as the Border Bulldogs made it two from two with a 22-15 victory over the Boland Cavaliers in Wellington. Banda scored a brace of tries while slotting two conversions and two penalties as Border followed up on their win over ORC Griquas two weeks ago.
The result could have been different had Eric Zana not left his kicking boots at home. The Boland fullback, who also struggled with the boot against Griquas last week, missed four penalty attempts. He missed his first two attempts but succeeded in opening the scoring after 14 minutes to put the hosts in front. However, Boland suffered a setback when hooker Clemen Lewis was yellow carded in the 29th minute, which gave the visitors control of the first half.
Banda burst through the line for the opening try on the half hour mark, which he converted, and then landed a penalty five minutes later as Border took control. Zana had the chance to reduce the deficit but failed with his third attempt as the sides swopped ends with the score 10-3 in favour of the visitors.
After the break it took the Bulldogs just five minutes to extend their lead when scrumhalf Ntando Kebe showed a burst of speed to break the Boland defence. Banda soon scored his second try following a good movement and his conversion gave Border a lead of 22-3. Boland substitute Adriaan Carelse, on for inside centre Jos Malherbe, scored with just four minutes remaining. Flyhalf Christian Rust landed the conversion. Boland secured their losing bonus point when flanker Chaney Willemse crashed over in the corner on the sound of the hooter.
Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Adriaan Carelse, Chaney Willemse; Conversion: Christian Rust; Penalty: Eric Zana.
Border Bulldogs – Tries: Masixole Banda (2), Ntando Kebe; Conversions: Banda (2); Penalty: Banda.
Valke 22 (10) SWD Eagles 15 (5)
The Hino Valke scored three tries as they got their campaign back on track with a thrilling win over the SWD Eagles in Kempton Park.
They left it late though, with wing Coert Cronje crossing in the corner with just five minutes of play remaining to snatch victory after the two teams were locked at 17-17. The home suffered a heavy lost in their only other outing so far against the Leopards last week. The Valke had the better of the possession, the territory and the penalty count and yet found themselves trailing 17-10 midway through the second half.
In fact, after they had gone 10-0 up with a short-range try by No 8 Friedle Oliver and the boot of Juan Kotze, the Eagles went on to score 17 unanswered points either side of halfway with tries by hooker Wayne Khan, flank Christo du Plessis and fyhalf Gerrit Smith. That was despite playing with 14 men for 20 minutes after Leighton Eksteen and Andisa Ntsila were yellow carded.
However, the pressure of playing with a man short proved too much and from another lineout scrumhalf Johan Pretorius made a neat break to put flyhalf Jaco Oosthuizen away and draw the scores level. As the Eagles faded, the Valke launched a fine move which ended with Cronje crossing for the winner.
Hino Valke – Tries: Friedl Olivier, Jaco Oosthuizen, Coert Cronje Conversions: Juan Kotze (2).Penalty Kotze
SWD Eagles – Tries: Wayne Khan. Christo du Plessis, Gerrit Smith. Conversion: Elric van Vuuren.
The Absa Currie Cup Qualifier log after three rounds:
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