The semi finalist for this years Currie Cup has been decided after the last round of the normal season was played over the weekend. It will be the Blue Bulls that will host Western Province in the first semi final at Loftus and the Free State Cheetahs that will host the Golden Lions in Bloemfontein.
At the end Griqaus and the Sharks missed out after going down to Free State and the Golden Lions on Saturday and Friday. The Currie Cup semi finals will be played on Saturday 15th October and the final the week thereafter.
Here is a look back of the weekends matches:
It was made out as a Quarter Final match when the Sharks and the Golden Lions played on Friday with the team that loses out of the play-offs. This added even more spice to this clash between two of the top teams in the country.
The Sharks played a power game and beat the Lions at the breakdowns and scrums which gave them allot of ball to play with.
With the Lions trying to counter attack at every opportunity the Sharks defence had to be good which it was keep the Lions without scoring in the first half.
It was the Sharks that put first points on the board with a penalty and soon after scored the only try in the first half to take a 10-0 lead at halftime.
It was the Sharks that scored with a penalty first in the second half but the Lions got their first try quickly after that with Kwagga scoring. That made the score Sharks 13 Lions 7 after 46 min.
The Lions started to get momentum and with a yellow card against the Sharks for lifting a player in the tackle they also got the one man advantage.
It did not take long for them to take advantage of the extra man and scored their second try of the match. With a penalty soon after the Lions took the lead 18-16 after 64 min.
With the Sharks dominated most of the scrums the Lions dominated the lineouts stealing a few balls from them and great attacking play from it making meters on attack.
With the Sharks pressing hard to get points they just kept bashing with forwards making it easy for the Lions to defend and get a turnovers. With one such turnover they came from their own half yet again to score and took the lead to 25-16 after 71 min.
The Sharks started looking to be desperate with throwing the ball around but did not make any impact as the Lions defense was good enough.
If the poor attacking play from the Sharks was not good enough they got a yellow card for a shoulder tackle late in the game. The Lions took the penalty and stretch the lead to 28-16 after 78 min.
The scored stayed the same the Golden Lions secured a semi-final spot in the Currie Cup.
For Golden Lions:
Tries: K Smith, Mnisi, Mahuza
Cons: Van der Walt, Coetzee
Pens: Van der Walt, Coetzee
Pens: Bosch 3
Yellow Cards: Kleinhans (50 mins – dangerous tackle), Esterhuizen (77 mins – shoulder charge)
The Pumas recorded their first victory of the season when they beat the Eastern Province Kings 38-30 in their Currie Cup fixture at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday.
An inspired second-half performance, spearheaded by hooker Frank Herne, helped the visitors overturn an eight-point deficit in the dramatic second stanza.
Herne, who crossed the whitewash three times, also scored the try that helped the Pumas establish the crucial lead towards the business end of the fixture – reducing the deficit to just one with moments to play.
Pumas full-back Devon Williams, who took over the kicking duties at that stage of the fixture, converted the try to put the Pumas one point ahead.
Left wing Jean-Paul Lewis then hit the final nail into the Kings coffin with a converted try just moments later, stretching the lead to 38-30 with just four minutes remaining in the fixture. At this juncture, the writing was well and truly on the wall for the home team.
The match will go down as an opportunity lost for the Eastern Province outfit, who not only established the early lead in the fixture, but went into the half-time intermission with a 20-19 advantage, thanks in part to the meaningful contribution from fly-half Pieter-Steyn de Wet. De Wet went on to score 20 points, 15 of them from the boot.
The Kings had an opportunity to assert their authority early in the second-half, following the yellow card received by Pumas flank Carel Greeff. While captain Ricky Schroeder did score a try that stretched the lead to 27-19, the Kings just didn’t possess the physical and mental stamina required to close this fixture out.
The Pumas sensed distress and they ultimately exploited the opening that was presented to win the game.
For Eastern Province Kings:
Tries: Tromp, Schroeder, De Wet
Cons: De Wet 3
Pens: De Wet 3
Tries: Shabangu, Herne (3), Luiters, Lewis
Cons: Steyl 2, Williams 2
Yellow Cards: Brown, Greeff
Western Province made hard work at it but did get a win at Newlands with 30-28 to book a date with the Blue Bulls in the semi-finals.
It was not pretty but they got the job done in the 75 minute of the game scoring a try and 2 min later a penalty to come back from 28-20 down with 10 min to go.
It was a good start for the Boland who also scored first after they dominated the early exchanges. Western Province then slowly came back and started to dominate most of the game and had some great runs with ball in hand.
They had plenty of opportunities to score but poor hands and skills let them down at crucial times. The Boland defense was good on the night and they were great in the rucks as well.
Western Province extend the lead to 17-7 at halftime and looked in control of the match.
The second half started much the same as the first with Boland doing all the play and slowly pulled back on the scoreboard.
The midway through the second half Boland shocked the Newlands crowd scoring two quick tries to take the lead 28-20.
It was all to do for Western Province in the final ten minutes and they did just that first with a try and then a penalty from Du Preez to take the lead back 30-28.
With Western Province playing deep in Boland half, Boland could not get out of their own twenty two with Western Province holding on for the win and advancing to a semi-final against the Blue Bulls at Loftus.
For Western Province:
Tries: Van Breda, Van Dyk, Ribbans
Cons: Du Preez 3
Pens: Du Preez 3
Tries: Adendorff, Carelse, Hanekom, Engelbrecht
Cons: Kotze 4
The Free State Cheetahs demonstrated their class as they scored eight tries to beat the Griquas 56-26 in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Free State end the round robben stages of the tournament as the undisputed table-toppers with 39 points after their bonus point victory against the Griquas. They have eight wins out of eight games after showing class throughout the competition. The Griquas finish in sixth place after looking like a formidable side for most of the competition, but seemed to slip in form later on in the group stage.
The Cheetahs were in a different league as they beat the clock with points for a lot of the game. There was clear determination from Griquas but the defence was not good enough to stop the rampant Cheetahs. The visitors were able to claim a bonus-point to vindicate their efforts.
Shaun Venter received the Man of the Match award after a fantastic game, scoring two tries and also assisting his team-mates on their way over the try-line.
The Cheetahs made a mess of the kick-off as they misjudged the flight of the ball and were unable to field the kick. Niel Marais attempted to gather the loose ball but it rebounded off of him and straight into the hands of a Griquas player. Jonathan Francke was given the ball who darted through the Cheetahs defence and crashed over for the first try of the game.
The Cheetahs’ scrum was solid throughout the game which sent the Griquas pack tracking back. Griquas attempted to play the ball in an off-side position at the scrum and the referee awarded the penalty try which equalised the score-line.
Uzair Cassiem then grabbed a five pointer of his own when the Cheetahs countered with plenty of width before giving a long well timed pass to the loose-forward who ran clear through for the score.
Nico Lee then scored for the home side. The centre found some space behind the Griquas defence before dotting down. The visitors were at sixes and sevens which allowed Shaun Venter to finish a move in sublime fashion as he received the pass and dotted down for the five pointer.
Griquas weren’t completely beaten yet as Andre Swarts ran hard and straight at the line and broke the tackle of Cassiem and ran through to dot down for the try.
Raymond Rhule then ran a good line before he drew in the Griquas defence as he kept the ball alive and offloaded to Henco Venter in the tackle, Venter received the offload and ran through before crossing the whitewash.
The Griquas then replied with some good work at the breakdown when they made the turnover in the centre of the field before some good side-stepping from the visitors saw them break up field and Jason Fraser was sent through for the five pointer with a well timed pass on the inside.
Clayton Blommetjies then showed some neat footwork as he stepped his way past the Griquas defence before he combined well to put Francois Venter into space. Venter went on a good run before he was brought to ground but the Cheetahs make use of the width to their attack and Marais was sent through for the five pointer with an accurate pass on the wing.
Tries: Penalty Try, Cassiem, S Venter 2, H Venter, Marais, Lee, Van Jaarsveld
Cons: Marais 6, Zeilinga 2
Tries: Francke, Botha, Swarts, Fraser
Cons: Swarts 3