Although South Africa has gone back to Level 3 Lockdown, we were able to get three Currie Cup matches in for the first weekend of the new year.
This are tight on the top of the table with the final four been decided, which leaves the top four teams battling it our to secure the two home semifinal spots in the next week of matches.
The Bulls still sits still in the top spot with two games in hand with Province in second, the Lions in third and the Sharks in fourth position.
The Cheetahs loosing to Province have now put them out of the running for the final four which means the Currie Cup title will be decided by the Super Rugby Franchises.
Here is the current standings:
|2||DHL Western Province||12||7||3||2||37|
|3||Cell C Sharks||12||7||3||2||35|
|7||Tafel Lager Griquas||12||0||11||1||8|
The Lions had to work hard for the win in Nelspruit but got what they needed by beating the Pumas 33-25 in Nelspruit on Saturday.
It was a good performance from the Pumas and they were in game till the end with Tiaan Swanepoel the difference for the Lions.
He scored two tries and kicked four penalties to help his side get their place in the last four with the last round still to come.
This win means the Lions have now won five matches in a row which setup a great spectacle on Wednesday when they meet the Bulls in Pretoria.
The Pumas did lead at the break but it was the Lions with their never say die attitude that got the win.
Phakisa Pumas 25 (17) – Tries: Willie Engelbrecht, Simon Westraadt, Erich Cronje. Conversions: Ginter Smuts (2). Penalty goals: Smuts (2).
Xerox Lions 33 (13) – Tries: Jaco Visagie, Tiaan Swanepoel (2). Conversions: Elton Jantjies (3). Penalty goals: Swanepoel (4).
The Sharks were too good for Griquas in Durban when they ran away with a 47-19 win.
It was seven tries for the Sharks team which looked again like title contenders and just the form they need going into the match against Western Province this weekend.
They scored four tries in the first half with Griquas only crossing the line one time. With a lead of 26-7 the win was never in doubt for the home side.
They added three more tries in the second half with Griquas adding two more scores.
Cell C Sharks 47 (26) – Tries: Fezokuhle Mbatha, Werner Kok, Yaw Penxe, Lukhanyo Am, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Dylan Richardson, Aphelele Fassi. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (6).
Tafel Lager Griquas 19 (7) – Tries: Enver Brandt, Gideon van der Merwe (2). Conversions: Tinus de Beer, Ashlon Davids.
It was Tim Swiel that broke Cheetahs fans hearts with a final minute penalty which saw their side loosing 31-29. This loss also mean the Cheetahs can not make the knockout stages and will have to settle for fifth position overall.
Province dominate the early stages of the match on the scoreboard and had a handy lead when they score the first try of the match just before halftime.
The Cheetahs came back with two quick tries midway through the second half and were starting to dominate before Clayton Blommetjies was penalised for a late shoulder charge which resulted in a lineout and tries for the visitors.
With the score on 29-29 a minute before the final whistle, Province got a scrum penalty which Swiel kicked over to give them the win and second place on the log.
Although the Cheetahs scrum stood up against Province it was Province scrum that help them secure the win at the end.
When they watch the video, the Cheetahs will see that too many penalties and ill-ill-descipline cost them the game at the end.
Toyota Cheetahs 29 (9) – Tries: Wilmar Arnoldi, Rosko Specman. Conversions: Frans Steyn (2). Penalty goals: Steyn (5).
DHL Western Province 31 (17) – Tries: Jaco Coetzee, Bongi Mbonambi. Penalty goals: Tim Swiel (7).
Next Weeks Matches:
6 Jan 2021 – Bulls v Lions
9 Jan 2021 – Cheetahs v Griquas
9 Jan 2021 – Province v Sharks
10 Jan 2021- Pumas v Bulls