Pumas thump Lions:
The New Nation Pumas made a statement in the opening match of the Carling Currie Cup as they claimed a commanding 39-10 bonus-point win over the Lions in Nelspruit on Friday evening.
The catfight that kicked off South Africa’s oldest and most prestigious rugby competition saw the hosts outscore the visitors by five tries to one – a clear message from the minnows that they are not to be underestimated.
The Lowvelders dominated at scrum time, particularly in the first half, were accurate in the lineouts, hammered home their momentum with rolling mauls and stretched the Lions out wide.
New Nation Pumas 39 (18) – Tries: Etienne Taljaard, Simon Westraadt, Willie Engelbrecht, Dewald Maritz, Ginter Smuts. Conversions: Eddie Fouche (4). Penalty goals: Fouche (2).
Lions 10 (10) – Try: Sibusiso Sangweni. Conversion: Fred Zeilinga. Penalty goal: Zeilinga.
Full house for Sharks in Kimberley:
The Cell C Sharks overcame bogey side Tafel Lager Griquas 30-16 in windy conditions in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon to start their Carling Currie Cup campaign on the right note.
Cell C Sharks coach Sean Everitt earlier in the week said his squad would be fuelled by “new energy” in the absence of several key players who are part of the Springbok camp and they negotiated a traditionally tricky hurdle in the form of the men from the Northern Cape, who have long been a thorn in their side.
Led by new captain Phepsi Buthelezi at No 8, who scored one of his team’s four tries, the Durbanites were made to work hard for their win, but ultimately came away from Kimberley with maximum points.
The hosts, who also had a new captain in former Vodacom Bulls back-rower Ruan Steenkamp who, like Buthelezi, is a former Junior Springbok skipper, were gutsy as ever. They tried hard but conceded two tries in a 12-minute period after the break and just couldn’t recover.
Tafel Lager Griquas 16 (6) – Tries: Eduan Keyter, Daniel Kasende. Penalty goals: George Whitehead (2).
Cell C Sharks 30 (13) – Tries: Phepsi Buthelezi, Jeremy Ward, Hyron Andrews, Kerron van Vuuren. Conversions: Boeta Chamberlain (2). Penalty goal: Chamberlain. Drop goal: Chamberlain.
Weakened Bulls fall to WP:
A first-half hat-trick by JJ Kotze laid the foundation for DHL Western Province as they got their Carling Currie Cup campaign off to a perfect start by beating the Vodacom Bulls by 48-24 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon.
The Capetonians’ class upfront was simply too hot to handle for the defending champions, which is essentially where the game was won. With four tries in the first half, DHL WP were firmly in control, leading by 28-12 at the break.
They added another three after the break, with Kotze completing his haul, but credit to the young men from Pretoria for not giving up and grabbing a four-try bonus point right at the death.
Both sides were depleted due to various reasons, but in the end DHL WP simply had too many players with too much experience for the Vodacom Bulls’ youngsters, most of which still played in the FNB Varsity Cup and Pretoria’s Carlton Cup club league in the last few weeks.
Vodacom Bulls 24 (12) – Tries: Kefentse Mahlo, Richard Kriel, Dewald Donald, Jaco Labuschagne. Conversions: FC du Plessis, Jandre Burger.
DHL Western Province 48 (28) – Tries: Sihle Njazula, JJ Kotze (4), Evan Roos, Dan du Plessis. Conversions: Abner van Reenen (4), Tim Swiel. Penalty goal: Swiel.