Cape Town - Heavyweights Roodepoort,
Despatch and Durbanville-Bellville recorded morale-boosting wins but it was
unfancied Pacaltsdorp Evergreens who stole the show on a dramatic third weekend
of Community Cup action.
With 24 of the 40 pool matches now
completed, none of the 20 competing teams have as yet booked their ticket to
the Easter playoffs in George later this month, although the likely
quarter-final field is beginning to take a somewhat surprising shape with just
two rounds remaining.
In Pacaltsdorp, SWD champions Evergreens,
spurred on by a 3 000-strong crowd, beat Pool D favourites Brakpan 28-24 thanks
to a brace of tries by lightning-quick wing Joseph Fortuin and an injury-time
drop goal by replacement Leegan Moos.
Evergreens are unbeaten after two matches,
with nine points, and a victory in one of their remaining matches, against Old
Selbornian (away, 9 March) and Roses United (home, 16 March) will most likely
book them a play-off spot. Despite the loss, Brakpan remain top of the group
with 11 points, after managing to come away from Pacaltsdorp with two precious
In Pool A, Despatch bounced back from their
opening-round defeat to College Rovers to beat United Bulk Villagers Worcester
convincingly and move to third behind Rovers and SK Walmers, who made it two
from two with a remarkable come-from-behind 39-32 win over Sishen in Kathu.
Pretoria Police also had to dig deep in
Pool D to overcome a 28-27 second-half deficit before running out 53-33 winners
over wild cards African Bombers at Zwide Stadium in Port Elizabeth. With 10
minutes remaining, the flamboyant Bombers were still in contention when they
trailed 39-33, but late tries from Ruan van Loo and Louis van Biljon sealed a
hard-fought win for the Bobbies.
Police's main opponents in Pool B,
Durbanville-Bellville, recorded the biggest score in the competition so far
when they produced a wonderful exhibition of running rugby to beat Free State
champions Bloemfontein Police 95-20.
And in one of the matches of the weekend,
Roodepoort kept alive their chances of qualification when they secured a
nail-biting 27-24 win over West Rand neighbours Raiders at the Rand Leases
Roodepoort, trailing 10-9 at half-time,
fought back with a 15-point blitz at the start of the second half and then held
off a late-charging Raiders to secure a vital four points.
Following a match-threatening torrential
downpour an hour before kick-off, the scenes were reminiscent of the famous
1995 Rugby World Cup semi-final at Kings Park as various staff members and
volunteers attempted to sweep away pools of water.
The home side were unable to string any
meaningful phases together in the first half but that all changed at the start
of the second, with centre Byron Godfrey dotting down before inspirational
captain Gareth Hemingway scored a famous try when he toed ahead a pinpoint
grubber from flanker Gerhard Scholtz and then dived on the ball to give his
side a 24-10 lead.
But Raiders showed just how dangerous they
are from broken play, and late tries to prop Tyson Mulumba and replacement
Francois Benjamin produced a nail-biting finale for the 1 500-strong crowd.
And in Kathu, SK Walmers overcame a
14-point deficit to consign Sishen to their third successive defeat and in so
doing join College Rovers at the top of Pool A ahead of what is now an
intriguing Pool A clash in Durban this coming weekend.
Sishen, who suffered a last-minute defeat
to Villagers Worcester and pushed College Rovers hard in round three, and
playing in front of a 1 000-strong crowd at the Sivos Stadium, looked to have
done enough to secure what would have been a deserved maiden win when they led
27-13 midway through the second half.
But three quickfire tries, including a
scintillating effort from former WP wing Zhahier Ryland, kept SK Walmers very
much in playoff contention, with their 16 March match in Cape Town against
Despatch now likely to take on the status of a George eliminator.
Sishen, who relied heavily on their big
ball carriers Jamie Zwiegelaar and Johan Peens, were still in contention when
they trailed 34-32 before centre Danwill Erasmus wrapped things up for the
visitors with a late score to ensure the Cape Town side would embark on their 1
000km long bus trip back to the Bo-Kaap in high spirits.
Results, Round 3:
Sishen 32-39 SK Walmers
Despatch 67-23 United Bulk Villagers
Bloemfontein Police 20-95
African Bombers 33-53 Pretoria Police
Roodepoort 27-24 Raiders
Rustenburg Impala 69-17 Bloemfontein
Roses United 25-26 Old Selbornian
Evergreens 28-24 Brakpan
Round 4 fixtures, Saturday, 9 March (all
k/o times tbc):
Match 25 - College Rovers vs SK
Walmers (Kings Park 3, Durban)
Match 26 – Despatch vs Sishen (Central Rugby Fields, Despatch)
Bye: United Bulk Villagers Worcester
Match 27 – Welkom Rovers vs Pretoria Police
(Rovers Rugby Club, Welkom)
Match 28 – Bloemfontein Police vs African
Bombers (Bobbies Park, Bloemfontein)
Match 29 – Bloemfontein Crusaders vs
Roodepoort (Clive Solomon Stadium, Heidedal)
Match 30 – Noordelikes vs Rustenburg Impala (Noordelikes Rugby Club, Polokwane)
Match 31 – Broubart Old Selbornian vs
Evergreens (Nashua Park, East London)
Match 32 – Brakpan vs White River (Bosman
Bye: Roses United