Cape Town - The Pumas brought Griquas’ Currie Cup power run of the last fortnight to a halt as they secured a narrow 27-21 victory in Kimberley on Sunday afternoon.
The Cheetahs, meanwhile, pipped the Blue Bulls 41-40 at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday and Western Province outplayed the Golden Lions 39-3 at Newlands on Friday in an exciting weekend of Currie Cup action.
A strong first-half showing by the Pumas steered them to a 27-21 victory against Griquas in a hard-fought encounter, with their ability to capitalise on their point-scoring chances handing them the edge. The hosts had an opportunity to have a shot at scoring a try after being awarded a late penalty, but with a defeat on the cards either way, they opted for a kick at goal to secure the bonus point for losing by less than seven points.
The Mpumalanga side scored their three converted tries in the first 29 minutes, and added a penalty goal before the break to take a 24-10 lead. However, their only second-half points proved to be a second penalty goal. Griquas in turn were only able to score two tries, and three penalty goals, which left them short on the scoreboard.
A hat-trick by Cheetahs winger Makazole Mapimpi steered the defending champions to a nail-biting 41-40 victory against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria, with a try at the death sealing the victory. The hosts took a narrow 21-17 lead at the break despite receiving two yellow cards in the first half, but their third one proved to be costly as it allowed the visitors to score the winning try. The defeat for the Blue Bulls marked their third in a row, while the Free State Cheetahs reclaimed the top spot on the log thanks to the victory.
Western Province’s ability to convert their chances into points allowed them to run away on the scoreboard against the Golden Lions in Cape Town. The visitors dominated possession and territory throughout the match, but they battled to convert it into points, and when they got close to the tryline they made costly mistakes. Former Junior Springbok lock Cobus Wiese scored a try on debut for the Capetonians, while Huw Jones and Seabelo Senatla each contributed a brace to their six tries, while the Gauteng outfit were only able to score a penalty goal.
Currie Cup round 6 results and scorers:
Griquas 21 (10) Pumas 27 (24)
Griquas - Tries: AJ Coertzen, Renier Botha. Conversion: Andre Swarts. Penalty Goals: Andre Swarts, George Whitehead (2).
Pumas - Tries: Khwezi Mona, Chris Cloete, Jerome Pretorius. Conversions: Justin Van Staden (3). Penalty Goals: Justin Van Staden (2).
Blue Bulls 40 (21) Free State Cheetahs 41 (17)
Blue Bulls - Tries: Tony Jantjies, Dries Swanepoel, Jamba Ulengo (2), Warrick Gelant. Conversions: Tony Jantjies (2), Joshua Stander. Penalty Goals: Tony Jantjies (3).
Free State Cheetahs - Tries: Makazole Mapimpi (3), Jasper Wiese, Francois Venter, Sergeal Petersen. Conversions: Ryno Eksteen (4). Penalty Goal: Ryno Eksteen.
Western Province 39 (22) Golden Lions 3 (3)
Western Province – Tries: Cobus Wiese, Jano Vermaak, Huw Jones (2), Seabelo Senatla (2). Conversions: Damian Willemse (2), SP Marais. Penalty Goal: Damian Willemse.
Golden Lions - Penalty Goal: Jaco Van der Walt.