Cape Town - An away victory to Eastern Province and a seven try spree by the Pumas secured them quarter-finals spot in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge this weekend, while a hard-fought 46-41 win over the SWD Eagles in Oudtshoorn earlier today confirmed Western Province as the leading team in the tournament after eight rounds of regulation play.
The Cape side had to work hard to beat SWD to finish the tournament undefeated, the only team to do so, and finished top of the South Section, while EP scored a dramatic 48-29 win over Boland in Bredasdorp on Saturday to sneak past Border into second place in the South Section.
Earlier on Saturday, the Pumas scored seven tries in their 47-33 win over the Valke to secure third sport in the North Section and due to a superior points’ difference, finished best of the third-placed teams, of which two will qualify as well.
WP (39 log pints) finished top in the South, followed by EP (25), while Griquas (35) topped the Central section, with the Sharks XV (29) in second place. The Kimberley side scored a 49-35 win over the Griffons on Friday, while the Natal team beat Free State XV 52-7 in Bloemfontein.
The Golden Lions XV (36), who dramatically edged past the Blue Bulls (29) on Friday, topped the North Section, with their Pretoria neighbour finishing second, thanks to a better points' difference that thee Pumas, who also finished on 29 points. The Nelspruit side qualified as the next best team due to their number of log points.
The eighth-placed team came down to points' difference. The Free State XV and Border both finished on 22 log points, but the Bloemfontein team (-48) sneaked in with the narrowest of margins due to a better points' difference than that of Border (-49).
The Eastern Cape side, who had a bye this weekend first had to witness being pipped by EP on the log and then saw themselves losing out again to the central heartland side due to the points' difference criteria.
The final venues and fixtures of the quarterfinals will be confirmed as soon as the logistics have been confirmed by all stakeholders.
The results and scorers of the final round of play are:
Pumas 47 (28), Valke 33 (14)
Pumas - Tries: Francois Kleinhans, Hennie Skorbinski, Emile Temperman, Frank Herne, Ryan Nell, Ruwellyn Isbell, Penalty Try. Conversions: Sias Ebersohn (4), Justin van Staden (2).
Valke - Tries: Christian Rust (2), Anrich Richter, Dwight Pansegrouw, Etienne Taljaard. Conversions: Rust (4).
Golden Lions 55 XV (15), Blue Bulls 49 (23)
Golden Lions - Tries: Kwagga Smith, Akker van der Merwe, Lourens Erasmus, Jacques van Rooyen, Marvin Orie, Penalty try, Michael Tambwe (2). Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (6). Penalty: Reynolds.
Blue Bulls - Tries: Pierre Schoeman, Duncan Matthews, Penalty try, Andre Warner, Dries Swanepoel, Jaco Visagie; Cons: Tian Schoeman (5); Pens: Schoeman (3).
Griquas 49 (21), Griffons 35 (11)
Lager Griquas - Tries: Tertius Kruger, Enver Brandt (2), Koch Marx, Wilmar Arnoldi, Tiaan Meyer, Eric Zana. Conversions: George Whitehead (7)
Griffons - Tries: Carel Coetzee, Vuyo Mbotho (2), Louis Venter, Alrin Eksteen. Conversions: Wynand Pienaar (2); Penalties: Duan Pretorius (2).
Free State XV 7 (7), Sharks XV 52 (35)
Free State XV - Tries: Joseph Dweba; Cons: Marco Mason; Pens: Michael van der Spuy
C Sharks XV 52 (35) - Tries: Christoffel van der Walt, Cobus Reinach (2), Stephan Coetzee, Daniel du Preez, Ettienne Ootshuizen, S'bura Sithole, Andre Esterhuizen. Cons: Garth April (6).
Cavaliers 29 (17), EP Kings 48 (24)
Cavaliers - Tries: Vian van der Walt, Edwin Sass, Gerrit van Wyk, McMillan Muller. Conversions: Divan Nel (3). Penalty: Nel.
EP Kings - Tries: Michael Willemse, Keanu Vers (2), Neil Maritz (3), Malcolm Jaer, Tango Balekile. Conversions: Pieter-Steyn de Wet.
SWD Eagles 41 (17), Western Province 46 (27)
SWD Eagles – Tries: Teunis Nieuwoudt, Kirsten Heyns, Adri Jacobs, Quaid Langeveldt, Dillin Snel, Lodewyk Uys. Conversions: Leighton Eksteen (4). Penalties: Leighton Eksteen
WP – Tries: Nyasha Tarusenga, Eduard Zandberg, Craig Barry (3), Marcello Sampson (2), Bjorn Basson. Conversions: Brandon Thomson (2), Errol Jaggers