Cape Town - Defending champions, Pumas will meet Boland and Western Province will face Griquas next Sunday in the semi-finals of the 2019 edition of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge.
Both matches will be played at KaNyamazane Stadium near Nelspruit on Sunday, June 16 in the penultimate Rugby Festival of the competition, to determine who will travel to the West Coast on Sunday, June 23 where the final will be played at the Saldanha Sports Stadium.
The last finalist was only determined earlier on Sunday at the Rugby Festival in Ravensmead, where Boland scored a nail-biting 22-21 win over DHL WP. This result at Florida Park meant that the Cape side edged their Winelands counterparts on the narrowest of points’ difference, with both sides finishing on 30 log points.
WP ended with a points’ difference of 147, edging Boland’s 146 in the tightest finish possible.
On Saturday, the Free State Cheetahs XV moved past the Boland into second place on the log in the South Section with a strong 82-7 win over Border and then had to wait to see if their hard work would be rewarded. The Bloem men will be gutted, but still finished ahead of more fancied opponents such as the Sharks XV.
The Durban team finished strongly as well, beating SWD in the first match of the Rugby Festival in Cape Town to secure fourth spot in the South Section
On Saturday, the Pumas kept their perfect record intact with a maximum of 35 log points after beating Griffons 48-33 in Welkom to finish top in the North Section.
Griquas secured the second spot on the North log by beating Golden Lions XV 45-26 in Kimberley.
The Joburg side was overhauled on the log by a fast-finishing Blue Bulls, who on Friday scored nine tries in their 63-36 win over the Leopards at Loftus Versfeld, moving into third on the log.
In the other North Section clash, Valke travelled to Namibia, where they outplayed the Welwitschias 56-12 to finish fifth on the log.
Thabo Mabuza and Rodney Damons both scored hat-tricks in that match on a weekend that saw no less than five players getting three. Anthony Volmink (Griquas), Jeandre Rudolph (Pumas) and Tapiwa Mafura (Cheetahs XV) also notched up three apiece.
The final standings are here.
A summary of the scores and results are (click on link for match report)
Welwitschias 12 (0), Valke 56 (32)
Welwitschias - Tries: Gerhard Thirion, Millan van Wyk. Conversion: Lorenzo Louis.
Valke - Tries: Thabo Mabuza (3), Juandre Nel (2), Rodney Damons (3), Jan Venter, Coert Cronje. Conversions: Jan Truter, Anrich Richter (2).
Griquas 45 (24), Golden Lions XV 26 (14)
Griquas - Tries: Anthony Volmink (3), Khwesi Mona (2), Gideon van der Merwe. Conversions: George Whitehead (5), Tinus de Beer. Penalty goal: George Whitehead.
Golden Lions XV - Tries: James Venter, Mandisi Mithiyane, Dillon Smit, Kenedy Mpeku. Conversions: Eddie Fouche (3).
Griffons 33 (20), Pumas 48 (24)
Griffons - Tries: Jaywinn Juries, Mosoeu Maruping, Nkosi Nofuma, Allistair Mumba. Conversions: Juries (2). Penalties: Juries (2), Danrich Visagie.
Pumas - Tries: Jeandre Rudolph (3), Ruwellyn Isbell (2), Corniel Els, Stefan Willemse, Marko Janse van Rensburg. Conversions: Jaco Marais (2), Ashlon Davids (2).
Blue Bulls 63 (42), Leopards 36 (24)
Blue Bulls - Tries: Werner Fourie, Andrew Kota (2), Lian du Toit, Muller Uys, Matthys Basson, Jade Stighling, Roelof Smit, Theo Maree. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (8), Fiela Boshoff.
Leopards - Tries: Chuinier van Rooyen (2), Edmund Rheeder (2), Bradley Moolman. Conversions: Schalk Hugo (3), Van Rooyen. Penalty: Hugo.
Free State Cheetahs XV 82 (26), Border 7 (0)
Free State Cheetahs XV - Tries: Albertus de Bod, Tapiwa Mafura (3), Francois Agenbag (2), Jamba Ulengo (2), Gunther Janse van Vuuren, Lubabalo Dobela (2), Dian Badenhorst. Conversions: Lubabalo Dobela (9), Adriaan Carelse.
Border Bulldogs - Try: Bangihlombe Kobese. Conversion: Lwando Mapuko.
Zimbabwe Academy 15 (3), EP Elephants 43 (24)
Zimbabwe Academy - Tries: Sam Phiri, Jafnos Chiwanza. Conversion: Kuzi Kazembe. Penalty: Jeremiah Jaravaza.
EP Elephants - Tries: Mihlali Mpafi, Stephan de Wit, Martin Du Toit, Riaan Arends, Sherwin Slater, Tristan Fourie, Oliver Zono. Conversions: Richman Gora, Oliver Zono (3).
Sharks XV 40 (33), SWD 17 (10)
Sharks XV - Tries: Gideon Koegelenberg, Jacques Ackerman, Banda Ndlovu, Luyanda Mngadi, Leolin Zas, Lwazi Mvovo. Conversions: Rhyno Smith (5).
SWD Eagles - Tries: Shario Rosekrantz, Dewald Dekker. Conversions: Gerhard Nortier, Divan Nel. Penalty: Nortier.
Western Province 21 (10), Boland 22 (19)
Western Province - Tries: Schalk Erasmus, David Brits. Conversion: Abner van Reenen. Penalties: Van Reenen (3).
Boland Cavaliers - Tries: Valentino Wellman, Neil Rautenbach, Penalty Try. Conversion: Garrick Mattheus. Penalty: Mattheus.