In Bloemfontein, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs stunned DHL Western Province with two late tries to claim an unlikely 45-39 win at Old Greys Rugby club.
The Cape side stormed to a 32-7 lead, but the men from Bloem refused to lie down and scored two tries in the last two minutes to edge their Western Cape visitors.
The Xerox Golden Lions won a hard-fought battle at Emirates Airline Park against the Leopards, who is proving a handful this year. The home side edged the Potchefstroom men 24-19, having lead 19-12 at the break.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls kept their position at the top of the table, but they had to dig deep to outplay a gutsy Cell C Sharks team in Pretoria on Friday. The home side won 31-26 after leading 15-13 at the break.
Both teams scored three tries, with the home side’s third one in the dying minutes, along with four penalties by flyhalf Fiela Boshoff making all the difference in the end.
Match summaries and scorers:
Toyota Free State Cheetahs 45 (7), DHL Western Province 39 (32)
DHL WP stormed into a commanding lead in the first half, scoring four tries, two penalties and two conversions to lead 32-7 at the break, and seemingly towards victory.
But the Toyota FS Cheetahs delivered a stunning comeback. They scored no less than five unanswered tries to take a 33-32 lead with minutes to go.
The visitors from Cape Town regrouped again to score and regain the lead, 39-33, but the Free Staters were having none of it. They scored twice in the last two minutes to seal a famous win.
Toyota Free State Cheetahs - Tries: Ruben Cross, Elrigh Louw, Lubabelo Dobela, Marthinus Boshoff, James Mollenze, Conan le Fleur, Zinedine Booysen. Conversions: Dobela (5).
DHL WP - Tries: Schalk Erasmus, Gift Dlamimi, Prince Oderson, Mike Mavovana, Geraldo Jaars. Conversions: Abner van Reenen (3) David Coetzer. Penalties: Van Reenen (2).
Xerox Golden Lions 24 (19), Leopards 19 (12)
The Xerox Golden Lions used their forwards to good effect to score a narrow, but deserving win over the gutsy and very competitive Leopards outfit, in Johannesburg.
Three of the four tries scored by the home side came from line-out drives and it was only a late effort by centre Yanga Hlalu that saved the day for the Young Lions, who held a 19-12 lead at the break.
The Leopards scored early via Sylvester Hussain (scrumhalf) and just before the break when Chris Vermaak crashed over. A third Leopards try drew scores level in the second half, but Hlalu's five pointer proved the difference.
Xerox Golden Lions - Tries: Nathan McBeth, PJ Botha (2), Yanga Hlalu. Conversions: Keegan Lailvaux (2).
Leopards: - Tries: Sylvester Hassien, Lehlohonolo Nyelele, Chris Vermaak. Conversions: Andre van der Berg (2).
Vodacom Blue Bulls 31 (15), Cell C Sharks 26 (13)
It was a hard-fought match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, with the Vodacom Blue Bulls needing a late try by Sebastiaan Jobb (wing) to seal the deal.
The Cell C Sharks started strongest and were up 13-3 before two quick tries edged the home side ahead at the break. The second half was as tight and two tries by the visitors from Durban saw them edge ahead, but thanks to the boot of Boshoff and Jobb's final try, the Vodacom Blue Bulls could keep their winning streak intact.
Vodacom Blue Bulls - Tries: Gershwin Mouton, Etienne Janeke, Sebastiaan Jobb. Conversions: Fiela Boshoff (2). Penalties: Boshoff (4).
Cell C Sharks U21 - Tries: JJ van der Mescht, Muller du Plessis, Caleb Dingaan. Conversion: Jaden Hendrikse. Penalties: Hendrikse (3).
The log after four rounds:
1. Vodacom Blue Bulls 19
2. Toyota Free State Cheetahs 12
3. Cell C Sharks 11
4. Xerox Golden Lions 10
5. DHL Western Province 8
6. Leopards 7