The final league matches were played this weekend and the South American topped the standings after winning all seven their pool encounters, while the Down Touch Griffons placed second on the log. The final times and venues for the two semi-finals will be confirmed in the week.
There was joy in Despatch on Saturday, as the EP Elephants secured their semi-final berth with a 22-14 win over the Valke.
Due to results elsewhere and their earlier good form in the competition, the visitors from the East Rand knew they would secure fourth spot on the log, so both coaches left WJ de Wet Stadium with a sense of satisfaction.
The home side were more clinical on the day. They outscored the Valke three tries to two and that proved the difference in a tight match.
Border ended their season on a high, beating the defending champions from George, the SWD Eagles, by 31-26 at Police Park in East London on Saturday.
It was the home side’s first win of the season and well-deserved. Border scored five tries, while SWD could only manage four and the home team generally held the edge throughout the match. It was a disappointing end to SWD, who flattered to deceive in the latter part of the competition.
Boland was left frustrated at the Transnet Saldanha Bay Stadium on Saturday, as they held a solid lead against the Down Touch Griffons, only to allow the Northern Free Staters to came back at them and earn a draw.
That was enough for the Welkom visitors to secure a home semi-final next weekend, but for Boland, it yielded only two points, while they actually needed five.
Boland scored three tries in the first half and looked set to get more, but the visitors stepped up their effort in the second half and scored the only two tries after the break. Three yellow cards conceded by Boland did not make their job easier.
In the “Potchefstroom derby”, the Jaguares XV continued their dominance over their fellow First Division combatants, winning 42-10 against the Leopards at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds on Friday evening.
It was an abrasive affair and the South Americans were shown two and the Leopards three yellow cards as bodies flew into each other. Jaguares XV outside centre Tomas Cubilla proved most elusive though as he scored three tries, while their forwards were also awarded a penalty try.
Results and scorers:
Jaguares XV 42 (21), Leopards 10 (5)
Jaguares XV - Tries: Tomas Cubilla (3), Bautista Ezcurra, Juan Pablo Castro Collado, Penalty Try. Conversions: Martin Elias (5).
Leopards - Tries: Henro-Pierre Swart, Lungelo Gosa.
Boland 20 (17), Down Touch Griffons 20 (10)
Boland - Tries: Garrick Mattheus, Shilton van Wyk, Gavern Skippers. Conversion: Mattheus. Penalty: Mattheus.
Down Touch Griffons - Tries: Vincent Maruping, Cody-Anthony Basson, Ethan Williams. Conversion: Danrich Visagie. Penalty: Visagie.
EP Elephants 22 (12), Valke 14 (7)
EP Elephants - Tries: Lindokuhle Welemu, Richman Gora, Athenkosi Mayinje. Conversions: Oliver Zono (2). Penalty: Zono.
Valke - Tries: Friedle Olivier, Hardus Pretorius. Conversions: Errol Jaggers, Andre du Plessis.
Border 31 (24), SWD 26 (19)
Border - Tries: Thabo Ntunja, Athenkosi Khethani, Athenkhosi Manentsa, Bangi Kobese, Sonwabiso Mqalo. Conversions: Dililo Mapuko (2).
SWD - Tries: Marquit September (2), Franco Botha, Xavier Scholtz. Conversions: Divan Nel (3).