Two tries by Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi paved the way for a 34-17 home win for Province over Tafel Lager Griquas in Cape Town on Boxing Day.
And on Sunday afternoon, experienced Springbok centre Frans Steyn delivered a perfect kicking display in Bloemfontein, where he contributed 17 points to the Toyota Cheetahs' 37-10 triumph over the Cell C Sharks.
The weekend results had a significant impact on the standings, with the Capetonians moving up to second spot on the table and the Free Staters boosting their hopes of a possible place in the semi-finals.
After 10 matches, and with only two remaining before the playoffs, the Vodacom Bulls are leading the Carling Currie Cup race with 35 log points, followed by DHL WP (31 points), the Xerox Lions (29), Cell C Sharks (28), Toyota Cheetahs (26), Phakisa Pumas (12) and Tafel Lager Griquas (7).
Click on the links for the full match reports.
DHL WP score bonus-point win on Boxing Day
DHL Western Province moved up to second place on the standings following their 34-17 bonus-point win over Tafel Lager Griquas on Boxing Day afternoon in Cape Town. The home side went into the halftime break with a 17-7 advantage.
Steven Kitshoff stepped into the captaincy role after regular DHL WP skipper Siya Kolisi was withdrawn from the team due to COVID-19 protocols. Jaco Coetzee moved up from the bench to fill the No 6 jersey, while Ernst van Rhyn came into the match squad as loose forward cover.
That didn’t disrupt the Capetonians though, as they dominated for lengthy periods of the first half, scoring two converted tries and a penalty goal, while the visitors from the Northern Cape finished the opening stanza strongly to clinch a converted try in the process.
Three more tries in the second half secured a well-deserved win for the Cape Town outfit, who leapfrogged from fourth on the log to second spot behind the Vodacom Bulls.
DHL Western Province 34 (17) – Tries: Bongi Mbonambi (2), Dan du Plessis, Jaco Coetzee, Chad Solomon. Conversions: Tim Swiel (3). Penalty goal: Swiel.
Tafel Lager Griquas 17 (10) – Tries: Eduan Keyter, Siba Qoma. Conversions: Tinus de Beer (2). Penalty goal: De Beer.
Toyota Cheetahs boost semi-final hopes with convincing home win
The Toyota Cheetahs boosted their semi-final hopes with a well-earned 37-10 bonus-point victory over the Cell C Sharks in Bloemfontein on Sunday afternoon.
Victory moved Hawies Fourie’s team to within just two points of the fourth-placed Cell C Sharks on the table following their impressive triumph at the Toyota Stadium.
In a match played in perfect summer conditions, the Bloemfontein side enjoyed the upper hand for most of the first half thanks to their superiority in the scrums and dominance at the breakdown.
The visitors made too many errors, and coupled with some poor discipline, they allowed Toyota Cheetahs inside centre Frans Steyn to keep the scoreboard busy with his booming boot, while the home side scored three tries before the break.
The second stanza was a much closer affair, with another Steyn penalty goal and the conversion of Boan Venter's important bonus-point try, as well as a three-pointer from Cell C Sharks flyhalf Curwin Bosch the only points of an otherwise evenly matched half.
Toyota Cheetahs 37 (27) – Tries: Carl Wegner, Marnus van der Merwe, Rhyno Smith, Boan Venter. Conversions: Frans Steyn (4). Penalty goals: Steyn (3).
Cell C Sharks 10 (7) – Try: Yaw Penxe. Conversion: Curwin Bosch. Penalty goal: Bosch