The KwaZulu-Natalians produced a strong second half display to beat DHL Western Province in their coastal derby in Durban, while the Free Staters overcame the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria, and the men from the Northern Cape defeated the Airlink Pumas in Kimberley in the other two fixtures.
The Cell C Sharks earned a well-deserved 35-20 win over the Capetonians in their late evening fixture, but it was not a good return to Loftus Versfeld for the men from Pretoria, who suffered a 38-25 loss to the Toyota Cheetahs in an entertaining clash in their first home match of the campaign.
In the first of three third-round matches in Kimberley, Tafel Lager Griquas midfielder Zander du Plessis stole the limelight with a wonderful kicking display to lead his side to a 41-20 triumph over the Lowvelders.
Their respective midweek wins mean the Toyota Cheetahs and Cell C Sharks are the only unbeaten sides left in the competition, after two matches each, and in the process, they closed the gap at the top of the standings on the Vodacom Bulls to just one point.
Despite their first reverse in three outing, the Bulls still top the log with 10 league points, with the the Cheetahs and Sharks just one point adrift on nine. Griquas improved to fourth on the table with five points, the same as the Pumas and WP, but with a better points’ difference. The Sigma Lions had a bye remain in seventh place with just a solitary point from two games.
The teams will now enjoy a two-week break and resume action when Tafel Lager Griquas host DHL WP on Friday, 19 February at 19h00. The following day, the Airlink Pumas are set to face the Toyota Cheetahs (14h30) and the Sigma Lions entertain the Cell C Sharks (17h00), with the Vodacom Bulls having a bye.
Three Cell C Sharks tries without reply in the 15 minutes after the break paved the way for a deserved 35-20 victory over DHL Western Province in Durban on Wednesday evening.
The scores were tied 13-13 at the break, but in the 54th minute, the hosts led by 35-13, courtesy of great tries by Celimpilo Gumede, Fez Mbatha and Marnus Potgieter, to ensure they remain unbeaten after two matches.
The first half was a proper arm-wrestle on a very humid evening in Durban, that led to a host of handling errors from both teams. However, the hosts pulled away from their coastal rivals with a burst of three quick tries in the second stanza to bag a well-deserved win in front of a small but appreciative home crowd.
Cell C Sharks 35 (13) – Tries: Inny Radebe, Celimpilo Gumede, Fez Mbatha, Marnus Potgieter. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (3). Penalty goals: Bosch (3).
DHL Western Province 20 (13) – Tries: Leolin Zas, Kade Wolhuter. Conversions: Tim Swiel (2). Penalty goals: Swiel (2).
The Vodacom Bulls suffered their first defeat of the season, in their first home game of the 2022 Carling Currie Cup campaign, when the Toyota Cheetahs outplayed them 38-25 in an entertaining third-round clash in Pretoria on Wednesday evening.
The Free Staters bagged six tries and four conversions while the home team dotted down three times, and kicked two conversions and two penalty goals, while they restricted their hosts to a single score in the second half.
Vodacom Bulls 25 (20) – Tries: Cameron Hanekom, Stravino Jacobs, Sibongile Novuka. Conversions: Chris Smith (2). Penalty goals: Smith (2).
Toyota Cheetahs 38 (19) – Tries: Enver Brandt, Louis van der Westhuizen (2), Clayton Blommetjies, Aidon Davis, Andisa Ntsila. Conversions: Ruan Pienaar (4).
Tafel Lager Griquas defeated the Airlink Pumas 41-20 in Kimberley to register their first win in three outings on Wednesday afternoon, with Zander du Plessis slotting eight penalty goals in the process.
Both sides scored three tries, but Du Plessis (inside centre) was the match-winner for the hosts with his laser-like aim from the tee, as he punished the ill-disciplined Lowvelders at regular intervals with his prolific boot.
In the first half, Tafel Lager Griquas had the Airlink Pumas in all sorts of trouble with their powerful scrum and rolling maul, resulting in the Mpumalanga outfit conceding a bag full of penalties, having two men sin-binned and conceding a penalty try.
Tafel Lager Griquas 41 (21) – Tries: Alandre van Rooyen, Munier Hartzenberg; Penalty try. Penalty goals: Zander du Plessis (8).
Airlink Pumas 20 (13) – Tries: Corné Fourie, Jade Stighling, Simon Raw. Conversion: Eddie Fouche. Penalty goal: Tinus de Beer.