Home advantage proved decisive in all four Premier Division matches staged over the weekend. The results in Johannesburg and Cape Town, however, were somewhat unexpected, and have impacted on the standings.

Boosted by the influx of their Vodacom United Rugby Championship stars, the Fidelity ADT Lions romped to a 26-10 bonus-point win over the Airlink Pumas in Johannesburg on Friday. As a result, they have ended their three-game losing streak and moved up to sixth place on the log.

The Toyota Cheetahs certainly made the most of the opportunity when they hosted the eighth-placed NovaVit Griffons in Bloemfontein on Friday. While the visitors were competitive, they could not prevent the hosts from claiming a 33-10 bonus-point win in a match that was delayed due to inclement weather.

Thanks to the results in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein, the Toyota Cheetahs have overtaken the Airlink Pumas and moved to the top of the log. It remains to be seen whether the Free Staters can maintain that lead in the coming rounds. Only two log points separate these teams.

Andre-Hugo Venter on the charge for DHL WP.

Andre-Hugo Venter on the charge for DHL WP.

The Cell C Sharks consolidated their position in third place when they beat Windhoek Draught Griquas 24-6 in Durban. Despite the weekend’s results, they remain six log points behind the second-placed Airlink Pumas.

The Vodacom Bulls travelled to Cape Town on Saturday with plenty of momentum, having won their three previous matches. With a number of Springboks in tow, they were expected to extend their winning run.

In the end, DHL WP won the North-South Derby by 31-7, and moved up to fourth in the standings. The result saw the Vodacom Bulls dropping down to seventh – but only four log points separate the teams, with six rounds still to play in the league phase.

Four matches were played in the Currie Cup First Division and Mzansi Challenge this weekend. The SWD Eagles extended their formidable lead at the top of the standings with a resounding 47-25 victory over the Border Bulldogs in George.

Meanwhile, Eastern Province beat the Simbas from Kenya 18-7, the Boland Kavailiers downed the Leopards 12-3 in Bredasdorp, and the San Clemente Rhinos continued their good run via a 31-25 win over the Goshawks from Zimbabwe in Strand.


Fidelity ADT Lions win big in Joburg catfight

The Fidelity ADT Lions claimed a crucial 26-10 bonus-point victory against the defending champions in Johannesburg on Friday.

The Johannesburg-based franchise has shifted its focus to the Currie Cup Premier Division since failing to qualify for the Vodacom United Rugby Championship playoffs. A host of star players were recruited for the big clash against the Airlink Pumas, and they had an immediate impact across the board.

Scrumhalf Morné van den Berg scored two tries as the Fidelity ADT Lions took a 21-3 lead into half-time. The hosts lost some momentum, thought, after Van den Berg was shown a yellow card in the 51st minute.

The Airlink Pumas were more competitive after the break, but could not prevent the hosts from scoring the bonus-point try in the 75th minute – with centre Manuel Rass securing his brace.


Fidelity ADT Lions 26 (21) – Tries: Manuel Rass (2), Morné van den Berg (2). Conversions: Gianni Lombard (3).

Airlink Pumas 10 (3) – Try: Brandon Thomson. Conversion: Tinus de Beer. Penalty goal: De Beer.

Jaywinn Juries of the NovaVit Griffons.

Jaywinn Juries of the NovaVit Griffons.

Toyota Cheetahs top in Free State derby

The Toyota Cheetahs scored five tries in their 33-10 win over the NovaVit Griffons in Bloemfontein on Friday.

The hosts were in control for much of the rain-affected contest. Fullback Tapiwa Mapfura scored two of the Toyota Cheetahs’ three tries in the first half, as they took a commanding 21-3 lead into the break.

Flanker Daniel Maartens completed his brace – and secured the four-try bonus point for his team – in the 54th minute.

The NovaVit Griffons managed to score a try of their own on the hour. But the Toyota Cheetahs had the final say, with Evardi Boshoff crossing for his side’s fifth in the dying moments.


Toyota Cheetahs 33 (21) – Tries: Daniel Maartens (2), Tapiwa Mafura (2), Evardi Boshoff. Conversions: Siya Masuku (4).

Novavit Griffons 10 (3) – Try: HP van Schoor. Conversion: Robbie Petzer. Penalty goal: Petzer.


Cell C Sharks bounce back at the Shark Tank

The Cell C Sharks got their revenge for an earlier loss to Windhoek Draught Griquas when they won 24-6 in the clash staged in Durban on Saturday.

Earlier in the tournament, Windhoek Draught Griquas fought back after trailing 28-10 at half-time to beat the Cell C Sharks 48-40 in a free-flowing affair in Kimberley, with the teams scoring six tries apiece.

The match played in Durban this past weekend followed a very different pattern – partly due to the wet conditions and partly due to the discipline and determination shown by the hosts.

The Cell C Sharks took control in the early stages, and enjoyed a 14-6 lead at the break. Thereafter, they added 10 points to secure the result. A brave defensive effort kept the visitors tryless.


Cell C Sharks 24 (14) – Tries: Alwayno Visagie, Kerron van Vuuren, Bradley Davids. Conversions: Lionel Cronjé (3). Penalty goal: Cronjé.

Windhoek Draught Griquas 6 (6) – Penalty goals: Eddie Fouché (2).


DHL WP complete North-South double

Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu scored 16 points to guide DHL WP to a 31-7 over the Vodacom Bulls in Cape Town on Saturday, a game that was billed as a “warm-up” to the Vodacom United Rugby Championship quarter-final showdown between the two rivals, which will be staged at the same venue on 6 May.

Whereas DHL WP coach John Dobson downplayed the hype and opted to rest his Springboks, Vodacom Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White took a different approach by loading his Currie Cup team with Test and Vodacom URC stars.

Ultimately, it was the hosts who made the biggest statement on the pitch. DHL WP scored two converted tries inside the first half. As the game heading into the final quarter, Feinberg-Mngomezulu slotted a penalty to extend the lead to 17 points.

The Vodacom Bulls registered their first points of the game when centre Harold Vorster touched down in the 60th minute and Chris Smith added the extras. But the hosts finished strongly, scoring two more tries to secure the bonus-point.

The result marks DHL WP’s second victory against the Vodacom Bulls in this Currie Cup campaign. In round two, the men from Cape Town won 41-33 in the north-south derby staged at Loftus Versfeld.


DHL WP 31 (14) – Tries: Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, Dylan de Leeuw, Damian Markus, Luke Burger. Conversions: Feinberg-Mngomezulu (4). Penalty goal: Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

Vodacom Bulls 7 (0) – Try: Harold Vorster. Conversion: Chris Smith.