Vodacom Cup semis confirmed
April 25, 2009
The Platinum Leopards became the final team to qualify for the semifinals of the R1-million Vodacom Cup after they beat the SWD Eagles 32-16 (halftime 17-6) in the fourth quarterfinal match played at Outeniqua Park in George on Saturday.

The Leopards will now travel to Pretoria to meet the Vodacom Blue Bulls, after the defending champions beat Western Province 36-16 in the second quarterfinal on Saturday.

In the other semifinal, the Sharks will host GWK Griquas at Absa Stadium in Durban. The Sharks beat the Golden Lions 20-7 on Friday, while Griquas beat Free State 30-25 in Kimberley on Saturday.

The dates and kick-off times will be confirmed by SA Rugby this week.

The Leopards, who finished third in the North section of the competition, were full value for their win over the Eagles, who reached the knockout stages after surprisingly ending second on the South log.

The Potch-based side scored four tries to two against a home team who tried manfully but made just too many mistakes on the day against more streetwise opponents.

The visitors raced into an 11-point lead at the break thanks to tries from right wing Nicky Kritzinger and scrumhalf Michael Bondesio, both converted by flyhalf Riaan Smit, who also kicked a penalty.

The Eagles could only reply with two penalties from flyhalf Ricardo Croy but they threatened to make a game of it within a minute of the restart when fullback Janno van Zyl cut the deficit to six points with a good try.

But the Leopards successfully killed off the match with two tries, in the 51st and 67th minutes, to fullback Russel Jeacocks and centre Basil de Doncker.

The Eagles never gave up and got a consolation try late in the game through hooker Ashton Constant. But it was the Leopards who had the final say, flanker Wilhelm Koch rubbing salt in the wounds with an audacious drop goal in the dying seconds.


Eagles 16 – Tries: Janno van Zyl, Ashton Constant. Penalties: Ricardo Croy (2).

Leopards 32 – Tries: Nicky Kritzinger, Michael Bondesio, Russel Jeacocks, Basil de Doncker. Conversions: Riaan Smit (3). Penalty: Smit. Drop goal: Wilhelm Koch.

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