The Vodacom Blue Bulls rubberstamped their dominance in the competition in Pretoria on Saturday with a 75-7 victory against the Leopards, while the Cell C Sharks booked their semi-final berth on points’ difference thanks to a bonus-point 59-42 victory against the Toyota Free State in Bloemfontein, and DHL Western Province finished in second place on the log thanks to two bonus points from their 33-32 defeat against the Xerox Golden Lions in Cape Town.
A steady team effort by the Xerox Golden Lions saw them outscore DHL Western Province five tries to four for a nail-biting 33-32 victory. The Capetonians started the match strongly and they built up a 22-14 lead at the break, but they faced a fierce onslaught in the second half as the visitors hit back with intent. In the end they fell short despite two penalty goals allowing them to come close to making up for the extra try by the Johannesburg team.
In Bloemfontein, a hat-trick by Cell C Sharks No 8 Evan Roos and a good kicking display by Junior Springbok scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse proved vital in the team’s 59-42 victory. It was a high-scoring affair in which 15 tries were scored – nine of which were scored by the KwaZulu-Natalians, who held a narrow seven-point lead at halftime.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls, meanwhile, bulldozed their way to an emphatic 75-7 victory against the Leopards, scoring 11 tries to one by the visitors, with No 8 Muller Uys, winger Sabastian Jobb and centre Jay Cee Nel all earning braces. Flyhalf Theo Boshoff, meanwhile, kept the scoreboard ticking with 10 conversions for a personal total of 20 points.
The hosts’ dominance was clear from the outset as they built up a 42-0 halftime lead and they continued this form until the final whistle to inflate their lead to a rewarding 75 points.
DHL Western Province 32 (22) Xerox Golden Lions 33 (14)
DHL Western Province – Tries: Vusile Dlepu, Angelo Davids (2), David Kriel. Conversions: Abner Van Reenen (3). Penalty Goals: Abner Van Reenen (2).
Xerox Golden Lions - Tries: Nathan Mcbeth, PJ Botha, Phillip Krause, Dian Schoonees, Tatenda Mujawo. Conversions: Marc Morrison (4).
Toyota Free State 42 (21) Cell C Sharks 59 (28)
Toyota Free State - Tries: Vleis Meades, Hannes Terblanche, Elrigh Louw (2), Conan Le Fleur, Marthinus Boshoff. Conversions: James Mollentze (6).
Cell C Sharks - Tries: Adam Mountfort, Evan Roos (3), Caleb Dingaan, Donald Falconer, Asanda Kunene, Thaakir Abrahams, Onke Jiba. Conversions: Jaden Hendrikse (7).
Vodacom Blue Bulls 75 (42) Leopards 7 (0)
Vodacom Blue Bulls - Tries: Llewellyn Classen, Muller Uys (2), Keagan Johannes, Sabastian Jobb (2), Jay Cee Nel (2), Gers Mouton, Richard Kriel, Phillip Potgieter. Conversions: Theo Boshoff (10).
Leopards - Try: Reinard Jordaan. Conversion: Janlu Steenkamp.