The Leopards ran out 91-6 winners against EP, with the Lions also getting a bonus point in their 46-19 win over the Cheetahs. The Bulls came up short 17-11 against WP, but they got a losing bonus point in their second defeat of the year.
The Cape Town defeat saw the Bulls (13 log points) lose ground to the Lions (15), who now sit top of the standings with a game in hand, while the Leopards (12) and WP (11) also have a game in hand on the team from Pretoria.
On Friday, WP showed that they will be a factor in this tournament by handing the travelling Bulls their second defeat this season. It was a hard-fought 17-11 win played in slippery conditions at Newlands Stadium, but the defensive grit and the fact that they outscored their opponents two tries to one will be a good confidence booster for the Cape side.
The Leopards scored 12 tries – all converted by flyhalf Martin Venter – and were awarded a penalty try to complete their absolute dominance over Eastern Province, who just could not contain the North West backs. No less than eight tries were scored by the outside backs of the Leopards, with Elzandro Fredericks, Theuns Pretorius, Gerhard Ackerman and Luan van der Walt all getting a brace.
The Lions travelled to Bloemfontein on Saturday and returned from the Toyota Stadium with a full house of points in their win over the Toyota Free State. The visitors ran in eight tries and conceded three in a commanding display. Five of those tries came from the backs, but neither of their two impressive midfielders, Henco van Wyk and Tyler Bocks, managed to cross the try line.
Round five will be played on the weekend of 17/18 September. The Cell C Sharks will return to action against the Free State in Durban, the Lions host WP and the Bulls await the Leopards.
Leopards 91 (35), Eastern Province 6 (6)
Leopards - Tries: Petrus Naude, Franco du Plessis, Marvelous Mashimbye, Elzandro Fredericks (2), Theuns Pretorius (2), Gerhard Ackerman (2), Luan van der Walt (2), Vernon Paulo, Penalty try. Conversions: Martin Venter (12).
Eastern Province – Penalty goals: Monre de Ridder (2).
DHL Western Province 17 (10), Vodacom Bulls 11 (3)
DHL WP – Tries: Corne Weilbach, Ruben Labuschagne. Conversions: Sacha Mngomezulu (2). Penalty goal: Mngomezulu.
Vodacom Bulls – Try: Tharquin Manuel. Penalty goals: Jandre Burger (2).
Toyota Free State 19 (7), Lions 46 (24)
Toyota Free State – Tries: Warren Louw, Lohan Potgieter, Zukisa Sali. Conversions: Jay-Dee Jooste, Juan-Dee Olivier.
Lions – Tries: Jarrod Cairns (2), Sisonke Vumazonke, Nico Steyn, Jurich Claasens, Zeilinga Strydom, Indiphile Tyeda, Quan Horn. Conversions: Steyn, Claasens (2).