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Tafel Lager Griquas and the SWD Eagles scored important victories in the Central and South Sections of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge, while the Leopards and Eastern Province recorded their maiden wins for 2018 in Round 9 of the competition.

The men from Kimberley edged the Cell C Sharks XV 38-34 in a dramatic clash at the Rugby Festival at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane on Sunday. This win pushed them past the Toyota Free State XV on the overall log in the Central Section and into a position of potential hosting a quarter-final in a couple of weeks. At the same time, the defeat will hurt the Durban team’s hopes of playing at home in the knockout stages.

The other contender in the Central Section, the Down Touch Griffons, saw their strong first half effort come to nothing as the Leopards scored a late winner via flyhalf Schalk Hugo. The 38-35 win by the Leopards was the first of the season for the Potchefstroom side, who are slowly but surely starting to play to their true potential.

In the wake of this defeat, the team from Welkom, who lead 28-14 at the break, will have their work cut out to get into the play-offs.

The South Section saw two significant results. The EP Elephants finally broke their duck, beating the Border Bulldogs 26-14 in the main game at the Rugby Festival in Mdantsane, while SWD overcame the Boland Cavaliers for an important win in their race to finish second behind DHL Western Province, who had a bye.

The North Section is still dominated by the iCOLLEGE Pumas, who scored 54 unanswered points in the first half against the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias in Secunda, winning 93-3 in the end. Devon Williams and Morné Joubert dotted down three times each as the home side ran wild.

The Xerox Golden Lions XV had to get the ball in the hands of Springbok winger, Courtnall Skosan, to clinch a close win over the Hino Valke at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Friday. The visitors held an unexpected 27-14 lead at the break, but four tries by the home side finally overhauled them and Skosan’s effort confirmed a 45-30 result.

Round 9 results and scorers:

Tafel Lager Griquas 38 (28), Cell C Sharks XV 34 (17)

Tafel Lager Griquas – Tries: Godfrey Ramaboea, Jonathan Francke, Luxolo Ntsepe, Khwezilokusa Mkhafu, Tythan Adams. Conversions: George Whitehead (5). Penalty: George Whitehead.

Cell C Sharks XV – Tries: Marius Louw, Jacques Vermeulen, Courtney Winnaar, Jeremy Ward, Leolin Zass. Conversions: Garth April (2), Rhyno Smith. Penalty: Rhyno Smith.

Down Touch Griffons 35 (28), Leopards 38 (14)

Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Duan Pretorius, Mosoeu Maruping, Anrich Alberts, Ezrick Alexander, Juan Kotze. Conversions: Kotze (5).

Leopards – Tries: Eugene Hare (2), Robert Hunt, Schalk Hugo, Gideon van der Merwe. Conversions: Hugo (5). Penalties: Hugo.

SWD Eagles 31 (10), Boland Cavaliers 27 (7)

SWD Eagles – Tries: Adri Jacobs, Tyler Fisher, Alshaun Bock, Leighton Eksteen. Conversions: Eksteen (4). Penalty: Eksteen

Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Charles Mayeza, Kenan Cronje, Clinton Theron, Sergio Torrens. Conversions: Elgar Watts (2). Penalty: Watts.

Border Bulldogs 14 (7), EP Elephants 26 (7)

Border Bulldogs – Tries: Athenkosi Manentsa, Johannes Janse Van Rensburg. Conversions: Mbembe Payi, Bangi Kobese.

EP Elephants – Tries: Xandre Vos, Anele Lungisa, Riaan Arends, Michael Botha. Conversions: Ruben de Vos (2), Simon Bolze.

iCOLLEGE Pumas 93 (54), Windhoek Draught Welwitschias 3 (0)

iCOLLEGE Pumas – Tries: Devon Williams (3), Morné Joubert (3), Reynier van Rooyen (2), Simon Westraadt (2), Alwayno Visagie, Stefan Ungerer, Hennie Skorbinski, Le Roux Roets. Conversions: Chris Smith (9), Barend Smit (3).

Windhoek Draught Welwitschias – Penalty: Tuna Amutenya.

Xerox Golden Lions XV 45 (14), Hino Valke 30 (27)

Xerox Golden Lions XV – Tries: Chergin Fillies, Anthony Volmink, James Venter, Morne van den Berg, Vincent Tshituka, Courtnall Skosan. Conversions: Jeanluc Cilliers (6). Penalty: Cilliers.

Hino Valke – Tries: Hardus Pretorius (2), Ettienne Taljaard (2). Conversions: Stokkies du Plessis (2). Penalties: Du Plessis, Errol Jaggers.

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