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DHL Western Province and the Cell C Sharks continued to stake a strong claim for Currie Cup home semi-finals as they delivered another round of fine performances this weekend to seal their fourth round of bonus-point victories.

The iCOLLEGE Pumas also kept alive their faint semi-final hopes, as they succeeded in earning a bonus-point victory in the competition sponsored by Nashua and DirectAxis Financial Services.

DHL Western Province were dominant in their display against Tafel Lager Griquas in Cape Town on Saturday, with the side cruising to a 33-7 halftime lead en route to their 38-12 victory. The win pushed them to the top of the log above the Cell C Sharks on points’ difference.

The Capetonians fired from the outset and sealed their bonus-point try by the 24th minute, while Sergeal Petersen contributed a brace to the team’s total of six tries. They supported this with a solid defensive effort to limit the visitors to two tries.

The men from Kimberley tried hard to force their way back into the match in the second half as they tightened up their defence and tried to apply more pressure on attack, but their efforts were not enough against the dominant home team.

In Durban, Dan du Preez and his brother Robert du Preez, were key figures in steering the Cell C Sharks to their fourth successive victory, as they contributed 27 points in the team’s 37-21 victory.

The hosts’ forwards were superb and did well to dominate the contact points, while Dan du Preez was a dominating figure and scored two tries. Robert du Preez, meanwhile, had an impressive day with the boot, as he slotted over four conversions and three penalty goals.

In Friday’s match, the iCOLLEGE Pumas ran hard on attack against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs and backed this up with good handling skills, which saw them outscore the hosts six tries to two for a convincing 42-14 victory.

Such was the high quality of the Pumas attack, they earned their bonus-point try in the first half, with Ryan Nell scoring a brace 28 minutes into the match.

Currie Cup Round 6 results and scorers (click on the hyperlink for the full scoresheet):

Toyota Free State Cheetahs 14 (7) iCOLLEGE Pumas 42 (28)

Toyota Free State Cheetahs – Tries: Abongile Nonkontwana, Rudy Paige. Conversions: Ernst Stapelberg, Adriaan Carelse.

iCOLLEGE Pumas – Tries: Marnus Schoeman, Ryan Nell (2), Neil Maritz, Morne Joubert, Simon Westraadt. Conversions: Kobus Marais, Chris Smith (5).

Cell C Sharks 37 (30) Xerox Golden Lions 21 (7)

Cell C Sharks – Tries: Dan du Preez (2), Louis Schreuder, Luke Stringer. Conversions: Robert du Preez (4). Penalty Goals: Robert du Preez (3).

Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Sylvian Mahuza, James Venter, Wandisile Simelane. Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (2), Andries Coetzee.

DHL Western Province 38 (33) Tafel Lager Griquas 12 (7)

DHL Western Province – Tries: Joshua Stander, Sergeal Petersen (2), Herschel Jantjies, Juarno Augustus, JJ Engelbrecht. Conversions: Joshua Stander (4).

Tafel Lager Griquas – Tries: Kyle Steyn, AJ Coertzen. Conversion: George Whitehead.

Currie Cup First Division

The Leopards continued to stamp their authority in the Currie Cup First Division – also sponsored by DirectAxis Financial Services and Nashua – as they bounced back from a bye with a bang to reclaim the top spot on the log and maintain their unbeaten status.

The Leopards scored three first-half tries, while limiting the Border Bulldogs to a penalty goal for a 21-3 halftime lead in Potchefstroom on Friday, and they built on this to finish the match with seven tries for 47-22 victory. Gerhard Nortier crashed over twice for the side, while Schalk Hugo kept the scoreboard ticking with six conversions.

The clash between the Boland Cavaliers and Hino Valke in Lamberts Bay on Saturday was hard-fought, but Boland made better use of their point-scoring chances to secure a 20-7 victory. The hosts outscored their Kempton Park rivals two tries to one, but two penalty goals by Ralton October allowed them to win comfortably.

In Port Elizabeth, a hat-trick by the Down Touch Griffons’ Rodney Damons and an accurate kicking display by Duan Pretoruis guided the defending champions to a 35-22 victory against Eastern Province in the bottom of the table of clash. While the win for the Down Touch Griffons’ ended their losing run, the defeat for Eastern Province knocked them out of the semi-final race completely.

Currie Cup First Division Round 5 results and scorers (click on the hyperlink for the full scoresheet):

Leopards 47 (21) Border Bulldogs 22 (3)

Leopards – Tries: Louis van der Westhuizen, Muziwandile Mazibuko, Dean Stokes, Evardi Boshoff, Gerhard Nortier (2), Marius Stander. Conversions: Schalk Hugo (6).

Border Bulldogs – Tries: Billy Dutton, Lonwabo Ntleki, Nkosi Nofuma. Conversions: Dilolo Mapuko (2). Penalty Goal: Dilolo Mapuko.

Eastern Province 22 (19) Down Touch Griffons 35 (14)

Eastern Province – Tries: Xandre Vos, Zingisa April, Tristan Blewett. Conversions: Henrique Olivier (2). Penalty Goal: Henrique Olivier.

Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Rodney Damons (3), Shaun Mcdonald, Arthur-william Williams. Conversions: Duan Pretoruis (5).

Boland Cavaliers 20 (14) Hino Valke 7 (7)

Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Marlyn Williams, Valentino Wellman. Conversions: Jacquin Jansen (2). Penalty Goals: Ralton October (2).

Hino Valke – Try: Coert Frederick Cronje. Conversion: Anrich Richter.

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