CURRIE CUP QUALIFYING WRAP: Two late tries secured a vital bonus point for the Boland Cavaliers as they beat the visiting SWD Eagles 32-16 at Boland Stadium in Wellington on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Pumas overturned a 16-point deficit as they completed an entertaining 29-26 win over the Free State XV in Bloemfontein on Friday.
Elsewhere, the Border Bulldogs - in a do-or-die effort - beat the visiting Falcons 29-24 in an entertaining, robust game in East London.
All Friday's scores and scorers!
Boland Cavaliers 32-16 SWD Eagles
It was the Eagles who drew first blood as flyhalf Thomas Kean booted over a penalty before the live wire wing Leighton Eksteen stretched the lead. A deft kick by centre Wilneth Engelbrecht saw Eksteen collect the ball and dive over acrobatically for the first try of the day.
Trailing by eight, the Cavaliers then awoke from their slumber and captain fantastic Ryan Nell took an offload from his pivot Theuns Kotze to barge over for a try. Kotze converted and also kicked a penalty on the stroke of half-time to give his team the lead.
Nell, playing in his customary position of outside centre, continued to lead with example and got his second for the day as the Cavaliers extended the gap to 15-8. Eksteen and Kotze traded penalties before the Eagles' wing also grabbed a brace for the day. The conversion attempt was wide and at 18-16, the game was still in the balance.
Hard working flank Shaun Adendorff sealed the victory for the home team with less than five minutes left before inside centre Christopher Bosch wrapped up the all-important fourth try. The Cavaliers have a slight gap over the Pumas on the log.
For Boland Cavaliers:
Tries: Nell 2, Adendorff, Bosch
Cons: Kotze 3
Pens: Kotze 2
For SWD Eagles:
Tries: Eksteen 2
Pens: Kean, Eksteen
Boland Cavaliers: 15 Nico Scheepers, 14 Sergio Torrens, 13 Ryan Nell (captain), 12 Christopher Bosch, 11 Danwel Demas, 10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Zandre Jordaan, 7 Shaun McDonald, 6 Shaun Adendorff, 5 Ferdie Horn, 4 Hanno Kitshoff, 3 Francois Hanekom, 2 Chadley Wenn, 1 Basil Short.
Replacements: 16 JC Genade, 17 Linda Thwala, 18 Kenan Cronje, 19 Wayne Wilschut, 20 Gerhard Jordaan, 21 Adriaan Carelse, 22 Edwin Sass.
SWD Eagles: 15 Thomas Kean, 14 Leighton Eksteen, 13 Daniel Roberts, 12 Wilneth Engelbrecht, 11 Hentzwill Pedro, 10 Martin du Toit, 9 Johan Steyn, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Christo du Plessis, 6 Janneman Stander, 5 Lodewyk Uys, 4 Peet van der Walt, 3 Dean Hopp, 2 Mark Pretorius (captain), 1 Layle Delo.
Replacements: 16 Brianton Booysen, 17 Nemo Roelofse, 18 Marco Kruger, 19 Lyndon Hartnick, 20 Buran Parks, 21 Dillin Snel, 22 Jacquin Jansen.
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Free State XV 26-29 Pumas
The Pumas had seemed out of the contest as they trailed by 16 points after 54 minutes. But the visitors were not to be denied and they fought back with tries from replacement lock Jannie Stander and replacement loose forward Brian Shabangu to narrow the gap to four points after 67 minutes.
Replacement wing Tyler Fisher then completed the fine comeback when he dotted down for a converted try with just two minutes left in the contest to seal the win. The victory saw the Pumas leapfrog Free State and move to third place on the log with both teams playing their part in an entertaining clash as they ran in four tries apiece.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 10th minute when tighthead prop Johan Coetzee rumbled over for a converted try. However, the Pumas fought their way back into the contest seven minutes later, when outside centre Hoffman Maritz ran through his way over for a converted score.
But the rest of the half belonged almost exclusively to the home team and they eased to a 21-10 lead at the break thanks to converted tries from outside centre Tertius Kruger and right wing Lorenzo Gordon despite flank Tienie Burger being yellow-carded four minutes before half-time.
Free State added to their lead in the 54th minute when hooker Joseph Dweba barged his way over for an unconverted try. Free State could have been forgiven for thinking that they had the match sewn up holding a 26-10 lead but they had no answer to the Pumas' devastating finish.
For Free State XV:
Tries: Coetzee, Kruger, Gordon, Dweba
Cons: Ebersohn 3
For the Pumas:
Tries: Maritz, Stander, Shabangu, Fisher
Cons: van Staden 3
Pen: van Staden
Free State XV: 15 Reinhardt Erwee, 14 Lorenzo Gordon, 13 Tertius Kruger, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Maphutha Dolo, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ruan van Rensburg, 8 Johann Grundlingh, 7 Tienie Burger, 6 Refuoe Rampeta, 5 Reniel Hugo (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 BG Uys.
Replacements: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Chase Morison, 18 Neil Claassen, 19 Henco Venter, 20 JP Smith, 21 Darren Baron, 22 Kholo Ramashala.
Pumas: 15 Heinrich Steyl, 14 Bernado Botha, 13 Hoffman Maritz, 12 Hennie Skorbinski, 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Emile Temperman, 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Nardus van der Walt, 5 Hugo Kloppers (captain), 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 DJ Terblanche, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Replacements: 16 Frankie Herne, 17 Jacques Kotze, 18 Jannie Stander, 19 Brian Shabangu, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Marlou van Niekerk, 22 Tyler Fisher.
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Border Bulldogs 29-24 Falcons
The game was barely two minutes old when Border centre, Lunga Dumezweni pinned his ears back and ran straight to score a magnificent try under the posts for fullback Masixole Banda to add the conversion.
But the Falcons hit back with try by prop Henri Boshoff which flyhalf Karlo Aspeling converted. Soon after the Falcons try, Banda joined the backline and scored in the far left corner to have the home crowd screaming. He then converted his own try from a difficult angle.
Just before half-time, the Falcons camped on the Border line for a good five or six minutes and were eventually rewarded with a penalty which Aspeling duly kicked over. The home team went into the break thoroughly deserving their five-point lead.
The Falcons went on the attack from the restart and their big lock, Shane Kirkwood barged over for a try which Aspeling converted, giving the Falcons a two-point lead. The lead see-sawed and Banda, following a melee on the Falcons line, scored his second try of the game, again in the left-hand corner, and again his kick was spot-on with a brilliant conversion.
Falcons replacement forward Johan Pretorius scored a neat try, again converted by Aspeling, and the Falcons regained the lead at 24-22.
It looked all over for the home side, but they were not done. A concentrated attack on the right flank saw the ball move to the fleet-footed replacement back Makazole Mapimpi and he stormed all of 25 metres to score in the right-hand corner. Replacement fullback Logan Basson converted.
For Border Bulldogs:
Tries: Dumezweni, Banda 2, Mpimpi
Cons: Banda 2, Basson
For the Falcons:
Tries: Boshoff, Kirkwood, Pretorius
Cons: Aspeling 3
Border Bulldogs: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Sipho Nofemele, 13 Lundi Ralarala, 12 Lunga Dumezweni, 11 Michael Makase, 10 Oliver Zono, 9 Bangi Kobese, 8 Nkosi Nofuma, 7 Billy Dutton, 6 Lukhanyo Nomzanga, 5 Wandile Putuma, 4 Lindokuhle Welemu, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Ludwe Booi, 1 Blake Kyd (captain).
Replacements: 16 Mihlali Mpafi, 17 Yanga Xakalashe, 18 Athenkosi Khethani, 19 Johannes Janse van Rensburg, 20 Zukisani Tywaleni, 21 Makazole Mapimpi, 22 Logan Basson.
Falcons: 15 Christo Coetzee, 14 Etienne Taljaard, 13 Andries Truter, 12 Andrew van Wyk, 11 Coert Cronje, 10 Karlo Aspeling, 9 Sinovuyo Nyoka, 8 Vincent Jobo, 7 Ernst Ladendorf, 6 JP Mostert (captain), 5 Marlyn Williams, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Andries Schutte, 2 Dean Muir, 1 Henri Boshoff.
Replacements: 16 Dwight Pansegrouw, 17 Themba Thabethe, 18 Isak Deetlefs, 19 Thabo Mamojele, 20 Johan Pretorius, 21 Warren Potgieter, 22 Grant Janke.
Referee: Rodney Boneparte