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Intense SA Cup conclusion on the cards

WRAP: In an exhilarating back-and-forth tussle between SA Cup frontrunners, Griquas and the Pumas, the team from Kimberley managed to snatch a late victory in their game and cemented their spot at the top of the log.

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With two rounds remaining, this 31-26 victory put Griquas on the inside lane to host a home final.

The match in Kimberley on Friday afternoon was a thrilling encounter, and Griquas staged a dramatic comeback to snatch victory in the 81st minute from the visitors from Mbombela.

The match kicked off with an early try from the Pumas within five minutes of the game. The first half largely favoured the visitors, who led 16-3 just before halftime. However, a timely try right before the break injected hope into the hosts’ camp.

A rejuvenated Griquas side dominated the second half, taking the lead 17-16 on the 57th minute mark. Yet, their advantage was short-lived as the Pumas quickly reclaimed the lead.

The hosts found themselves trailing by two points with time up on the clock but a remarkable try by Cameron Hufke sealed the victory and secured the top spot.

In the first match on Saturday, the SWD Eagles hosted the Griffons, with the latter clinching a crucial 36-28 victory on the road.

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Despite maintaining their third-place position on the log, the Griffons closed the gap to just one point behind the Pumas. Both the teams from Mpumalanga and the Northern Free State must secure wins in the last two round to keep their playoff hopes alive, but the Eagles have slipped to seventh on the log.

Meanwhile, at the Leeudoringstad Rugby Klub, the Leopards suffered their fourth defeat against a formidable Boland Kavaliers team, who won by 59-26.

Spectators were treated to an impressive display as a total of 13 tries were scored, with the visitors bagging nine tries to the four of the hosts. This win kept Boland in fifth place, while the Leopards dropped to eighth.

The standout performance of the weekend came from the Cheetahs, who secured a resounding 68-17 victory over the Falcons, scoring 10 tries to the Falcons’ three.

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Although this result didn’t alter the log, with the Cheetahs remaining in fourth place and the Falcons in ninth, the Free Staters will remain hopeful for a final spot if they win their remaining games and one of the teams above them slips up.

In the final game of the weekend, Eastern Province claimed a 38-17 victory over the Border Bulldogs in their Eastern Cape derby, with EP fullback Mbembe Payi’s, hat-trick contributing to a comfortable bonus point win.

This triumph propelled Eastern Province up two places on the log, while the Bulldogs remain at the bottom, still seeking their first points of the season.

The scores and scorers!

Griquas 31 Pumas 26

The scorers:

For Griquas:
Tries: Thabo Ndimande, Cameron Hufke, Lubabalo Dobela.
Cons: George Whitehead 3
Pen: George Whitehead.

For Pumas:
Tries: Ross Braude, Theuns Pretorius.
Cons: Clinton Swart 2
Pens: Clinton Swart 4

SWD Eagles 28 Griffons 36

The scorers:

For Eagles:
Tries: Heinrich Roelfse, Mpho Ntsane, JP Duvenage, Sachin Toring.
Cons: Joshua Vermeulen 4

For Griffons:
Tries: Micheal Benadie, Thomas Ongera, obbie Petzer, Domenic Smit, Dandre Delport.
Cons: Danrich Visagie 4
Pen: Visagie.

Leopards 26 Boland 59

For Leopards:
Tries: Mncedisi Dlwengu 2, Sanele Zungu, Charles Williams
Cons: Charles Williams 3

For Boland:
Tries: Thurlow Marsh, Bentley Geldenhuys 5, Xavier Mitchell, Riaan Louw, Gavern Skippers.
Cons: Garth April 7

Falcons 17 Cheetahs 68

For Falcons:
Tries: Godfrey Muzanargwo, Anrich Richter 2
Con: Sergio Stalmeester.

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Marnus van der Merwe, Mzwanele Zito, Sibabalo Qoma, Munier Hartzenberg 2, Sbu Nkosi, Tapiwa Mafura, Rethabile Mzamo 2
Cons: Andell Loubser 9

Eastern Province 38 Border Bulldogs 17

For Eastern Province:
Tries: Temba Boltina, Mbembe Payi 3, Aya Oliphant, Luxolo Koza
Cons: Darryle Kameel 2, Ruben de Vos 2

For Border
Try: Lwandile Mapuko.
Pens: Merlin du Plessis 4

Intense SA Cup conclusion on the cards

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