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Top teams keep SA Cup Final hopes alive

WEEKEND WRAP: The penultimate round of the SA Cup brought forth a series of high-calibre matches, with the top four teams all keeping their final hopes alive with the conclusion of the group stage in sight.

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In an impressive display, all of the top four teams secured victories, spearheaded by Griquas, followed closely by the Pumas, Griffons, and Cheetahs.

Unfortunately for the fifth-placed Boland, defeat in Mpumalanga ended their hopes of reaching the Final.

The weekend’s action commenced with the Cheetahs dominating the Border Bulldogs in East London, securing a bonus point victory with a resounding 57-14 triumph.

Although the Cheetahs’ hopes for a final appearance linger, they stand fourth, trailing the second-placed Pumas by four points, and with a bit of luck, they can still sneak into the top two.

The Bulldogs struggled yet again as their dry run to put some points on the board continued and they are still last on the log.

Boland faced a crushing 0-49 defeat against the Pumas at Mbombela Stadium, shattering their play-off aspirations. Despite the defeat which has ruled them out of contention for the Final, Boland remain entrenched in fifth place.

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The Pumas still have a strong grip on second place and they will be aiming to extend their winning streak and secure a final spot, trailing the leaders by a mere four points.

In a thrilling 17-try clash at Griqua Park in Kimberley, the SWD Eagles showcased a commendable performance against Griquas. Despite falling short in a 53-75 loss, SWD’s high-scoring effort propelled them to sixth place based on points’ difference, tied with Falcons and Eastern Province on 13 log points.

However, Suzuki are still leading the pack comfortably, and this victory over SWD – where Cameron Hufke and Zane Bester both managed to score hat-tricks – meant that a draw in the final round will be enough to secure them the hosting rights for the final, which is scheduled for Saturday, May 25.

A hat-trick from Valentino Wellman took his team, the Falcons, from the bottom two thanks to a massive victory over the Leopards, beating them by 50-19 in Kempton Park on Saturday. This victory catapulted the East Randers from ninth to seventh on the log, but the Leopards dropped one position and find themselves in 9th spot with 11 points.

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In Sunday’s lone match, the Griffons claimed a crucial 45-19 victory over Eastern Province as they maintained their third position, which gives them an outside chance to reach the finals should one of the front-runners trip up in the final round. The side from Gqeberha dropped to eighth place on the leaderboard.

The final round of action this coming weekend will see the top four sides in action against each other, which effectively makes it a “semifinal”, with final log positions far from guaranteed.

See below for the scores and scorers!

Top teams keep SA Cup Final hopes alive

 

Border Bulldogs 14-57 Cheetahs

The scorers:

For Border:
Tries: Simuthembile Ntleki, Sakhekile Dingile
Cons: Merlin du Plesis 2

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Louis van der Westhuizen, Pierre-Raymond Uys, Mzwanele Zito, Litha Nkula, Jooste Nel, Andell Loubser, Marnus van der Merwe, Ruan Pienaar, Tapiwa Mafura.
Cons: Ethan Wentzel 3, Loubser 2, Pienaar.

Pumas 49-0 Boland

The scorers:

For Pumas:
Tries: Ruwald van der Merwe, Kwanda Dimaza, Clinton Swart, Lundi Msenge, De-an Ackermann, Stefan Coetzee 2
Cons: Swart 6, Gene Willemse

For Boland: None

Griquas 75-53 SWD Eagles

The scorers:

For Griquas:
Tries: Janco Uys, Carl Els, Sako Makata, Zane Bester 3, Connor Mahoney, Cameron Hufke 3, Mnombo Zwelendaba
Cons: George Whitehead 10

For SWD Eagles:
Tries: Uzile Tele, Stone Cloete, Deon Carstens, Rosco Syster 2, Wayne Khan
Cons: Sachin Toring, Joshua Vermeulen, Marlo Weich
Pen: Vermeulen

Falcons 50-19 Leopards

The scorers:

For Falcons:
Tries: Pierre Rabie, Zingisa April, Ezrick Alexander 2, Valentino Wellman 3, Anrich Richter
Cons: Sergio Stalmeester 2, Richter 3

For Leopards:
Tries: Charles Williams, Naiden Jaarts 2
Cons: Williams 2

Griffons 45-19 Eastern Province

The scorers:

For Griffons:
Tries: HP van Schoor, Rian Olivier, Richman Gora, Gurshwin Wehr, Randy Fillies, Duren Hoffman 2
Cons: Danrich Visagie 5

For EP:
Tries: Jayden Bantom, Mbembe Payi 2
Cons: Ruben de Vos 2

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