Leopards shock Blue Bulls

Former Bok flyhalf André Pretorius was the Leopards’ hero as he kicked 23 points to take his team to a 33-26 win on Saturday. A WRAP of the Vodacom Cup action …

He landed eight of his nine attempts at goal to help his side to an unlikely victory after trailing by 14 points early in the second half.

But it’s the Pumas and Sharks who maintain perfect records and held onto their positions at the top of the North and South Section respectively with solid away victories this weekend.

They are followed, in the south, by the Argentinean Pampas, who’ve won three on the trot after a draw in the opening round, and in the north by the Leopards, who recorded an impressive win in Pretoria over the Blue Bulls.

The Pumas stepped up a number of gears after the break and “won” second half 34-7, scoring almost a point a minute, as they beat Griquas by an impressive 47-31 in Kimberley on Friday afternoon.

With 36 minutes gone, it was looking good for the home team, who were leading by 24-7 at that stage. But then the Pumas started playing some serious attacking rugby and tore Griquas apart in the second half, with Carl Bezuidenhout contributing 15 of the visitors’ points.

Also on Friday, the Griffons scored three tries in the space of 19 minutes to beat the Lions for the first time in the Vodacom Cup since their victory in the opening season in 1998, when they won 30-19 in Welkom on a Friday night.

Flyhalf Hansie Graaff was instrumental in the win – he kicked half the Griffons’ points with three conversions, two penalty goals and a 70th minute drop goal.

In a bottom-of-the-log North Section clash, the Valke were too strong for the Limpopo Blue Bulls, winning their match in Tzaneen by a convincing 69-7. A familiar name on the score sheet was that of former Springbok speedster Jongi Nokwe, who scored three of the Valke’s tries, with his team-mate JP Mostert bagging four.

Round four action in the South Section kicked off in George on Friday evening, where Sharks flyhalf Fred Zeilinga, the top points’ scorer in the Vodacom Cup thus far this season, delivered another impressive kicking display that helped his team hold off a brave SWD by 26-22 at Outeniqua Park.

With 15 minutes to go, the Eagles were ahead by 22-16, but a fourth penalty goal by Zeilinga, as well as a converted try by replacement wing Sean Robinson with 10 minutes to go, was the difference between the two teams in the end.

On Saturday in Paarl, reigning Vodacom Cup champions Western Province had to work hard to beat the last placed team in the South Section, the Border Bulldogs, by 22-13.

Also on Saturday, EP showed that they probably enjoy playing away from home more when they beat Free State 17-13 in Bloemfontein. It was the Kings’ second away victory in as many matches this season. In their two home games, they drew and lost.

In the final match in the South, 2011 champions, the Pumas, played some scintillating running rugby in their convincing 65-23 win over Boland in Wellington.

All the scorers:

Griquas 31 (24) Pumas 47 (14)

Griquas – Tries: Deon Carney, Jonathan Adendorf, Leon Karemaker, Richard Lawson. Conversions: Pieter-Steyn de Wet (4). Penalty: De Wet.

Pumas – Tries: Carl Bezuidenhout, JW Bell, Renaldo Bothma, Rosko Specman (2), Stefan Watermeyer, Wilhelm Loock. Conversions: Bezuidenhout (5), Tiaan Marx.

Griffons 30 (10) Lions 19 (11)

Griffons – Tries: Japie Nel, Shane Hancke, Vuyo Mbotho. Conversions: Hansie Graaff (3). Penalty goals: Graaff (2). Drop goal: Graaff.

Lions – Tries: Ruaan Lerm, Vian van der Watt. Penalty goals: Marais Schmidt (3).

SWD 22 (12) Sharks 26 (13)

Eagles – Try: Mzo Dyantyi. Conversion: Jeff Taljard. Penalty goals: Taljard (5).

Sharks– Tries: Francois Kleynhans, Sean Robinson. Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (2). Penalty goals: Zeilinga (4).

Free State 13 (5) EP 17 (8)

Free State – Tries: Ludwig Erasmus, Teboho Mohoje. Penalty goal: Tewis de Bruyn.

EP – Try: Wayne Stevens. Penalty goals: Scott van Breda (4).

Limpopo Blue Bulls 7 (0) Valke 69 (40)

Limpopo Blue Bulls – Try: Rory Cresswell. Coversion: Bronwyn Craill.

Valke – Tries: Marco van Eeden, Arno Poley, JP Mostert (4), Russel van Wyk, Jongi Nokwe (3), Coert Cronje. Conversions: Juan Kotze (6), Cronje.

Boland 23 (10) Pampas 65 (23)

Boland– Tries: Brendon April, Cheslin Roberts, Ulrich Pretorius, Tythan Adams. Penalty goal: Ricardo Croy.

Pampas – Tries: Santiago Gonzales Iglesias (2), Tomas de la Vega, Manuel Montero (2), Martin Landajo (2), Martin Garcia Veiga. Conversions: Iglesias (6), Benjamin Madero (2). Penalty goals: Iglesias: (3).

WP 22 (13) Border 13 (13)

WP – Tries: Chris Cloete, Devon Williams, Jody Reyneke. Conversions: Coleman (2). Penalty goal: Coleman.

Border – Tries: Duane Adams, Juan Bester. Penalty goal: Karlo Aspelling.

Blue Bulls 26 (16) Leopards 33 (9)

Blue Bulls – Tries: Jean Cook, Roelof Smit. Conversions: Tony Jantjies (2). Penalty goals: Jantjies (4).

Leopards – Tries: Rhyk Welgemoed, Morné Hanekom; Conversion: Andre Pretorius; Penalties: Andre Pretorius (7).