WP battled with the Border Bulldogs in their first half at False Bay Rugby Club, but pulled away in the second half
The undefeated and defending SuperSport Rugby Challenge champions, Western Province, continued on their merry way with yet another victory in Round 7, while the Pumas and Free State XV – the other teams yet to lose this year – also secured wins, but amongst the rest of the pack a massive scramble for the remaining five play-off spots are emerging.
The top three in the South, Central and North sections are set for quarter-final spots in the tournament, and a number of teams are zooming in on the remaining play-off positions.
In the South Section, a good 47-28 win by the SWD Eagles over the EP Elephants in George pushed them within a log point of second-placed Boland Cavaliers. The home side raced away to a 28-0 lead at the break, before the Elephants came storming back, but the Eagles also kept the scoreboard ticking in defending their lead.
WP battled with the Border Bulldogs in their first half at False Bay Rugby Club, but pulled away in the second half. Winger Duncan Saal scored another brace in the win.
The North Section saw a crucial 43-35 win for the Pumas, this time over the dangerous Golden Lions XV in Nelspruit. The home side held the lead at the break and despite a good comeback effort by the Young Lions, the men from Mpumalanga held out.
The second play-off spot in this section is becoming a race between the Golden Lions XV and Vodacom Blue Bulls, who travelled to Windhoek, where they scored a 47-31 win over the Welwitschias. The visitors were always in control in the Hage Geingob Stadium, but no trip to our neighbours is easy, such is the progress of the Namibian side.
The Central Section is highly competitive. The Free State XV stayed undefeated with a solid 38-20 win over the Leopards in Potchefstroom on Friday, while the Sharks XV scored a vital 45-43 in over the Griffons in Welkom. In both matches, the home sides came out fighting, but where the Leopards were strongest in the first half (leading 20-19), the Northern Free Staters came back from 28-14 down to almost snatch the win. – ANA
Round 7 results
WP 53 (17) – 25 (12) Border Bulldogs
SWD Eagles 47 (28) – 28 (0) EP Elephants
Leopards 26 (20) – 38 (19) Free State XV
Griffons 43 (14) – 45 (28) Sharks XV
Welwitschias 31 (7) – 47 (28) Blue Bulls
Pumas 43 (21) – 35 (14) Golden Lions XV
Standings after Round 7:
Blue Bulls 213
Golden Lions XV 134
Free State XV 292
Tafel Lager Griquas 223
Sharks XV 174
Western Province 292
Boland Cavaliers 163
SWD Eagles 154
Border Bulldogs 105
Eastern Province Elephants 5