Boland, Eastern Province Keep Setting The Pace In First Division

The Boland Kavaliers and Eastern Province both scored good wins over the weekend to remain unbeaten run after three rounds of Currie Cup First Division action, as they opened up a slight gap at the top of the standings over the chasing pack of four teams.

Boland overwhelmed Border 57-6 in Wellington, EP scored a close-fought 31-27 home win over the Valke in Nelson Mandela Bay, and SWD defeated the Leopards 40-7 in George.

After leading 19-6 at the break, Boland cut loose in the second half to score 38 unanswered points for a comprehensive victory at the Boland Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Kavaliers – who top the standings on 15 points after three rounds – registered nine tries in total, with left wing Cornell Engelbrecht and replacement utility back Cameron Hufke each helping themselves to hat-tricks, while flyhalf Darian Kock contributed 12 points with his six conversions.

Valke fullback Blake Diedericks succeeded with a pair of penalty goals in the first half for their only points of the match.

Jayden Bantom (left wing) scored a brace of tries for EP – second on the log with 13 points – while Sonwabo Majola (scrumhalf), and Riaan Arends (outside centre) also contributed a try each in their hard-fought 31-27 win over the Valke.

Masixole Banda continued with his good form and the EP flyhalf succeeded with four conversions and a penalty goal, which proved to be the difference between the sides.

The Valke went into the second half trailing by 24-10 and actually managed to outscore EP by 10 points in the second half, but they ultimately paid for an indifferent first-half performance.

In the end, the visitors scored five tries to the home side's four, but Banda’ accurate kicking boot ensured an important win for his team.

The Valke try scorers were Bulelani Sali (prop), Zingisa April (No 8), Valentino Wellman (left wing), Easton Arendse (right wing) and Musa Tshabalala (replacement fullback), while flyhalf Ruben Liebenberg only succeeded with one of the five conversions.

SWD raced into a 27-7 halftime lead in their early Friday evening clash with the Leopards in George and the Eagles eventually scored four tries and a penalty try to register their first win of the campaign (40-7).

Hilroy Baadjies (No 8), Rosco Syster (left wing), Mpho Ntsane (right wing) and Darryn Fortuin (fullback) were the SWD try scorers, while they were also awarded a penalty try. Flyhalf Adriaan van der Bank added the rest of the points via two conversions and three penalty goals, while the Leopards could only respond with a first-half penalty try.

Apart from the two teams leading the race to the title, the Valke are in third on the log with seven points, followed by SWD on six, the Leopards on five, while Border are yet to open their account.

In this coming weekend’s fourth-round action, the two unbeaten teams – Boland and EP – will battle it out in Wellington. The Valke host the Leopards in Brakpan and SWD travel to East London to face home side Border.