There wasn’t much movement at the top of the Carling Currie Cup standings, but the Toyota Cheetahs, Cell C Sharks and Vodacom Bulls started putting some daylight between them and the chasing bunch with good victories this weekend.
The Free Staters overtook the KwaZulu-Natalians at the top of the log with a massive win in Bloemfontein; the Vodacom Bulls avoided a tricky encounter with a strong performance in Kimberley; and the Durbanites also won away from home in Nelspruit, although they failed to score a try.
The Toyota Cheetahs’ 66-14 triumph over the Sigma Lions in a weather-interrupted match on Saturday evening for their fourth win in a row, and unfortunately for the visitors, this match will be remembered for all the wrong reasons – the 66 points they shipped are the most the men from Johannesburg have ever conceded in the Carling Currie Cup.
Furthermore, the points’ difference of 52 is just two less than they 54 from their 59-5 defeat in 2006, which was also against the Free Staters.
After a slow start, the Vodacom Bulls found the right gear and ran Tafel Lager Griquas ragged for a 53-27 win in Kimberley, and on Friday evening Boeta Chamberlain slotted eight penalty goals as the Cell C Sharks comfortably beat the Airlink Pumas by 24-10 to keep their unbeaten start intact.
The DHL Western Province had a bye this weekend.
As a result of the weekend’s action, the Toyota Cheetahs now head the standings courtesy of a superior points’ difference. The Free Staters and the Cell C Sharks both have 18 points, with the Vodacom Bulls placed third on 15.
Tafel Lager Griquas remain fourth on 10 points, followed by DHL Western Province (six points), the Airlink Pumas (five) and bottom-placed Sigma Lions (two).
Rampant Toyota Cheetahs record runaway win over Sigma Lions
The Toyota Cheetahs surged into top spot on the Carling Currie Cup log after a big 66-14 triumph over the Sigma Lions in Bloemfontein on Saturday evening.
Five tries to a single reply gave the Toyota Cheetahs a commanding 38-7 advantage over the Sigma Lions after a lively, weather-interrupted first half. Play was temporarily stopped halfway through the opening stanza because of a nearby lightning storm, with the home team leading by 17-0.
Fortunately, the teams returned to resume play two minutes before the allotted time for such an interruption was about to expire. The Free Staters added a couple more tries to their tally in a dominant second half, while their opponents replied with a single score for their 66-14 win.
Vodacom Bulls run Tafel Lager Griquas ragged in Kimberley
The Vodacom Bulls fired a double-barrelled shot when they ran in seven tries to thump Tafel Lager Griquas 53-27 in their Carling Currie Cup clash in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon.
Gert Smal’s Vodacom Bulls came out all guns blazing in Kimberley and maintained their up-tempo assault throughout, pulling away in the second half to emphatically bounce back from their defeat to the Toyota Cheetahs and hand the Peacock Blues their first loss at home this year.
The two-time defending champions had too much class and strings in their bow for the game and outgunned Tafel Lager Griquas. Three tries, two in quick succession, put the men from Pretoria in the driver’s seat and saw them head into half-time with a 22-15 lead.
Try as they might, and they twice landed counterstrikes to stay in the fight, Tafel Lager Griquas eventually fell off the pace as the visitors raced to victory with an overwhelming second-half showing. For their never-say-die attitude, Pieter Bergh’s men were rewarded with a bonus point thanks to a late try by replacement Michael Amiras.
Flawless Chamberlain sinks Airlink Pumas in Nelspruit
Boeta Chamberlain slotted eight penalty goals as the Cell C Sharks comfortably beat the Airlink Pumas by 24-10 in their Carling Currie Cup match played at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday evening.
Their win over the Airlink Pumas in Nelspruit result means the men from Durban made it four from four. Chamberlain, who was named Champion of the Match, kicked four penalty goals in each half to seal the win/
The winning side led 12-10 at the halfway stage, with Chamberlain landing four crisp penalty goals, although the moment of the half – and probably the match – belonged to the Airlink Pumas for a brilliant long-range try, when they ran the ball from inside their own 22.
The ball changed hands several times by way of some deft offloads before speedy blindside flanker Anele Lungisa was on hand to take the final pass and dive over in the corner for a magnificent team try.
However, Chamberlain continued with his kicking spree in the second half to punish the home side for their numerous mistakes, while the visitors' defence held firm.
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