The Western Province's display was definitely deserving of them being crowned as 2019 un-official champions of a brilliant tournament which ended today at Hoërskool Rob Ferreira in White River. SWD who also finished unbeaten after draws against the Sharks (20-20) and Cheetahs (36-36) outplayed the Lions in an impressive win of 46-20.
Western Province 34-10 Sharks
DHL Western Province scored 18 tries in their opening two matches and added six more in the closing match of the tournament as they outplayed the Sharks 34-10 after holding a slender 12-10 halftime lead.
Four of those tries came in the second half and more importantly, unopposed as they broke the shackles the Sharks had on them in the opening stanza
The KZN team started well with an early penalty goal before the Cape side's Coetzee le Roux barged over. The East Coast team took the lead again with a splendid try by fullback Munashe Dukuswa, but they were overhauled again just before the break with another five-pointer by the Capetonians.
The second half was a one-way street as the DHL WP strike-runners started to find space, with the likes of winger Bevan Simons and lively No 8 Abulele Ndabambi getting well-deserved tries, with scrumhalf Michael Kock setting up Hakeen Kunene before dotting down himself as the Cape skill became too much for the Sharks to handle.
Western Province: Tries: Le Roux, van Dyk, Ndabambi, Koch, Lavagna, Simons. Conversions: Ludwig, Kunene.
Sharks: Try: Dukuswa. Conversion: Vermeulen. Penalty: Nkuna
Cheetahs 45-12 EP
The Free State Cheetahs delivered a commanding performance in their best match of the week, beating EP Elephants 45-12 after building up a 12-0 halftime lead.
Lively Free State hooker, Jan Meyer, got three tries as his pack used the rolling maul to good effect. Twinkle-toed fullback, Dwanye Pharo, scored EP’s two tries, but they were comprehensively outplayed in the second half, with the Bloemfontein side posting five tries.
Cheetahs: Tries: Meyer (3), Volschenk, Mathibedi, Makolane, Abrahams. Conversions: Smith (5).
EP: Tries: Pharo (2). Conversion: Moss
Zimbabwe 41-14 Namibia
Old Mutual Zimbabwe outplayed Namibia 41-14 in their international clash, with their potent attack proving too much for their African counterparts, which saw them score six tries to two. Flyhalf Alex Nyamunda had a good day as he scored a brace.
Zimbabwe: Tries: Zhou, Kambani, Ndoro, Zuze, Nyamunda (2). Conversions: Zuze, Chikoto (3).
Namibia: Tries: Koopman, Hawanga. Conversions: Koopman (2).
SA Iqhawe 45-7 Border CD
The SA Iqhawe team got their second win of the tournament, scoring seven tries to one in their 45-7 win over Border Country Districts. The invitational team – who were debutants at the event - won hearts with their attacking display, with Xhanto Wakie and Endikano Myosana scoring two tries each.
Iqhawe: Tries: Hartzenberg, Mdanda, Wakie (2), Smith, Myosana (2). Conversions: Odendaal (5)
Border CD: Try: Mniki. Conversion: Stemela.
SWD Eagles 46-20 Golden Lions
SWD also finished the tournament unbeaten with a very impressive 46-20 win over the Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions, in which scrumhalf Neil le Roux again proved influential as he scored a fine try after a sniping break. He also converted five of their seven tries and kicked two penalty goals for a personal tally of 16 points.
The Southern Cape side will look back at this tournament with mixed feelings as they played to draws against the Free State Cheetahs and Sharks before outplaying their Gauteng opponents.
For the Gauteng team, fullback Kelly Mpeku looked dangerous with ball in hand, and he earned a brace for his efforts.
SWD: Tries: Heunis, le Roux, Els (2), Oosthuizen, Adams. Conversions: le Roux (5). Penalties: le Roux (2)
Lions: Tries: Bezuidenhout, Mpeku (2). Conversion: Smith. Penalty: Mills.
Pumas 29-24 Griffons
The accurate kicking of Phakisa Pumas flyhalf, Christiaan Gates, helped his team in their close 29-24 victory over Thepa Trading Griffons. Both teams scored four tries, with Gates converting three and kicking a penalty goal to provide the edge. Fullback Kherwin Erasmus also got a brace.
Pumas: Tries: Nkambule, Maseko, Erasmus (2). Conversions: Gates (3). Penalty: Gates.
Griffons: Tries: Lebusa, Phenyane, Claasen, Khumalo. Conversions: Aucamp (2).
Boland 25-10 Leopards
Boland finished strongly after a slow start to the tournament, outplaying the Leopards 25-10. The Winelands side showed some good pace at the back and that created numerous opportunities, and they scored four well-worked tries in the end.
Boland: Tries: Griessel, van Reenen, Philander, Solomons. Conversion: v Reenen. Penalty: v Reenen.
Leopards: Try: Penalty. Penalty: Snyders.
Pumas XV 28-25 Griquas
The Everest Wealth Pumas XV finished the tournament with a narrow 28-25 win over Ford Human Griquas. The Kimberley side held the lead at the break, but the home side came back strongly in the second, scoring 21 points to beat their opponents. The home side's No 8, Corne Jansen van Rensburg, scored a brace and was named man of the match.
Pumas XV: Tries: Janse v Rensburg (2), Pretorius, Mangane. Conversions: Nel (4).
Griquas: Tries: Masenge, Farmer, vd Merwe. Conversions: Louw (2). Penalties: Louw (2).
Blue Bulls 44-33 Border
The Blue Bulls versus Border match delivered an exciting 13 tries as both teams threw the kitchen sink at each other. The Blue Bulls prevailed 44-43 in the end and had to hang on in the second half as Border attacked from all corners of the field.
The eight tries to five scored by the Pretoria team rewarded them with the nail-biting win, with centre Wian Faber and wing Keanu Peters each getting brace.
Blue Bulls: Tries: Bezuidenhout, Locke, Muller, Gerber, Faber (2), Peters (2). Conversions: Gerber (2).
Border: Tries: Thompson, Heath, Mjali, de Beyer, Mngaza. Conversions: Heath (4). Penalties: Heath.
Valke 35-12 Limpopo Bulls
The Valke also finished their campaign on a high note beating the Limpopo Blue Bulls 35-12. Both teams entered the match with an attacking mindset and the East Rand side came out tops thanks to a solid second-half effort. Hard-working flanker, Riekerd Bornman, scored twice for his side, while Eduard Oliver slotted over all five conversions.
Valke: Tries: Bornman (2), Zaayman, Olivier, Skosana. Conversions: Olivier (5).
Limpopo Bulls: Tries: Sethaba, Mushwana. Conversions: vd Heever.