Boland, Kings in playoff hunt

Boland and the EP Kings kept their playoff hopes alive with important wins in Round 8 of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge.

With matches played on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, each day delivered a telling result that impacted on the overall standings in the North, Central and South Sections.

In the North section, it has become a three-horse race with one round left of regulation play, with Golden Lions, Blue Bulls and Pumas all in contention for a playoff spot.

The Golden Lions delivered an impressive 96-27 win over the Valke in Kempton Park, while the Pumas travelled to Namibia for a solid 42-8 win over the Welwitschias.

With the Golden Lions XV hosting the Blue Bulls at Orlando Stadium on Friday, the Pumas need to win at home against the Valke and hope the home side wins in Soweto for them to sneak into second spot.

The Central Section also became a three horse race when the Leopards dropped a 33-17 result to Griffons in Potchefstroom.

The Griquas and Sharks XV, who played to a 28-28 draw on Thursday, are still in the top two positions, with the Free State XV making a late dash. They face the Sharks XV on Saturday in Bloemfontein in what could be a knock-out match.

The South Section, where Western Province already secured top spot, came alive with EP Kings beating Border in East London on Thursday and Boland Cavaliers outplaying SWD Eagles 51-10 in Malmesbury.

Border finished their matches and will look at the clash between Boland and EP to see whether they will end regular play with a second placed log position.

Griquas 28 (14), Sharks XV 28 (13)
– Tries: Renier Botha (2), AJ le Roux, Jason Fraser. Conversions: Andre Swarts (3), George Whitehead.
Sharks – Tries: Hyron Andrews, S’bura Sithole, Ilunga Mukedi, Garth April. Conversions: Garth April. Penalties: Garth April (2).

Leopards 17 (12), Griffons 33 (19)
– Tries: Jimmy Mpailane, HP Swart, Tapiwe Mafura. Conversion: Gerhard Nortier
Griffons – Tries: Barend Potgieter, Thato Mavundla, Jasper Wiese, CJ Coetzee, Duan Pretorius. Conversions: Duan Pretorius (4).

Welwitschias 8 (0), Pumas 42 (21)
– Try: Dirk von Weidts. Penalty: Winmar Rust.
Pumas – Tries: Emile Temperman, Jean-Paul Lewis, Carel Greeff (2), Francois Kleinhans, Jannie Stander, Conversions: Kobus Marais (3), Sias Ebersohn (3).

Valke 27 (27), Golden Lions 96 (35)
– Tries: Reg Muller, Maphutha Dolo (2), Marco Klopper. Conversions: Christian Rust (3). Penalty: Rust.
Lions – Tries: Fabian Booysen, Armand van der Merwe (2), Dillion Smit, Jano Venter (2), Jacques Nel, Marvin Orie, Anthony Volmink (3), Michael Tambwe, Hacjivah Dayimani, Jan-Louis la Grange. Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (13).

Boland Cavaliers 51 (22) SWD Eagles 10 (10)
– Tries: Elgar Watts (2), Sergio Torrens, Clinton Theron, Ludio Williams, Charles Mayeza, Edwin Sass, Zandre Jordaan. Conversions: Divan Nel (3), Adriaan Carelse. Penalties: Nel.
SWD – Try: Dillin Snel. Conversion: Leighton Eksteen. Penalty: Eksteen.

Border Bulldogs 38 (28), Eastern Province 43 (28)
 – Tries: Lelethu Gcilithsane (2), Sonwabiso Mqalo, Michael Makase, Oliver Zono. Conversions: Oliver Zono (5). Penalty: Oliver Zono.
EP – Tries: Stefan Ungerer, Neil Maritz, Tango Balekile, Sonwabo Majola, Stefan Willemse, Brandon Brown. Conversions: Pieter-Steyn de Wet (4), Michael Brink; Penalty: Pieter-Steyn de Wet.

- All Out Rugby Staff Writer