Three of the four Vodacom Cup semi-finalists are from the North Section after the Xerox Golden Lions, Vodacom Blue Bulls and Steval Pumas all won their quarter-final encounters this weekend.
The unbeaten DHL Western Province will be the South Section’s sole representative in the top four next weekend after the Steval Pumas upset the defending champions, GWK Griquas, at GWK Park in Kimberley on Friday evening.
The visitors from the Lowveld won 28-14 and outscored the five-time champions by three tries to two in a match that came alight in the second half.
DHL Western Province, champions in 2012, beat the Leopards XV by 47-22 at City Park in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.
The Xerox Golden Lions were made to work extremely hard in their quarter-final against the SWD Eagles at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon, with the visitors from George scoring three tries to the 2013 champions’ two, but in the end it wasn’t enough.
The fourth quarter-final was a rather one-sided affair at Loftus Versfeld on Friday evening, where the Vodacom Blue Bulls beat the Toyota Free State XV by 44-21, with William Small-Smith dotting down three times for the three-time champions from Pretoria.
Vodacom Cup semi-finals (date, time and kick-off times TBC):
Xerox Golden Lions v Steval Pumas – Johannesburg
DHL Western Province v Vodacom Blue Bulls – Cape Town
Vodacom Blue Bulls 44 Toyota Free State XV 21
Vodacom Blue Bulls flyhalf Tian Schoeman scored 22 points and centre William Small-Smith added a hat-trick of tries to guide the men from Pretoria to a 44-21 victory over the Toyota Free State XV in their Vodacom Cup quarter-final at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Friday night.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls led 17-9 at halftime and set the tempo of the match from the opening exchanges, but it was the visitors from the Free State who scored first through a penalty goal by flyhalf Willie du Plessis.
The home team scored two tries in the first half and followed that up with three more after the break as they took control of the match to qualify for their 13th semi-final in the Vodacom Cup.
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Wiaan Liebenberg, William Small-Smith (3), Tian Schoeman. Conversions: Schoeman (4), Kobus Marais. Penalty goals: Schoeman (3).
Toyota Free State XV – Tries: Joubert Engelbrecht, Gerhard Olivier. Conversion: Niel Marais. Penalty goals: Willie du Plessis (3).
GWK Griquas 14 Steval Pumas 28
The Steval Pumas booked their spot in the semi-finals of this year’s Vodacom Cup competition by beating the GWK Griquas 28-14 at GWK Park in Kimberley on Friday evening.
The hosts were rated as slight favourites for the game, but in the end it was the try scoring ability of the men from the Lowveld along with the kicking boot of flyhalf JC Roos that helped the visiting side from Nelspruit progress to the semis.
Steval Pumas coach MJ Mentz and his side will take much heart and confidence from their performance in Kimberley against the defending champions.
GWK Griquas – Tries: Wiseman Kamanga, AJ le Roux. Conversions: Dean Grant (2).
Steval Pumas – Tries: Bernado Botha, Jason-Colin Fraser, Johan Herbst. Conversions: JC Roos (2). Penalty goals: JC Roos (3).
Xerox Golden Lions 29 SWD Eagles 21
The Xerox Golden Lions overturned a 14-10 half-time deficit to book a place in the semi-final of the Vodacom Cup, courtesy of a 29-21 victory over the visiting SWD Eagles at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts had raced into a 10-0 lead but despite being down to 14 men, the Eagles rallied and dotted down twice late in the first half to take an unexpected lead after 40 minutes.
The Xerox Golden Lions quickly overturned this deficit to lead by 20-14 after 47 minutes, but the Eagles came back once again and led 21-20 after a second try by Kirsten Heyns.
But Marnitz Boshoff’s boot had the final say with three penalty goals in the final 25 minutes. The Xerox Golden Lions will have to sort out their scrum ahead of the semi-final meeting next week, but look a good bet to progress to the finals if they can continue their current form.
Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Jacques Nel, Stokkies Hanekom. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (2). Penalty goals: Boshoff (4). Drop-goal: Boshoff.
SWD Eagles – Tries: Kirsten Heyns (2), Martin du Toit. Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (3).
DHL Western Province 47 Leopards XV 22
Justin Benn grabbed a brace of tries as DHL Western Province advanced to the Vodacom Cup semi-finals courtesy of a 47-22 (half-time 21-19) win over the Leopards XV at City Park in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.
Flanker Benn scored a try in each half, with the home team running in seven tries in total, as their strong performance after the break blew the gallant Leopards XV away. The Capetonians “won” the second half by 26-3.
Amazingly enough it was the first time ever that DHL Western Province managed to beat the team from North West in a home Vodacom Cup match. The men in the blue and white hoops will host the Vodacom Blue Bulls in their semi-final.
DHL Western Province – Tries: Godlen Masimla, Justin Benn (2), Robert du Preez, Jaco Taute, Tapiwa Tsomondo, EW Viljoen. Conversions: Jean-Luc Du Plessis (6).
Leopards XV – Tries: Sergio Torrans (2), Rhyno Smith. Conversions: Adriaan Engelbrecht (2). Penalty goal: Engelbrecht.