Johannesburg - GWK Griquas remain the only unbeaten team in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division qualifying rounds, while the Valke registered their first victory this weekend in an exciting third round.
In the weekend's matches, Griquas survived a strong second-half fightback from the Leopards at GWK Park in Kimberley to secure a narrow 33-32 win, the Valke created an upset in George by thumping the SWD Eagles 52-34 and the Boland Cavaliers registered a convincing 37-12 victory against the Border Bulldogs at the BCM Stadium in East London.
Griquas' failure to secure a bonus point, while the Leopards earned two bonus points for scoring four tries and losing within seven points, means that the Kimberley side boast only a two-point lead over the Potchefstroom team on the log table with three matches remaining in the race for the last available spot in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division.
Griquas 33 (27) Leopards 32 (11)
Griquas started their clash against the Leopards with a bang in Kimberley and scored all three of their tries in a strong first-half showing.
Right wing Nico Scheepers kicked his first penalty in the sixth minute and crossed the tryline four minutes later to hand his team an 8-0 lead.
Loose forwards Marnus Schoeman and Burger Schoeman pushed the team into an encouraging lead in the second quarter as they crashed over the tryline, while Scheepers kept the scoreboard ticking with his accurate boot.
In return, Leopards managed to score one try by flank Juan Language and a penalty by centre Adriaan Engelbrecht, which left them trailing 27-11 at the break.
The Leopards bounced back with intent in the second half and scored three tries, while limiting Griquas to two penalties. This determined effort, however, was not enough to secure a victory and the team had to settle for a disappointing 33-32 defeat.
Griquas - Tries: Burger Schoeman, Marnus Schoeman, Nico Scheepers. Conversions: Nico Scheepers (3). Penalties: Nico Scheepers (4).
Leopards - Tries: George Tossel, Juan Language, Luther Obi, Sylvian Mahuza. Conversions: Adriaan Engelbrecht (3). Penalties:
Adriaan Engelbrecht (2).
SWD Eagles 34 (15) Valke 52 (25)
The clash in George between the SWD Eagles and Valke proved to be a try feast, with the teams crossing the chalk 12 times between them.
The Eagles had the first say with wing Alshaun Bock scoring the first try in the sixth minute. But the Valke were in fine form and cancelled out this lead minutes later as they scored three tries in 14 minutes to take the advantage.
The hosts replied with a try by wing Anver Venter and trailed 25-15 at half-time.
This bolstered the Eagles' confidence and they hit back after the break with two quick tries and another minutes before the final whistle. However, the Valke showed their firepower again and took control of the match, scoring four second-half tries to secure their first victory in the competition.
SWD Eagles - Tries: Alshaun Bock, Anver Venter, Brian Skosana, Dwayne Kelly, Mzwanele Zito. Conversions: Karlo Aspeling (3). Penalty: Karlo Aspeling.
Valke - Tries: Anrich Richter, Jaun Kotze, JP Mostert, Marlyn Williams, Riaan Arends (2), Shane Kirkwood. Conversions: Jaun Kotze (4). Penalties: Jaun Kotze (3).
Border Bulldogs 12 (5) Boland Cavaliers 37 (22)
The clash in East London was a largely one-sided affair as the Boland Cavaliers dominated against the Border Bulldogs from the outset to clinch their first bonus-point victory in the series.
Such was their dominance that they had secured their bonus point for four tries by half-time. Three of these tries were scored in the first 23 minutes.
The Cavaliers continued to dominate in the second half, despite the Border Bulldogs putting up a brave fight on defence, and they increased their try tally to six.
Border, meanwhile, battled their way to two tries, one scored in the dying minutes, which accounted for their 12 points.
Border Bulldogs - Tries: Johannes Jonker, Yanga Xakalashe. Conversion: Masixole Banda.
Boland Cavaliers - Tries: Arno Fortuin, Eric Zana, Franzel September (2), Harlon Klaasen, Martin Dreyer. Conversions: Eric Zana (2). Penalty: Eric Zana.