By Altus Momberg
Free State Cheetahs flyhalf Kennedy Tsimba grabbed the limelight as the Currie Cup resumed after a two week-break.
The former Zimbabwe international scored 32 points - three tries, seven conversions and a dropped goal - as Free State demolished Griquas in Bloemfontein to take them a step closer to qualification for the top eight.
In section Y, the Blue Bulls beat the Lions 33-20 at Ellis Park for the biggest upset of the weekend, to maintain their unbeaten record. The Lions, already beaten by the SWD Eagles, continue to under perform.
Free State's campaign had been in danger of falling apart after they lost to Border at home in round two of the competition, but good wins over Boland and Griquas have elevated them to the top of the section X log.
But the big story so far this season for the Bloemfontein side has been the flyhalf. Tsimba won man-of-the-match honours in the wins over the Griffons, Boland and now Griquas. On Saturday, he scored a hat trick of tries in the first half, showing his great feet, his pace and most of all, his incredible rugby brain.
It will be interesting to see if new Cats coach Tim Lane makes use of Tsimba.
At the start of this season, Tsimba received a special dispensation from SA Rugby Ltd to play in the Super 12, even though he is not eligible to play for the Springboks. But none of the four Super 12 coaches - including current Bok coach Rudolf Straeuli - used him.
This decision is even more surprising if you consider how poorly the South African teams did in the Super 12. Surely, Heyneke Meyer, whose Bulls side went through the competition winless, could have used a game-breaker like Tsimba.
Lane will have the services of Bok incumbent Andre Pretorius for next season's Super 12, and may not use Tsimba. But it certainly will be a travesty if the Free State flyhalf ends up the star of the Vodacom Cup again because he cannot get a chance in the Super 12.
The Falcons will be the next team to try to find a counter for Tsimba as they meet in Kempton Park next week. A win for the Cheetahs should be enough to see them through.
The Lions were the only "big" team to lose this weekend. Defending champions WP maintained their unbeaten streak with a comfortable win over a disappointing Boland. Province now play Griquas in Kimberley and the only real question facing the WP side is how big the victory margin will be?
Boland play the winless Griffons, and must claim five points to hang onto their slim hopes of making the top eights.
The Sharks, who play the Bulls at Loftus next week, punished the Leopards in Durban, while Border hung on for a win over the Griffons in Welkom.
Round 4 results
WP (24) 41 Boland Cavaliers (3) 13
Western Province. Tries: Gus Theron, Pieter Dixon, Neil de Kock, Breyton Paulse (2), Percy Montgomery. Conversions: Chris Rossouw (3), Percy Montgomery. Penalty: Rossouw.
Boland. Try: Dewald Femboes. Conversion: Leon van den Heever. Penalties: Van den Heever (2).
Golden Lions (17) 20 Blue Bulls (20) 33
Lions. Tries: Joe van Niekerk, Grant Esterhuizen. Conversions: Louis Koen (2). Penalties: Koen (2).
Bulls. Tries: Dries Scholtz, Richard Bands and Johan Wasserman. Conversions: Jaco van der Westhuyzen (3). Penalties: Van der Westhuyzen (4).
Griffons. Tries: Trevor Booysen, Hein Edwards. Conversions: Slang Roux (2). Penalties: Roux (3).
Border. Tries: Werner Bester (2), Gareth Krause, Ian Fihlani. Conversions: Solly Goosen (3). Penalties: Goosen (2).
Sharks. Tries: Stefan Terblanche (2), Federico Mendez (2), Albert van den Berg, Deon Carstens, Gaffie du Toit, John Smit. Conversions: Butch James (6).
Leopards: Tries: Johann Smith, Draadkar de Lange.
Eagles. Tries: Danie van Rooyen, Jaco Gouws. Conversions: Rynhard van As (2). Drop goal: Noel Oelschig. Penalties: Rynhard van As (5)
EP Elephants. Tries: Kees Lensing, Brett Hennessey, William Rorich. Conversions: Brett Hennessey (3). Penalties: Hennessey (2)
Cheetahs. Tries: Kennedy Tsimba (3), Eddie Fredericks, Friedrich Lombard, Rassie Erasmus (2), Anton Pitout. Conversions: Tsimba (7). Drop-goal: Tsimba
Griquas. Tries: Quinton van Tonder, Attie Stander, Penalty: Corrie Avenant. Conversion: Avenant.
This week's fixtures:
Witbank: Pumas v Golden Lions (7pm, M-Net)
Potchefstroom: Leopards v SWD Eagles (7pm)
Kempton Park: Falcons v Free State Cheetahs (3pm, M-Net)
Pretoria: Blue Bulls v Natal Sharks (5pm, M-Net)
Wellington: Boland Cavaliers v Griffons (3pm, SABC 2)
Kimberley: Griquas v Western Province (3pm)