The cream will rise to the top, they say. And so it was when the two top-placed sides in each of the two league sections qualified for the Vodacom Cup semi-finals on May 3rd.
Free State will play Western Province at Newlands, while defending champions Griquas will play the Blue Bulls in a repeat of last year’s final. This match will be at Loftus also on the Saturday.
News24 reports that all the winners, with the exception of the Blue Bulls, were made to work hard for victory. Western Province, who finished on top of the Southern section log after the league phase, scored three tries against the Wildebeest’s two to win 22-14.
They only clinched the match in the second half after leading 8-7 at the break – and they did that with only 13 men at one stage. Isma-eel Dollie scored two tries for the winners and a total of 17 of their points.
Just too big
The Free State, who were the pace-setters in the Southern section before they were outplayed towards the end of the league matches, regained their confidence and flair and were good value for their 35-20 in over the Boland Cavaliers.
They virtually clinched the match in the first half and led 24-10 at the break. The Cavaliers fought back gamely in the second half, but the leeway to make up was just too big and four tries to their two tell the story of their demise.
A Kimberley scoreline of 37-30 in favour of Griquas’ tells of their battle against the Leopards. The defending champions were 27-10 ahead at the break, but a second-half hat-trick by Jan Snyman evened matters after 60 minutes and it took a try by Brendon Snyman in the 66th minute to clinch it for the winners.
The Blue Bulls’ depth shone through as they ran in seven tries against the hapless Lions, who trailed 36-7 at the break. In play-offs, anything is, of course, possible, but they will be hard to keep from the title. But then, that has been the Vodacom Cup story of the Blue Bulls, who have often been pipped at the death.
Semi-final fixtures for Saturday
Blue Bulls v Griquas at Loftus, 12:15.
Western Province v Free State at Newlands, 14:00.Tweet