College Rovers and Brakpan ensured that an open club will play in the final of this year’s National Club Champs, after both teams shocked their more fancied university opponents in Tuesday’s quarterfinals.
Rugby 365 reports that Kwazulu-Natal (KZN) champions Rovers were surprisingly convincing 25-12 winners against Tukkies, while Falcons champions Brakpan beat the Central University of Technology (CUT) Ixias 18-13. The two sides will contest the first semifinal on Thursday.
The other semifinal will feature university powerhouses Maties, the defending champions, up against 2006 title holders Pukke. Stellenbosch accounted for Boland champions Roses United, 44-5, in the main game while the Potch students beat archrivals the University of Johannesburg (UJ) 17-11 in the day’s first quarterfinal.
The plate semifinals draw has also dished up some mouthwatering matchups: Eastern Province Despatch take on Western Provinces’s SK Walmers, while Mpumalanga champions Nelspruit take on South Western Districts’ (SWD) Bridgton.
Gardens (18) 35 Barbarians (9) 22
Eastern Province side Gardens picked up their first win in the Bowl when they outscored SWD’s Barbarians by five tries to two in wet conditions on Tuesday morning.
Gardens’ tries were scored by wings Warren du Toit and Ashwin van Heerden, flyhalf Ashwell Maart, scrumhalf Jonathan Hobanie and flank Michael Webber.
Maart also kicked two conversions and two penalties.
For Barbarians, flyhalf Sheldon Abrahams touched down, while left wing Shannon Robertson scored his side’s second try and also kicked four penalties for a personal haul of 17 points.
Nova Wesbank (17) 17 Eersterust (0) 15
Malmesbury team Wesbank remained unbeaten in the Bowl after racing into an early lead against Blue Bulls side Eersterust before having to hang on for dear life in a frenetic final quarter.
For Wesbank, the Dicksons, centre Sidwel (2) and left wing Josef, scored tries, while flyhalf Jannie Barendse kicked a conversion.
Eersterust came back strongly after the break, with left wing Jason Seroot and replacement hooker Ignatius Roos touching down. Centre Craig van Rooi kicked a conversion and a penalty.
Buffalo (3) 13 SK Walmers (16) 26
Western Province’s SK Walmers held off a determined Buffalo side to qualify for Thursday’s Plate semifinals.
The Bo Kaap side, who lost to Tukkies in Sunday’s first round, had Steward Palmer to thank for their win. The big centre powered over for two tries, converted by flyhalf Adnaan Osman, who also kicked four penalties in heavy and difficult conditions.
Buffalo staged a great fightback after trailing early on, and narrowed the gap to just 19-13 at one stage thanks to a try from flank Shane Sawgerhause. Fullback Jeff Taljard kicked the conversion as well as a penalty, while flyhalf Rynard Gerber also kicked a three-pointer.
Welkom (3) 9 Bridgton (5) 15
SWD champions Bridgton pulled off a gutsy win over Welkom to book a place in the last four of the Plate competition.
The Southern Cape side’s win was fully deserved, as they outscored the Griffons champions by three tries to nil on a wet and cold morning in Stellenbosch.
Left wing Constand Fortuin, flanke Kevin Pikaan and lock Algernon Waarts touched down for Bridgton while Welkom’s only points came from the boot of flyhalf Ettienne Pretorius, who kicked three penalties.
Raiders (10) 32 Nelspruit (14) 34
Nelspruit qualified for the Plate semifinals with an exciting victory over Lions team Raiders, who lost to Maties in the first round on Sunday.
The Mpumalanga champions scored five tries, through flyhalf Pieter Prinsloo, lock Gary Visagie (2), hooker Pieter Breytenbach and centre Gunther Swart, who also kicked three conversions and a penalty.
Raiders also scored five tries, through right wing Gerald Sibanda (2), left wing Tebogo Madibane and flank Kaunda Ntunja, the former Bulldogs back row forward. Centre Russel Mouton kicked two conversions and a penalty.
Kimberley Police (17) 22 Despatch (12) 26
Eastern Province champions Despatch set up an intriguing Plate semifinal against SK Walmers on Thursday, when they came from behind to pip Kimberley Police in a game that went down to the wire.
Both teams scored four tries but it was the kicking of Despatch fullback Elric van Vuuren that made all the difference. Van Vuuren converted three of his team’s tries while for Police, left wing Hennie Janse van Rensburg could slot only one.
Despatch’s tries came from Van Vuuren, right wing Connie de Villiers, and replacements Christo Scriven and Ash Maggiellies.
For Police, centres Francois Julies (2) and Jaco Erwee dotted down, with Janse van Rensburg also crossing for a five-pointer.
UJ (6) 11 Pukke (5) 17
2006 champions Pukke hung on by their fingernails against their archrivals UJ in the first Premier quarterfinal of this year’s tournament.
The Potch students scored three tries, through right wing Jasper van Rensburg and flank Wilhelm Koch (2), with flyhalf Dewan Eckard adding a conversion.
For UJ, left wing Ghaliel Markus crossed for a late try and flyhalf Arno Coetzee kicked two penalties.
Ixias (10) 13 Brakpan (3) 18
The Falcons champions thoroughly deserved their victory over the CUT students to reach the semifinals.
The highly physical Gautengers overturned a seven-point half-time deficit thanks to two tries from centre Juan Visser and the trustworthy boot of fullback Willem Slabbert, who kicked a conversion and two penalties.
For Ixias, flank Hennie Linde scored a try, converted by fullback Cornel Greyling, who also kicked two penalties.
Tukkies (12) 12 College Rovers (13) 25
An early try from scrumhalf Neil Cole saw KZN champions College Rovers race into a 13-0 lead in as many minutes against the Blue Bulls students, after which they defended heroically to run out deserved victors.
Left wing Oscar Mfundisi brought Tukkies back into the game with a long-range breakout from their own try-line before the students cut the deficit to a single point when flyhalf Chandr Bosshoff dived in at the corner and then converted it himself.
Rovers however stuck to their guns and scored two further tries through classy Sharks fullback Chris Jordaan and wing Wesley Bodmer, to open up a 25-12 lead with 20 minutes remaining. Flyhalf Andrew Borgen added the rest of the points for Rovers with two conversions and two penalties.
Maties (20) 44 Roses United (5) 5
In a bad-tempered match played in pouring rain, Maties scrumhalf Henoe Stoffberg kicked five penalties and right wing Wilhelm Loock dived in at the corner to give the home side a 20-5 lead at the break over Boland champions Roses United.
Roses’ fullback Garth April was responsible for his team’s try after a full backline move that capitalised on the sin-binning of Maties centre Chase Minnaar.
Maties scored a further four tries after the break, two through No.8 Bennie Booysen and one each from Loock and flyhalf Therlow Pietersen, with Stoffberg converting two.
Fixtures for Thursday, September 11:
Welkom v Raiders; UJ v Roses United, 10.00 (08.00 GMT)
Buffalo v Kimberley Police; CUT Ixias v Tukkies, 11.30 (09.30 GMT)
Bowl (final round):
Eersterust v Gardens, 10.00 (08.00 GMT)
Nova Wesbank v Barbarians, 11.30 (09.30 GMT)
SK Walmers v Despatch, 10.00 (08.00 GMT)
Bridgton v Nelspruit, 11.30 (09.30 GMT)
Brakpan v College Rovers, 14.00 (12.00 GMT)
Pukke v Maties, 16.00 (14.00 GMT)