Leaders Lions beaten by Bulls
September 23, 2011
Tewis de Bruyn celebrates Coenie Oosthuizen's bonus point-clinching try at Newlands © Getty Images
The Blue Bulls defeated Currie Cup table toppers the Golden Lions 21-18 in Johannesburg on Saturday to keep their hopes of reaching the play-off semi-finals alive.
Bulls fly-half Louis Fouche kicked 11 points including two penalties, a drop goal and a conversion while Jano Vermaak and Warwick Tecklenburg got the tries for the visitors to take them up to fifth, five points behind Free State in the table.
Meanwhile, Michael Killian and Joshua Strauss crossed for the Lions, with fly-half Elton Jantjies converting one and adding another two penalties. However, the hosts failed to take advantage of yellow cards for Dean Greyling and Wynard Olivier, slumping to just their second defeat of the season.
The Free State Cheetahs climbed above Western Province and into third place in the standings with a 34-20 victory over the Cape Town outfit at Newlands in Cape Town later in the day.
The visitors bossed, the opening period and reached the interval with an 18-point lead in hand courtesy of tries from winger Cameron Jacobs, scrum-half Piet van Zyl and flanker Pieter Labuschagne, as well as nine points from the boot of fly-half Johan Goosen. The Province managed just two penalties from No.10 Lionel Cronje by way of a response.
However, the hosts finally came to life after the restart, dragging themselves right back into the contest with tries from flankers Nick Fenton-Wells and Deon Fourie, both scores coming after terrific rolling mauls. Cronje converted both touchdowns and there was just four points between the sides with just over 20 minutes to play.
Replacement flyhalf Sias Ebersohn stretched the Cheetahs' lead out to seven points with a drop goal before scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenhage saw his penalty attempt come back off one of the uprights. Buoyed by that let-off, the Cheetahs then sealed victory when prop Coenie Oosthuizen forced his way over from close range.
The Sharks remain on course for a home draw in the play-offs after picking up a bonus point in a hard-earned 29-18 victory over the Griquas at Kings Park on Friday night.
The reigning champions had found themselves 10 points down by the end of the first quarter, with fullback Rudi Vogt kicking an early penalty before then converting his own try as he went about singlehandly silencing the Durban crowd.
However, the Kings Park faithful were given something to cheer about on 23 minutes when prop Dale Chadwick forced his way over the whitewash. Play was halted soon after because of a power failure but the game got underway again 10 minutes later, with the interrupton doing little to halt the Sharks' momentum as they moved ahead just before the break courtesy of a try from Jean Deysel.
The Griquas came storming back at the second half and reclaimed the lead and the iniative when centre Matthew Rosslee darted over. Vogt failed to add the extras but he went some way towards atoning for that miss by landing a penalty to extend the Griquas' advantage to four points.
However, the Sharks ralled in the final quarter, a terrific surge from hooker Kyle Cooper creating a try for Meyer Bosman just after the hour mark before wing Lwazi Mvovo secured the win and the bonus point for the hosts when he dived over after leaving three Griquas defenders trailing in his wake.
Also on Friday, the Pumas registered their first home win of the season as they saw off fellow strugglers the Leopards 32-19 in a battle of the basement boys in Nelspruit on Friday night.
The hosts did most of their damage in the first half, with tries from Coenie van Wyk and Wilhelm Loock, and 15 points from the boot of the former, helping them into a 25-0 lead by the interval.
The Leopard belatedly got off the mark on 51 minutes when fullback George Tossel dotted and that score sparked the visitors into life as two more tries before the hour, though hooker Gavin Williamson and flanker Philip de Wet saw them draw to within six points.
However, the Pumas finally awoke from their slumber in the final quarter and they sealed a long overdue victory when blindside flanker Jaco Bouwer crashed over for a try which was converted by Van Wyk.
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