Western Province close in on semi-finals, Bulls go second


Western Province took a giant step towards the Currie Cup semi-finals by beating Griquas 52-31 and Blue Bulls moved into second place with 48-26 bonus-point hammering of Boland Cavaliers on Friday.

Griquas went into the penultimate pool match with a 100 per cent home record this season, but Western Province dominated the second half to seal what could be a vital bonus-point win and replace the hosts in fourth place.

Western Province trailed 21-17 at half-time, but raised their game to spoil Griquas' 130th year anniversary celebrations.

Huw Jones, Werner Kok, Nizaam Carr, Leolin Zas added to first-half scores from Juan de Jongh and Mbongeni Mbonambi, with Robert du Preez scoring 22 points with the boot as Griquas were consigned to what would appear to a costly defeat.

Blue Bulls knew a comprehensive bonus-point success in their last pool match would give them every chance of securing a home semi-final and they duly delivered in Wellington.

The Cavaliers led 26-22 in the second half after Theuns Kotze converted his second try of the game, but the Bulls produced a blitz with four tries in the space of 15 minutes - including two from Hanro Liebenberg - to seal an ultimately comfortable victory.

Ryno Benjamin helped himself to a hat-trick as leaders Free State Cheetahs made it seven wins out of seven with a 52-10 eight-try demolition of Pumas in Nelspruit.