Toyota Cheetahs, Airlink Pumas, Fidelity Lions, and Vodacom Bulls Shine in Carling Currie Cup Premier Division

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  • Airlink Pumas defeat Suzuki Griquas 44-24 in Kimberley.
  • Fidelity Lions edge Sharks 26-25 in Durban thriller.
  • Toyota Cheetahs dominate Griffons 82-20 in Bloemfontein.
  • Bulls win rainy derby 30-25 against Western Province.

The Carling Currie Cup Premier Division kicked off with intense matches that showcased thrilling performances by the defending champions, Toyota Cheetahs, and strong starts by the Airlink Pumas, Fidelity ADT Lions, and Vodacom Bulls. The opening weekend of the 2024 season set the stage for a competitive and exciting championship.

Airlink Pumas’ Redemption in Kimberley

Revenge for SA Cup Loss

The Airlink Pumas began their campaign with a statement win against Suzuki Griquas, securing a 44-24 victory in Kimberley. This match was more than just a game; it was about redemption. The Pumas sought to avenge their recent SA Cup final defeat at the same venue, and they did so convincingly.

Dominant Performance

The Pumas led 25-12 at halftime and maintained control throughout the match. Each of their six tries was scored by different players, showcasing their depth and teamwork. Flyhalf Clinton Swart was instrumental, adding four conversions and two penalty goals to the scoreboard, ensuring the Pumas stayed ahead.

Match Summary

  • Suzuki Griquas 24 (12): Tries by Mnombo Zwelendaba (2), Cameron Hufke, Bobby Alexander. Conversions by George Whitehead, Lubabalo Dobela.
  • Airlink Pumas 44 (25): Tries by Etienne Janeke, Eddie Swart, Ruwald van der Merwe, Ross Braude, Dean Ackermann, Stefan Coetzee. Conversions by Clinton Swart (4). Penalty goals by Swart (2).

Thriller in Durban: Lions Edge Out Sharks

Nail-biting Finish

In one of the weekend’s most exciting matches, the Fidelity ADT Lions narrowly defeated Hollywoodbets Sharks XV 26-25 in Durban. The Lions’ victory came down to the wire, breaking the hearts of home supporters.

Second-Half Comeback

The Sharks led 10-8 at halftime, thanks to unconverted tries by Jaco Williams and Coetzee Le Roux. However, the Lions mounted a fierce comeback in the second half, with tries from Jarod Cairns and Morne Brandon turning the tide in their favor. A last-minute try by Sharks’ Nick Hatton was not enough as the conversion was missed, sealing the Lions’ win.

Match Summary

  • Hollywoodbets Sharks XV 25 (10): Tries by Coetzee Le Roux, Nick Hatton, Jaco Williams, Diego Appollis. Conversion and penalty goal by Lionel Cronje.
  • Fidelity ADT Lions 26 (8): Tries by Kade Wolhuter, Jarod Cairns, Morne Brandon. Conversion by Wolhuter. Penalty goals by Wolhuter (3).

Toyota Cheetahs’ Dominant Display

Runaway Victory

The Toyota Cheetahs showcased their dominance with an emphatic 82-20 win over NovaVit Griffons in Bloemfontein. This victory was a clear statement of intent from the defending champions as they began their title defense.

Scoring Spree

The Cheetahs outscored the Griffons by 12 tries to two, with significant contributions from Gideon van der Merwe, Daniel Kasende, and Jandre Nel, each scoring two tries. Ethan Wentzel and George Lourens were reliable from the kicking tee, adding a combined total of nine conversions.

Match Summary

  • Toyota Cheetahs 82 (28): Tries by Gideon van der Merwe (2), Daniel Kasende (2), Jandre Nel (2), Sbu Nkosi, Ethan Wentzel, Litha Nkula, Jeandre Rudolph, Neels Volschenk, Penalty try. Conversions by Wentzel (7), George Lourens (3).
  • NovaVit Griffons 20 (13): Tries by Gurswin Wehr, Penalty try. Conversion and penalty goals by Andrew Kota.

Bulls Triumph in Cape Town

Rainy Derby Win

The Vodacom Bulls overcame DHL Western Province 30-25 in a rain-soaked North-South derby in Cape Town. Despite challenging weather conditions, the Bulls managed to secure a crucial away victory, setting a positive tone for their season.

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