Falcons keep Vodacom Cup dream alive

The Falcons stayed on track for a place in the Vodacom Cup final with a hard-fought 44-41 victory over the Pumas at Ellis Park on Saturday. Michael Vlismas reports.

The game was still in the balance with six minutes to go before Falcons hooker Deon Strydom crashed over to give the men from the East Rand the win. Louis Strydom was the star for the hosts, kicking 24 points via six penalties and three conversions.

The four-try bonus point could prove extremely valuable for the Falcons as they climbed to within two points of the Vodacom Blue Bulls, who are in second place on the standings. Sean Plaatjies, Rian Pienaar and Deon Okkers were the other try scorers for the
Falcons, while sharpshooter Casper Steyn kicked 21 points for the Pumas.

The men from Witbank had only pride to play for and can comfort themselves in the fact that they picked up two bonus points from the game.

In Saturday’s other match, the Lions kept their very slim hopes of a final place alive with an unconvincing 27-22 win over the Eagles in George. The Lions achieved their objective – picking up the five points on offer – but are still eight points behind the Blue Bulls and 12 behind the Wildebeest.

Lions wing John Daniels scored his eighth try of the season, while Willie Wepener, Pietie Ferreira and Cats discard Wylie Human got the other touchdowns.

Jeremy Plaatjies scored two tries for the Eagles, who moved a point ahead of the Border Bulldogs in the basement battle.

Scores:

Pumas (24) 41
Tries: Pieter Benade, Sam Gerber, Rian van der Merwe, Lourens Dunn. Conversions:
Casper Steyn (3). Penalties: Steyn (5).

Falcons (24) 44
Tries: Sean Plaatjies, Rian Pienaar, Deon Okkers, Deon Strydom. Conversions: Louis
Strydom (3). Penalties: Strydom (6).

Eagles (10) 22
Tries: Valentine van Wyk, Jeremy Plaatjies (2). Conversions: Rynhard van As (2).
Penalty: Van As.

Lions (10) 27
Tries: John Daniels, Willie Wepener, Wylie Human, Pietie Ferreira. Conversions:
Quinton van Tonder (2). Penalty: Van Tonder.