The Sharks XV secured a home quarter-final with a 34-20 victory over the Pampas XV in Stellenbosch on Saturday.
Four tries, two to left wing S’bura Sithole, earned the Sharks the bonus-point they needed to slip into second in the southern section. The Pampas did, however, make the play-offs thanks to a last-gasp drop goal by replacement flyhalf Benjamin Madero.
The Sharks were in control throughout and lead comfortably at the break (19-3), after which they fell away slightly, allowing the Pampas to draw to within six before a Gouws Prinloo penalty eased fears of defeat.
In Durbanville, Cape Town, Western Province maintained their unbeaten run with a 42-31 win against the Free State XV. The scoreline doesn’t paint a full picture, as the Cheetahs were in it until the death before WP loose forward Rohan Kitshoff scored his third try of the match.
The Kings finished third thanks to a hard-fought 29-24 victory against Boland. In the match played in Port Elizabeth the Kings bossed the first half, opening a 26-10 half-time lead before having to repel a spirited comeback.
Meanwhile in the northern section, Griquas clinched top spot with an 11-try 83-3 victory over the Valke in Kimberley.
The Bulls eased past the Griffons in Welkom, scoring eight tries in their 50-28 victory. However, the Pumas’ six-try 46-10 defeat of the Leopards in Witbank saw the Bulls drop down to third on the log, with the Pumas set for a home play-off
Vodacom Cup results: Round 8
Pampas XV 20 – Tries: Facundo Barrea, Manuel Madero. Conversions: Benjamin Madero. Penalties: Santiago Gonzales Iglesias, Benjamin Madero. Drop Goals: Santiago Gonzales Iglesias, Benjamin Madero
Sharks XV 34 – Tries: Paul Jordaan, Cobus Reinach, Sibusiso Sithole (2). Conversions: Gouws Prinsloo (2). Penalties: Prinsloo (2).
Western Province 42 - Tries: Damian de Allende, Rohan Kitshoff (3), Ghafoet Luckan, Hilton Lobberts. Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (3). Penalties: Catrakilis (2).
Free State 31 – Tries: Riaan Smit, Inus Kritzinger, Robert van Schalkwyk, Marco Mason. Conversions: Nico Scheepers (4). Penalty: Scheepers.
Griquas 83 - Tries: Marnus Schoeman (2), Leon Karemaker (2), Jacques Coetzee, Jean Stemmet, Janro van Niekerk, Rudi Vogt, Simon Westraadt, Marnus Hugo, Rocco Jansen. Conversions: Vogt (7), Marnitz Boshoff (4). Penalties: Vogt (2).
Valke 3 - Penalty: Juan Kotzé.
EP 29 – Tries: Jongi Nokwe, Scott van Breda, Marcello Sampson. Conversions: Justin van Staden (1). Penalties: Justin van Staden (4).
Boland 24 – Tries: Siviwe Magaba, Franzel September, Jerry Sifoko. Conversions: Elgar Watts (3). Penalties: Elgar Watts.
Griffons 28 – Tries: Nicky Steyn, Hansie Graaf, Japie Nel, Danie van der Merwe. Conversions: Graaf (4).
Blue Bulls 50 – Tries: Jean Cook, Courtnall Skosan, Jan Serfontein, Ulrich Beyers, Willie du Plessis, Sampie Mastriet, Jerome Pretorius, Franco Mostert. Conversions: Wesley Dunlop (4), Du Plessis.
Pumas 46 – Tries: Coenie van Wyk (3), Jaco Bouwer (2), Johan Jackson. Conversions: JC Roos (5). Penalties: Roos (2).
Leopards 10 – Try: Juan Pretorius. Conversion: Gerhard Nortier. Penalty: Andre Pretorius