Western Province blew a healthy lead to draw with the Bulls in Cape Town and the Cheetahs won by a point in Johannesburg against the Lions in Currie Cup action.
Province’s backs looked the more dangerous but the Bulls forwards dominated the home team pack.
The Bulls were strong throughout in the scrums and at the breakdown, but their backs did not pack the same kind of punch.
The tournament, minus the current Springbok squad of 30 players, is understrength but it certainly does represent strength against strength.
Griquas won by two points in Durban against the Sharks, there was only one point in it in Johannesburg and in Cape Town the Bulls fought back from 21-9 to draw 24-all against the defending champions.
Bulls flyhalf Tony Jantjies had a chance to win the game for the Bulls but his touchline conversion in the 80th minute drifted wide.
Western Province – Tries: Gio Aplon, Pat Howard, Nizaam Carr. Conversions: Gary van Aswegen (3). Penalties: Van Aswegen.
Blue Bulls – Tries: Francois Venter, Jean Cook. Conversion: Tony Jantjies. Penalties: Jantjies (4).
Western Province – 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Pat Howard, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Deon Fourie (c), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Subs: 16 Ross Geldenhuys, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Michael Rhodes, 19 Ruan Kitshoff, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Berton Klaasen.
Bulls – 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Travis Ismaiel, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Jono Ross (c), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Morné Mellet.
Subs: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Marcell van der Merwe, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Jean Cook, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Waylon Murray, 22 Clayton Blommetjies.
No home team won the first weekend of Currie Cup action.
Sharks 30 Griquas 32
Lions 29 Cheetahs 30
WP 24 Blue Bulls 24