It’s been a topsy turvy start for the Lions and DHL Western Province in the Premier Division – after losing to the New Nation Pumas last weekend, the men from Joburg hit back in style against the Capetonians on Wednesday evening, which included a few very nervous moments at the end.

DHL WP returned to Cape Town from their mini-tour to Gauteng with seven log points – a full house against the Vodacom Bulls last Saturday, and two more against the Lions at Emirates Airline Park, but with 10 minutes to go it looked like the men in the hooped jerseys were on the receiving end of a proper hiding.

Lions bounce back in thriller against DHL WP

The Lions completed an extraordinary Carling Currie Cup victory over a never-say-die DHL Western Province side in a 38-32 try-fest in Johannesburg on Wednesday night.

With just over 10 minutes to go, the home team were firmly in control, but two yellow cards in quick succession opened the door for the Capetonians to score three late tries to put themselves in a position to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Evan Roos (flanker) was a marauding presence with ball in hand and got DHL WP on the front foot late in the game, but they ran out of time, with the Lions’ improved defence, better use of their opportunities, more clinical attack and intensity – especially in the first hour – setting the tone for the win.


Lions 38 (24) – Tries: Sibusiso Sangweni, Rabz Maxwane (2), PJ Botha (2), Ruben Schoeman. Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (4).

DHL Western Province 32 (10) – Tries: Juarno Augustus, Paul de Wet, Cornel Smit, Penalty try. Conversions: Tim Swiel (2). Penalty goals: Swiel (2).


Carling Currie Cup Premier Division

This weekend, the action kicks off at Loftus Versfeld on Friday evening, where the Vodacom Bulls will be looking to bounce back against the New Nation Pumas.

The Lowvelders will travel to Pretoria full of confidence after hammering the Lions last weekend, while the Vodacom Bulls are aiming for their first win of the season.

The New Nation Pumas won the last Carling Currie Cup clash with the men from Pretoria, by 44-14 at Mbombela Stadium, but the Vodacom Bulls will be bolstered this week by a host of players who played in the Rainbow Cup final last weekend and will be determined to get the result at home.

The Toyota Cheetahs will get their first taste of action in 2021 when they travel up the N8 to Kimberley to face Tafel Lager Griquas in a Central Derby on Saturday.

The Peacock Blues recently won a warm-up clash between the two sides, but the Free Staters are known for putting their best foot forward in the Carling Currie Cup and the hosts in Kimberley will take nothing for granted.

The last time they met, in January, the Toyota Cheetahs won thanks to the irrepressible boot of Springbok Frans Steyn, even though Tafel Lager Griquas outscored their neighbours by two tries to one in Kimberley.

Steyn is currently in camp with the national team, but the Toyota Cheetahs will have their other Springbok talisman, Ruan Pienaar, back on duty for this clash.

Match information:

Vodacom Bulls v New Nation Pumas
Date: Friday, 25 June
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19h00
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Referees: Local appointments
Television Match Official: Cwengile Jadezweni
TV: SuperSport

Tafel Lager Griquas v Toyota Cheetahs
Date: Saturday, 26 June
Venue: Tafel Lager Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 13h00
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Referees: Local appointments
Television Match Official: Cwengile Jadezweni
TV: SuperSport Rugby

UPDATED: Carling Currie Cup First Division

Only two matches take place this weekend, following the cancellation of the Leopards / SWD game due to COVID protocols. 

The decision was prompted by positive tests in the SWD Eagles team and with specific consideration given to player welfare. As determined by the competition rules, the Leopards will be awarded four log points because of the cancellation and the result will be noted as 0-0.

“SA Rugby and all the unions agreed that while it’s unfortunate, the safety of our players and officials comes first,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

“It’s clear from the documentation received that both teams followed the agreed protocols, but the SWD Eagles have informed us that they are unable to field a team for player welfare reasons. As the Leopards are able to play, they will be awarded four log points.”

In Welkom, the Down Touch Griffons host Eastern Province in a match where the home side will run out as favourites after their good win in East London last weekend.

In the other First Division game of the weekend, the Bulldogs travel to Wellington to take on the Boland Kavaliers, who will be making their debut in the competition this year.

The log-leading Valke have a bye this weekend.

Match information:

Boland Kavaliers v Border Bulldogs
Date: Saturday, 26 June
Venue: Boland Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 14h00
Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron

Down Touch Griffons v Eastern Province
Date: Saturday, 26 June
Venue: Griffons Stadium, Welkom
Kick-off: 15h00
Referee: Paul Mente