Playing at home in Durban last Friday afternoon, the unbeaten Cell C Sharks defeated the Leopards 59-14 to finish on 27 league points from their six games, and secure top position on the standings.

Defending champions, the Vodacom Bulls, clinched their spot once more in the final by dismantling the Valke 67-5 on the same day at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, and in Johannesburg, the Lions downed the Toyota Cheetahs 52-7.

In Durban, the Cell C Sharks scored eight converted tries and a penalty goal against the visiting Leopards, who responded with two converted tries.

Inside centre Ethan Hooker scored twice for the Durbanites, while flyhalf Jean Smith converted seven of the eight tries and added a penalty goal. Hooker Abre Griesel and replacement loose forward JP Senekal scored consolation tries for the Leopards, that were converted by JP Brits.

The Vodacom Bulls crossed the whitewash 11 times against the Valke, who could only reply with one unconverted effort in their 67-5 victory in Pretoria. Hooker Juanre Breitenbach grabbed a hat-trick of tries, with former Junior Springbok flyhalf Compion von Ludwig nailing six conversions through the uprights.

The Lions managed to build a halftime lead of 21-7 after they went over three times in the first half against the Toyota Cheetahs. The Highvelders eventually scored eight times of which only two were not converted.

Inside centre Bronson Mills and right wing Sha-Jehaan de Jongh grabbed two tries apiece for the Highvelders, with flyhalf Shaheem Francis and replacement back Thurlon Williams each succeeding with three conversions. Front ranker Cassie Botha (try) and replacement fullback Shaun Roy (conversion) were responsible for the Free Staters’ points .

The results mean the Cell C Sharks finished first on 27 points, two more than the Vodacom Bulls and five more than Lions. DHL WP finished fourth on 16 points, followed by Toyota Cheetas (10), Leopards (nine) and last-placed Valke on two points.