CHAMPIONS Gap Despatch ran in eight tries to shoot to the top of the Cell C Community Cup Pool A with a 54-7 thrashing of Bridgton in Oudtshoorn at the weekend.
Having unconvincingly won their opening game, Despatch upped their efforts to relieve some pressure on themselves with a ruthless all-round performance.
They went into the game wanting to prove to other teams they were still the capable side that lifted the national trophy last year.
The visitors comfortably led 28-0 at the break. They were as clinical in the second half, using their big forwards to dominate and scored a further 26 points to complete the demolition of the hosts.
At the New Brighton Oval, Spring Rose came agonisingly close to a win when they went down 20-19 to Old Selbornians. The home team rose to the occasion and made their intentions known in the early stages with speedy winger Gugu Makhwabe crossing the tryline.
Flyhalf Thulani Meki added nine more points for the New Brighton side, but it was the visitors who took a slim 15-14 half-time lead.
In the second half the visitors used their strong forwards to force their way over the line. Winger Gibbs Moyakhe scored Rose’s only second half points with a late try, but sadly the conversion was missed to deny them victory.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Cape Super 12 club rugby championship’s last two teams were decided after Progress and Gardens both won their semifinal games.
Progress, who have been dominant throughout the season, showed African Bombers no mercy, putting them to the sword 44-25 at the Uitenhage Central Fields.
The in-form Progress were in a try-scoring mood as they ran six past the Zwide outfit. It was 24-0 in favour of Progress at the interval.
In the second half, Bombers played more as a unit and threatened last year’s finalists on several occasions, but a further 20 points were enough for the Uitenhage side to take them through to the final.
Gardens produced a match-winning second half performance to beat East London Police 23-13 in Rosedale. Mediocre in last season’s campaign, Gardens were tested to the limit in the opening half by the side that finished third last season.
Police led 13-11 at half-time but could not keep up with the pace in the second half.
Gardens took full advantage and scored a further 12 points to finish the game off. – Mkhululi Ndamase