AFTER playing 14 games, winning 12 of them and losing just two, Despatch hung on to the top position in the EP Grand Challenge rugby competition with a well-deserved 45-8 win over United Barbarians in Despatch at the weekend.
The first half of the match was a closely contested affair, with the national Community Cup champions only managing a 12-5 half-time score. But the Barbarians then battled to keep the home side at bay.
In the second half, Despatch proved too strong for the visitors as they scored a further six tries to run away with the game.
Spring Rose were too good for St Marks whom they out-muscled and outplayed as they romped to a massive 124-15 victory at the New Brighton Oval.
Rose were determined not to be St Marks’ first victims of the season as the rookie northern areas side have lost all their games this season.
The New Brighton outfit announced their intentions early in the game and were comfortably leading 51-3 after 40 minutes.
After the break, Rose continued where they left off and stamped their authority on proceedings by scoring a further 73 points.
Although the game was a one-way traffic, St Marks will be proud that they crossed the tryline twice in the second half.
Harlequins clipped Orlando Eagles’ wings when they outclassed them 62-21 at Bertram High School.
Eagles had a dream start as they drew first blood with a converted try in the third minute.
The hosts managed to get back in the game after 10 minutes of play and went to the break leading 21-7.
Play opened up in the second half, with more scoring opportunities created. Quins camped inside Eagles’ half and were rewarded handsomely as they ran in a series of tries.
Eagles tried hard to stay in the game, but the Eastern Cape Super 12 champions showed their class in an emphatic result.
Gardens beat African Bombers 17-14 at the Zwide Stadium.
Gardens, known for their quick, running style of play, went to the break narrowly leading 7-6.
The heavy Bombers side, who have not found suitable replacements after losing some key backline players, were their worst enemies as they tried to copy their opponents’ style and committed too many handling errors, which allowed Gardens to take control.
PE SAPS narrowly edged Kruisfontein 22-21 at Kemsley Park.
The closely contested clash could have gone either way, with both sides determined to claim the victory. Supporters were treated to some good, clean rugby in a game of fluctuating fortunes.
The men in blue were really given a scare after they were leading 22-14 with a minute remaining. Kruisfontein pushed forward and were rewarded with a converted try, but it was not enough to upset the hosts.
In another close game, Progress edged Brumbies 36-27 in Uitenhage.
The game could have gone either way, with the Uitenhage side scoring six tries, while the Grahamstown outfit scored five.
NMMU were never in trouble in their match against Suburban, running out 125-0 winners at the campus, scoring 19 tries.
Caltex Crusaders made a strong start against Park in their clash at Londt Park, charging to a 27-0 lead at half time and never looking back.
Park showed some resilience in the second half to score 19 points, but Saders emerged comfortable 42-19 winners.