Wanderers and Reho Falcons continued to set the pace at the top of the MTC Premier League with crushing victories over the weekend.
Wanderers thrashed Kudus 78-25 at their home ground in Pioniers Park, running in 13 tries in the process to collect a maximum six points.
In Rehoboth, Reho Falcon also gave a dominant display as they ran in seven tries to beat Unam 55-21. The results saw both teams collecting maximum points as they remained tied at the top of the log on 44 points each, although Wanderers lead the log on points difference.
Wanderers and Reho Falcon have now opened up a sizeable gap on the chasing pack and with only two rounds remaining in this year’s competition they seem to be assured of reaching the semifinals.
The battle for the remaining two semifinal spots is heating up with four teams still in the running.
Mariental remain third on 36 points despite suffering a narrow 29-26 defeat at Western Suburbs on Saturday. The result saw Suburbs moving up to joint fourth on the log on 32 points, along with Rehoboth, who beat United 36-21 at United’s Gemsbok Park in Olympia.
United, who are sixth on 30 points, also still have an outside chance of reaching the semifinals.
Seventh placed Kudus, on 26 points and Unam who are bottom of the log on 16 points are the only teams that are out of the running for a semifinal spot at this stage.
Suburbs pip Mariental after late try
At Suburbs Park, Mariental gave the hosts a tough battle before a late try by replacement wing Ashwin Walters gave Suburbs a 29-26 victory.
Suburbs took an early lead through a converted try by centre Darryl de la Harpe, but Mariental came back strongly and tries by their hooker Gerhard Loubser and left wing Basjan van der Merwe, and a conversion and penalty by flyhalf Morne Blaauw saw them taking a 15-7 lead at the break.
Suburbs reduced the gap to a single point after prop Hauta Veii went on a storming run to dot down, but two penalties by Blaauw put Mariental 21-14 ahead.
The lead changed hands several more times in the final quarter as both teams gave it their all.
With 10 minutes remaining Suburbs drew level after Darryl de la Harpe cut through Mariental’s backline to score his second try, converted by Justin Nel, and when TC Losper added a penalty, Suburbs were 24-21 ahead.
Mariental refused to surrender and regained the lead after a try by centre Corne Carstens, but Suburbs piled on the pressure and a try by Ashwin Willemse in the final minute secured them a narrow victory.
Mariental coach Gert van Wyk said a lack of concentration had cost them the game.
“We dominated the tight exchanges and should have won this match, but we lost concentration and lost the match in injury time. But we played well and could have won the match had the referee not ruled that FJ van Zyl knocked on when he went over for a try in the closing stages,” he said.
Suburbs’ committee member Robert Thompson said that their backs had made the difference.
“We matched them up front, but our backs made the difference. They regularly broke the advantage line and Darryl de la Harpe cut them to pieces with his sharp running. Enrico Gaoab did well in the lineouts, but we should have won more comfortably as several tries were lost due to handling errors,” he said.