Vodacom Blue Bulls flyhalves Joshua Stander (48) and Kobus Marais (42) tops the point scoring list of the Absa Under-21 Provincial Championship after four rounds, a fair reflection on the good showing the northern side had so far in the competition.
The Blue Bulls had the better of the Toyota Free State in the weekend's matches to stay top of the log, while the Xerox Golden Lions kept their undefeated record intact by beating the Cell C Sharks 30-19 in Pietermaritzburg.
In the other match of the weekend, Leopards easily beat Border 48-0 in Potchefstroom in what can be described as an improved showing by the visitors.
A summary of the weekends results are:
Vodacom Blue Bulls 24 (3), Toyota Free State 10 (3).
Stander kicked four penalties and a conversion at Loftus B on Friday, helping his side to a hard-earned win over a determined Free State side.
The visitors paid of ill-discipline at the breakdown though and Stander made them pay. A yellow card for repeated offences also did some damage to the Free State effort.
The Blue Bulls scored only twice in the second half and they slowly but surely got the better of the Free State, but with good defence on both sides dominating attack, it was hard work.
Vodacom Blue Bulls (Under-21) 24 (3). Tries: Kefentse Mahlo, Jan Enslin. Conversion: Joshua Stander. Penalties: Stander (4).
Toyota Free State (Under-21) 10 (3). Try: Luke Cyster. Conversion: Ruan Potgieter. Penalty: Potgieter.
Leopards 48 (), Border 0 (0).
A hat-trick of tries by livewire fullback Rhyno Smith helped the home side to cruise part Border in Potchefstroom.
Smith scored one in the first half and the Leopards raced away to a 31-0 lead at the break, and twice in the second half.
A bunch of substitutions in the second half did cost the Leopards some momentum, but Border will be pleased that they stopped the rot in the second half of the clash.
Leopards (Under-21) 48 (31). Tries: Rhyno Smith (3), Marno Redelinghuys (2), Loftus Morrison (2), Mark Reyneke. Conversions: Kobus du Plessis (4).
Border (Under-21) 0 (0).
Golden Lions 30, Cell C Sharks 19.
The Golden Lions combined well in this crucial away win over the Sharks, but will have to thank fullback Hanco Deale as well. Deale scored 20 of his side's points, including a try as the visiting backs showed too much venom in their attack for the home side to handle.
Golden Lions (Under-21). Tries: Hanco Deale, Harold Vorster, Selom Gavor. Conversions: Deale (3). Penalties: Deale (3).