DHL Western Province U21 scored seven tries, including a second hat-trick in as many matches by Blitzbok speedster Angelo Davids, en route to a 47-28 win over Toyota Free State U21 at Emirates Airline Park.
Crucially the seventh try, by centre Waqar Solaan, confirmed a crucial bonus point to keep DHL U21 in the running for a place in the final, despite losing their first two matches.
DHL WP U21 started with more intent than their opponents from the heartland. Flank De Wet Marais scored in the opening minutes following sustained pressure by his side.
Their pack had the early dominance and flyhalf Chris Schreuder used his loose forwards to punch holes in the Free State defence. It was off such a play that Marais bust through and over the line for the opening score.
The Free Staters gained momentum as DHL WP U21 conceded a number of penalties and from one of those, near the Province line, Toyota Free State opted for a scrum. This worked in their favour as Cohen Jasper (fullback) blitzed through a gap to score, with Charles Williams (flyhalf) levelling the scores after 17 minutes.
Davids then outpaced the Cheetah defence with a 55m run, showing the Bloemfontein cover defence a clear pair of heels for his first of the afternoon. Schreuder converted to give his side a 14-7 lead at the first water break after 20 minutes of play.
DHL Western Province U21 kept the momentum after the first stop in play and five minutes later, prop Dian Bleuler crashed over from an attacking lineout.
Davids extended the lead with his second try, showing his great pace as he ran onto a well-weighted kick from DHL WP U21 scrumhalf Thomas Bursey.
The Cheetahs were still in it though, thanks to good first phase play and following an attacking lineout, William Moffat (hooker) scored at the back of the maul to bring score back to 26-14 after 31 minutes.
A good try by DHL WP U21 fullback Sibabalwe Xamlashe edged his team further ahead, with a yellow card to Cheetahs wing Cham Mzondeki not helping their cause.
Toyota Free State struck despite being a man down with Cornel Korff dotting down after some patience on attack and good inter-passing between forwards and backs saw the scrumhalf dotting down under the sticks.
Davids blitzed in for his third as the team from Bloem completely missed the kick-off and the wing collected the ball to run in unopposed.
Toyota Free State were starting to push hard though and a well-timed run by Jasper saw him in for second try as they attacked to the left side from a scrum in the middle of the field, and Jasper looped around to find open space and the try-line.
Schreuder kicked two long range penalty goals to ease DHL WP out to a 42-28 lead with 12 minutes to play, and while the Free Staters came close, Solaan had the last say with his crucial try in the corner after the final buzzer.
DHL Western Province U21:
Tries: De Wet Marais, Angelo Davids (3), Dian Bleuler, Sibabalwe Xamlashe, Waqar Solaan
Conversions: Chris Schreuder (3)
Penalty goals: Schreuder (2)
Toyota Free State U21:
Tries: Cohen Jasper (2), William Moffat, Cornel Korff
Conversions: Charles Williams (4)
DHL WP U21: 15 Sibabalwe Xamlashe, 14 Chris Grobbelaar, 13 Mnombo Zwelendaba, 12 Waqar Solaan, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Christopher Schreuder, 9 Thomas Bursey, 8 Tyrone Maritz, 7 De Wet Marais, 6 Matthew Cordy, 5 Dylan de Leeuw, 4 Thys Kitshoff, 3 Dandre Degenaar, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Dian Bleuler.
Replacements: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Rynhardt Rijnsburger, 18 Damian Swartz, 19 Xavier Haupt, 20 Jarrod Taylor, 21 Dylan Alexander, 22 Dan Aspeling, 23 Mikyle Vraagom.