Cape Town - Big wins on Wednesday took centre stage in the main games of
the Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week and Coca-Cola Academy Week at Kearsney
College in Durban to spice up the competition as the final day’s play draws
In the last two matches in the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, Western Province outplayed hosts, the Sharks, 60-5, and the Pumas
overpowered Namibia 51-15. In the Coca-Cola Academy Week, the Sharks defeated
In stark contrast, Western Province had to work hard for
their 31-29 victory against the Golden Lions in the Coca-Cola Academy
Week to emerge as one of the main contenders to battle it out in the final
match of the tournament on Saturday.
The victories for all four teams ensured that they will
enter the final day’s play on Saturday unbeaten.
Wednesday’s play was riveting, with a total of 702 points
scored across the two tournaments - 350 of which were scored in the U18
Coca-Cola Craven Week from 50 tries and 352 in the Coca-Academy Week from 52
In the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, Western Province, who won
the final match of the 2015 tournament with a stunning 95-0 victory, showed
that they could be equally threatening this season as they as they cruised to a
43-0 half-time score against the Sharks.
Such was the high quality of their attack they ran circles
around the Sharks to cross the chalk seven times, while their effective defence
denied the hosts from getting close to the tryline. The Cape side continued to
force their way through the defence in the second half to add two more tries to
The Sharks fought back with intent as they put together
phases on attack and ran hard at Western Province, while they tightened up their
defence. These efforts were rewarded with a try, but the five points proved to
be their only points of the match, as a combination of mistakes at crucial
times the tenacious Western Province defence continued to shut them out. The
Capetonians added a penalty in the 60th minute to take the score to
60-5, which proved to be final score.
The opening exchanges between the Pumas and Namibia were
tight with the visitors touching down the first try of the match in the 15th
minute. The Pumas hit back immediately with two tries in five minutes and a
penalty to force their way into the lead.
Namibia responded with a penalty before the break to reduce
the deficit to 10 points. The Mpumalanga side, however, ran the show in the
second half with their effective attack and solid rounding-off, which earned
them five more tries to stretch their score to 51. Despite trailing far behind,
Namibia refused to give up and touched down for their second try to go down
Boland opened up the scoring in their clash with a try in
the fourth minute, but a penalty by the Port Elizabeth side followed by a brace
of three tries in 10 minutes and another penalty pushed them into a comfortable
30-7 half-time lead.
Boland, however, came out firing in the second half thanks
to a skilful display in which they crossed the tryline four times, while they
limited Eastern Province to only one try. But the Wellington side’s efforts
fell just short as they went down 37-33.
In the early games the Griffons pipped Griquas Rural 34-32 and Griquas sailed to a 78-5 victory against Zimbabwe.
The Griffons showed their class on attack from the outset as
they ran in four tries in the first 31 minutes, while Griquas Rural kicked two
penalties and scored one try to trail 24-13 at the break. Griquas Rural
continued to keep the scoreboard ticking with penalty goals in the second half,
with flyhalf Iwan Lombard slotting over six in the match and two conversions
for 22 points. They also added a last-minute try, but this was not enough to
sneak into the lead as the Griffons added two second-half tries to their tally,
which allowed them to hold on for the 34-32 victory.
Griquas delivered a solid performance on attack and defence
against Zimbabwe and they did well to take advantage of the space out-wide to
pile on the tries throughout the match. Zimbabwe tried hard to make their
presence felt, but handling errors denied them from applying pressure on
Griquas, which left them with only one try for their efforts. In stark contrast
Griquas touched down a staggering 12 times for a rewarding 78-5 Victory.
Wing Cameron Huffke scored four of these tries and slotted
over nine conversions for a personal total of 38 points.
In the Coca-Cola Academy Week, Border stunned hosts, the
Sharks, early on in their clash as they took advantage of a yellow card for the
home team to score their first try and added another six minutes later. The
Sharks cancelled this out with two of their own before the break.
Border, however, had the final say as they slotted over a
penalty on the stroke of half time to take an 18-12 lead. This served as
motivation for the hosts, as they delivered a determined second-half
performance to run in an impressive four tries, which shut the East London side
out of the match. Despite this Border, fought until the end and earned a try
for their efforts, which saw them go down 40-25.
The clash between Western Province and the Golden Lions was thrilling, with Lions clawing their way back from a 28-3
deficit, but were denied by a last-gasp penalty by the Cape side.
Western Province stunned the Lions with a quartet of tries
in the first half, while the Johannesburg side only kicked a penalty in return.
But the tide turned for the Lions after the break and they hit back with four
tries to take a 29-28 lead. Western Province were awarded a late penalty, which
Theo Boshoff slotted over to snatch a 31-29 win.
The SA LSEN (Learners with Special Education Needs) team
also won their second match in the tournament as they recorded a 38-26 victory
against Griffons CD.
The SA LSEN team stamped their authority early in the match
as they scored three converted tries in the first 12 minutes to work their way
to an encouraging 21-0 lead at the break. The Griffons CD, however, forced
their way back into the match with back-to-back tries in the opening exchanges
of the second half to create a competitive final quarter.
Both teams added two tries as the match progressed, but a
handy penalty by the SA LSEN team in the 66th minute allowed them to
wrap up the 38-26 victory.
In the opening three matches of the day, SWD defeated
Eastern Province CD 30-15 and the Blue Valke secured a 36-24 victory against Griquas Rural, while the Pumas defeated the Griffons 36-17.
SWD staged a strong second-half comeback from 8-0 down at
the break to power their way to victory as they out-scored Eastern Province CD
five tries to two, while the Blue Valke dominated their clash against Griquas
Rural from the outset as they used their point-scoring chances effectively to
secure the victory.
The Pumas, meanwhile, took control of their clash against
the Griffons from the outset as they forced their way over the tryline three
times in the first 20 minutes, while they limited the Welkom side to one try in
the first half, which earned them a 19-5 lead. They built on this shortly after
the break with two back-to-back tries to stretch their lead to 36 points. The
Griffons fought back strongly and scored two tries in five minutes shortly
before the final whistle, but these efforts proved to be too little too late.