Cape Town - Eastern Province and
KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday stamped their authority on the second day of the
Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week at the Markötter Sports Complex at Paul Roos
Gymnasium in Stellenbosch as they registered encouraging victories in the top
match-ups of the day.
Eastern Province, who took top honours at
last year’s tournament, were in fine form against SWD in a repeat of the 2014
final match and registered a 41-31 victory, while KwaZulu-Natal defeated the
Golden Lions 18-16 in a nail-biting encounter.
Griquas, the Valke and Griquas CD also
started off their campaigns on a high note as they secured victories against
the Leopards, Eastern Province CD and Zimbabwe respectively.
The third round of matches will be played
on Wednesday, with hosts Western Province taking on the Griffons and Boland
going up against Border.
Eastern Province 41 (15) SWD Eagles 31 (3)
Eastern Province started off their clash
against the SWD Eagles with a bang thanks to their ability to create
point-scoring chances and to capitalise on them. The team delivered a solid
display with their forwards and backs combining well, while flyhalf Curwin
Bosch dictated play with distinction and backed this up with his golden boot,
which allowed them to dominate proceedings throughout the match.
Eastern Province had the first say thanks
to a try by Riaan van Rensburg in the third minute, and they added another in
the 17th minute, while Bosch slotted over a drop goal, while SWD were only able
to kick a penalty in the half. This convincing start pushed the Port Elizabeth
side 15-3 ahead at the break.
The second half proved to be a try festival
as the teams showed fantastic flair on attack and backed this up with fine
decision-making. While Eastern Province continued to build on their solid first
half with another two tries, SWD they found their rhythm on attack and the
rewards followed as they scored four tries to match that of the Eastern Cape
side. Two extra penalties and another two drop goals by Bosch to take his
personal tally in the match to 21 points, however, proved to be the difference
between the sides on the scoreboard. These heroics earned Eastern Province a
Eastern Province - Tries: Khewzi Mafu,
Mohamed Connelly, Lubabalo Dobela, Riaan van Rensburg. Conversions: Curwin
Bosch (3). Penalties: Curwin Bosch (2). Drop Goals: Curwin Bosch (3).
SWD Eagles - Tries: Manie Libbok (2),
Christo Hamman, Luvuyo Ndevu. Conversions: Manie Libbok (4). Penalty: Manie
KwaZulu-Natal 18 (10) Golden Lions 16 (13)
The battle between KwaZulu-Natal and the
Golden Lions was epic with the teams put their bodies on the line throughout
the clash. The Lions opened up the scoring in the fourth minute with a penalty
by Mthi Simelane, but this was cancelled out by KwaZulu-Natal as they crossed
the chalk for the first try of the match. The exchanges that followed were
tight, resulting in both teams opting for penalties to get points on the board.
The Lions, however, fought back and their efforts paid off with a converted try
four minutes before the break, which earned them a 13-10 halftime lead.
The second half was equally intense as the
teams continued to use their physicality in the hope of powering their way
through the defence, but with neither side giving an inch, they opted for
penalties once again, with Simelane slotting over his third three-pointer and
KwaZulu-Natal’s Bader Pretorius his second.
The Sharks, however, dominated territory
and this allowed them to apply immense pressure on the Lions. But the
Johannesburg team absorbed the pressure well. The Durban side’s efforts
eventually paid off in the final minute as Xolisa Guma crossed the tryline to
secure a nail-biting 18-16 victory.
KwaZulu-Natal - Tries: Xolisa Guma, Mulalo
Sadiki. Conversion: Bader Pretorius. Penalties: Bader Pretorius (2).
Golden Lions - Try: Tiaan Van der Merwe.
Conversion: Mthi Simelane. Penalties: Mthi Simelane (3).
Leopards 17 (17) Griquas 28 (14)
The clash between the Leopards and Griquas
was a physical forward battle as the teams both used their big forwards to try
to force their way onto the front foot. On occasions they looked for space out
wide in an attempt to sneak through to the tryline, but with the teams closely
matched on attack and defence, it proved to be an epic battle until the end as
only five points separated the sides on the scoreboard for a lengthy period in
the second half.
The Leopards opened up the scoring in the
12th minute with a try, but back-to-back tries by Griquas’ Janco Cloete within
three minutes pushed the Kimberley side into the lead. The Leopards hit back
with two tries of their own minutes later to take a 17-14 halftime lead.
Griquas tightened up their defence in the
second half and stepped up their attack, which allowed them to break through
the determined Leopards’ defence for another two tries, one of which was by
Janco Cloete to secure his hat-trick. This earned Griquas a hard-earned 28-17
Leopards - Tries: Marthinus Vermeulen,
Edmund Rheeder, Jacobus Dreyer. Conversion: Andre Kock.
Griquas - Tries: Rian Kotze, Janco Cloete
(3). Conversions: Gert Nortje (4).
Valke 43 (26) Eastern Province CD 27 (12)
A strong finish by the Valke in which they
scored three tries in the last 20 minutes against Eastern Province CD, earned
them a morale-boosting 43-27 victory in their opening match of the tournament.
The Valke started the clash on an encouraging note with four tries in the first
half to only two by Eastern Province CD, which pushed them 26-12 ahead at
The Eastern Cape side, however, came out
firing in the second half with two tries in two minutes by Geoffrey Dakin and
Xolile Mdlokovana, which allowed them to reduce the deficit on the scoreboard
tremendously. But the Valke cancelled this out as they powered their way to a
strong finish with three tries to secure a convincing victory.
Valke - Tries: Xander Crause (2), Erich
Cronje, Ntshepe Kokong, Dylan Van der Walt, Marco Niemandt, Franklin Wagner.
Conversions: Xander Crause (4).
Eastern Province CD - Tries: Geoffrey
Dakin, Gevanhier Blom, Xolile Mdlokovana (2). Conversions: Geoffrey Dakin (2).
Penalty: Geoffrey Dakin.
Griquas CD 17 (0) Zimbabwe 12 (7)
Griquas CD and Zimbabwe were involved in a
tight tussle from the outset as both teams tried hard to breach the defence but
battled to force their way through. With the Griquas CD defence holding well in
the middle of the field, Zimbabwe opted to spread the ball wide and this paid
off as they scored the first try of the match compliments of Ben Meredith,
which proved to be the only points of the half.
The second half was equally tight as
Griquas CD used their forwards in an attempt to gain ascendancy, with flank and
captain Cobus Wiese leading by example, while Zimbabwe’s backs made their
These strengths earned them each a try in
the third quarter, but mistakes at crucial times by Griquas CD denied them from
crossing the line a few more times. Griquas CD, however, staged a dramatic
comeback in the dying minutes as they crossed the tryline twice to snatch a
Griquas CD - Tries: Dolf Zandberg, Wynand
Terblanche, Dian Dry. Conversion: Adri du Plessis.
Zimbabwe - Tries: Ben Meredith, Tarisai
Mapfumo. Conversion: Ben Meredith.
Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week day-two
Eastern Province 41 - 31 SWD Eagles
KwaZulu-Natal 18 - 16 Golden Lions
Leopards 17 - 28 Griquas
Valke 43 - 27 Eastern Province CD
Griquas CD 17 - 12 Zimbabwe
Under-18 Craven Week day-three fixtures:
09:00 - Limpopo Blue Bulls v Border CD
10:30 - Free State v Namibia
12:00 - Blue Bulls v Pumas
13:30 - Boland v Border
15:00 - Western Province v Griffons