Border racked up their second big score at the U18 Craven Week when they beat the Griffons 52-12 on Wednesday, writes THEO GARRUN.
Border beat the Limpopo Blue Bulls 68-17 on Monday.
On that occasion fullback, Sibabalwe Xamlashe scored four tries and on this, it was hooker Jacques Goosen who got four. Goosen was the star of the show and apart from his try-scoring feats, he was prominent on the drive and part of a Border tight five that dominated the set pieces.
The Border pack laid the foundation, but it was their backline that got the crowd excited. They ran straight and hard and had too much pace for the Griffons backs who tackled manfully but could not block all the gaps.
Border scored eight tries in the end, seven of them by forwards and the eighth by Xamlashe, showing the quality of the forward support for the sweeping backline movements that were launched.
Border led 33-5 at the break and a record score looked likely, but they ran out of steam towards the end when a couple of injuries and a yellow card disrupted their rhythm. They did have the last say, however, with a try by replacement lock André Nel taking them to the half-century.
There have been quite a few good hookers on display in the three days of Craven Week action so far, but Goosen must, on this display, feature in the thinking of the SA selectors, as must Xamlashe and a few others among the Border backs. Apart from Goosen, flank Jarrod Taylor was prominent up front, as was No 8 Kwezi Dlamini.
The Griffons were up against a clearly better side but they stuck to their task. Scrumhalf Keith van Aswegen never stopped running and wing JP de Kock showed a fine turn of speed.
It won’t happen, given the way the fixtures committee think, but this Border side would provide a good advertisement for Craven Week rugby if they were to be given a showpiece game on Saturday.
Border – Tries: Jacques Goosen (4), Jarrod Taylor, Kwezi Dlamini, Sibabalwe Xamlashe, André Nel. Conversions Thomas Bursey (6).
Griffons – Tries: JP De Kock, Rian Olivier. Conversion: Ruben Liebenber.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images