Border kicked a penalty after full time to claim a memorable 39-36 victory over the Golden Lions at the U18 Craven Week in Bloemfontein on Thursday, reports DYLAN JACK.
In one of the games of the tournament, which also provided a contest between the two SA Schools coaches, Mzwakhe Nkosi and Phiwe Nomlomo, it was Nomlomo’s Border which came out on top after trailing for much of the second half.
The Lions seemed to be cruising to victory after braces from wings TJ Maguranyanga and Ngia Selengbe gave them a 36-22 lead in the second half. However, Border gave themselves hope when their wing Indiphile Tyeda grabbed a brace of his own before prop Ali Gqaza came off the bench to level the scores with a try in the final 10 minutes. Border spent the rest of the game in Lions territory and got the win when Day kicked a penalty from in front of the posts.
The defeat will be disappointing for the Lions, especially as their Craven Week and Academy Week teams have not faired too much better. There are still positives as Lions eighthman Izan Esterhuizen enjoyed a productive game, scoring a try while constantly making metres whenever he got the ball. Wings Maguranyanga and Selengbe also had good games.
For Border, it will be a morale-boosting win. Much of the platform was again laid through the hard work of their pack, with hooker Jacques Goosen and flank Jarrod Taylor, as well as Raiden Masters, putting in massive shifts.
The Lions did struggle to deal with kick-offs throughout the entire match and they were immediately punished as wing Bulumko Mfundisi scored in the first minute. The Joburg team found themselves further behind when Border flank Jarrod Taylor scored under the posts.
The action was end to end as both teams threatened with ball in hand. The Lions reduced the deficit when flyhalf Declan Raubenheimer slotted a 40m penalty, before wing TJ Maguranyanga grabbed a loose pass and sprinted clear for their first try.
Border flyhalf Sihlalo Benge then stepped his way through a tackle to score, punishing the Lions for another failure to gather a restart, before Esterhuizen scored for the Lions, levelling matters on 17-17 at half time.
The Lions struck first in the second half, when a strong carry from Esterhuizen brought them into the Border 22, before Ngia Selengbe broke through a tackle to score. However, Border hit back through a try in the corner from Tyeda. However, the men from the Eastern Cape found themselves behind their poles shortly afterward as Maguranyanga and Selengbe completed their braces.
It was a nervous finish as Tyeda again scored in the corner to make it a seven-point game. The scores were once again level when replacement prop Ali Gqaza pounced on an errant lineout five metres from the Lion tryline and drove over to score, with Warrick Day landing a tough conversion.
That gave Border the drive they needed and after camping near the Lions tryline, Day nailed a penalty in front of the posts to complete the comeback.
Golden Lions – Tries: TJ Maguranyanga (2), Izan Esterhuizen, Ngia Selengbe(2). Conversions: Declan Raubenheimer (4). Penalty: Raubenheimer.
Border – Tries: Bulumko Mfundisi, Jarrod Taylor, Sihlalo Benge, Indiphile Tyeda (2), Ali Gqaza. Conversion: Sihlalo Benge (2), Warrick Day (2). Penalty: Day.
Golden Lions – 15 Tiaan Botes, 14 Hugo Montiero, 13 Ngia Selengbe, 12 Henco van Wyk, 11 TJ Maguranyanga, 10 Declan Raubenheimer, 9 Kabelo Mokheti, 8 Izan Esterhuizen, 7 Zander du Toit, 6 Lifa Jambane, 5 Connor van Burren, 4 Khosi Nkomo, 3 Munashe Mhere, 2 Tyler Skudder, 1 Kaelin Willis.
Subs: 16 Maxwell Motaung, 17 Tumi Mthembu, 18 Sibusiso Shongwe, 19 Justin Kalamer, 20 Kamohelo Tlome, 21 Franco Hallatt, 22 Joseph Iye, 23 Munashe Chaitezwi.
Border – 15 Sibusiso Javu, 14 Indiphile Tyeda, 13 Mmangaliso Maphinda, 12 Mntungwa Mapantsela, 11 Bulumko Mfundisi, 10 Sihlalo Benge, 9 Damion O’Connell, 8 Jaylonn Hamann, 7 Josh van Vreden, 6 Dean Stokes, 5 Jarrod Taylor, 4 Raiden Masters, 3 Oyisa Dyani, 2 Jacques Goosen, 1 Bubele Madiba.
Subs: 16 Oscar Myataza, 17 Ali Gqaza, 18 Sim Gege, 19 Cullen Opperman, 20 Tylor-Jesse Glover, 21 Warrick Day, 22 Josh Jonas, 23 Ronaldo Daniels.
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images