Flyhalf Curwin Bosch kicked 21 points as Eastern Province beat South Western Districts 41-31 on day two of the U18 Craven Week in Stellenbosch.
In a repeat of the unofficial 2014 Craven Week final, EP were triumphant over the SWD Eagles again, after Bosch nailed three conversions, two penalties and three drop goals. SWD outside centre Manie Libbok matched Bosch's personal points tally with two tries, four conversions and a penalty, but it wasn't enough to get his side over the line.
EP pulled away early in the match with two unanswered first-half tries through Riaan van Rensburg and Khewzi Mafu and a drop goal for an assailable 15-3 lead going into the sheds.
The second half turned into an exhibition as both teams showed fantastic skill and flair on attack, backed up with good decision-making. SWD found their rhythm and sliced through the 2014 champions' defence to run in four tries. EP only added two more tries, but Bosch proved the difference in a tight contest. The flyhalf kept the scoreboard ticking over with another two penalty goals and two more drop goals to secure the victory.
In the penultimate game, KwaZulu-Natal came from behind twice to defeat the Golden Lions 18-16. Both sides scored a try apiece in the first half, but the Lions were in front by 13-10 at the break thanks to two Mthi Simelane penalty kicks.
The outside centre stretched their lead after the restart with his third penalty, before KZN mounted their comeback. Flyhalf Bader Pretorius narrowed the gap with his second successful kick of the tee, followed up with the winning try by right wing Xolisa Guma in the final minute of play.
In the first game of the day, Griquas Country Districts showed great resilience to beat Zimbabwe 17-12. Griquas CD trailed 7-0 at the break, but put in a strong second-half performance, in which they scored three tries, for the win.
In other results, the Valke outscored EP Country Districts seven tries to four, to claim a 43-27 victory; and flank Janco Cloete bagged a hat-trick as Griquas saw off the Leopards 28-17.
Eastern Province (41) – Tries: Khewzi Mafu, Mohamed Connelly, Lubabalo Dobela, Riaan van Rensburg. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (3). Penalties: Bosch (2). Drop goals: Bosch (3).
SWD Eagles (31) – Tries: Manie Libbok (2), Christo Hamman, Luvuyo Ndevu. Conversions: Libbok (4). Penalty: Manie Libbok.
KwaZulu-Natal (18) – Tries: Xolisa Guma. Mulalo Sadiki. Conversion: Bader Pretorius. Penalties: Pretorius (2).
Golden Lions (16) – Try: Tiaan van der Merwe. Conversion: Mthi Simelane. Penalties: Simelane (3).
Griquas Country Districts (17) – Tries: Dolf Zandberg, Wynand Terblanche, Dian Dry. Conversion: Adri du Plessis.
Zimbabwe (12) – Tries: Ben Meredith, Tarisai Mapfumo. Conversion: Meredith.
Valke (43) – Tries: Xander Crause (2), Erich Cronje, Ntshepe Kokong, Dylan van der Walt, Marco Niemandt, Franklin Wagner. Conversions: Crause (4).
Eastern Province CD (27) – Tries: Xolile Mdlokovana (2), Gevanhier Blom, Geoffrey Dakin. Conversions: Dakin (2). Penalty: Dakin.
Griquas (28) – Ties: Rian Kotze, Janco Cloete (3). Conversions: Gerco Nortjie (4).
Leopards (17) – Tries: Marthinus Vermeulen, Edmund Rheeder, Jacobus Dreyer. Conversion: Andre Kock.
Day 2 fixtures:
09:00 – Limpopo Blue Bulls vs Border CD
10:30 – Free State vs Nambia
12:00 – Blue Bulls vs Pumas
13:30 – Boland vs Border
15:00 – Western Province vs Griffons
Photo: Petri Oeschger/Gallo Images