The Blue Bulls Country Districts clinched a thrilling 27-22 victory over the Sharks Country Districts on day one of the U18 Academy Week in Paarl on Monday.
In a try-fest opening day, all 14 teams in action scored tries and 13 racked up over 20 points.
Western Province made a statement of intent, running in nine tries in their 57-28 victory over the Pumas.
But the clash between the Blue Bulls CD and Sharks CD was hard fought from the outset. The Pretoria-based side overturned a 15-14 half-time deficit, with Ethan Wentzel scoring two tries, two conversions and a penalty goal. The Sharks CD’s Menzi Nxumalo bagged a hat-trick in a losing cause.
In another exciting clash, the Valke inflicted a 39-36 defeat on Griquas. The Brakpan-based team were outscored six tries to five, but Kyle Potgieter’s four conversions and two penalty goals earned them the victory.
In other notable results, Zimbabwe held their nerve in a tight tussle to register a 29-27 win over the SA LSEN (Learners with Special Education Needs), Namibia hammered the Valke CD 41-8, while the Sharks clinched an impressive 43-21 triumph over Boland, and Border beat the Leopards 31-18.
Day 1 results:
Blue Bulls CD 27 Sharks CD 22
Western Province 57 Pumas 28
Griquas 36 Valke 39
Zimbabwe 29 SA LSEN 27
Namibia 41 Valke CD 8
Border 31 Leopards 18
Sharks 43 Boland 21
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images