A second-half blitz guided the SWD Eagles past Western Province and probably into Saturday's main match at the Craven Week, reports BRENTON CHELIN in Middelburg.
Western Province, the unofficial champions from 2013, held a slender 6-5 lead at half-time but were helpless to deal with the onslaught as SWD shifted gears to run in five tries during a sensational second half. With SWD leading 19-16 midway through the half, two tries in the space of three minutes from Sao Bras Secondary School's Shadward Fillies turned the match on its head. The quickfire double moved SWD into a 31-16 lead before Province flyhalf Aidon Cupido narrowed the deficit. It was left to centre JT Jackson to round things off with his second try of the match as he completed an 18-point individual haul. The 38-23 win puts them in a favourable position to appear in the main match on Saturday for the first time since 2008.
KwaZulu-Natal bounced back from their day one defeat to SWD to run in five tries for a 38-27 victory over the Pumas. The visitors led 24-0 thanks to three tries in the space of 17 first-half minutes before Mfundo Ndlovu responded with a well-worked try for the Pumas. The hosts, who staged a memorable fightback against Western Province earlier in the week, ran in four tries in a spirited second half but the damage had been done. KZN captain Jaco Coetzee walked away with the Man of the Match award for his brace, while SA U18 Sevens player Morné Joubert also helped himself to a couple of tries.
Griquas CD and Zimbabwe got the day started with an enthralling affair that ebbed and flowed from beginning to end. It would be a last-gasp try from Griquas Country Districts wing Denvill Joseph that would seal a comeback victory in a game which they trailed from the first minute. Zimbabwe showed great fight throughout, but their resistance was eventually broken in the 68th minute as they went down 26-20.
Following that tight encounter, Border brushed aside the Limpopo Blue Bulls with consummate ease to get their first win of the week. A record score looked on the cards when they led 54-0 at the break, but Limpopo fought back admirably as they eventually went down 78-17. Wing Jerry Danquah, and centres David Brits and Michael Brink, all cut loose, each grabbing hat-tricks as Border ran in 12 tries.
Meanwhile, the Griffons maintained their unbeaten record this week with a scrappy 33-15 win over Eastern Province Country Districts. Both teams had won on the opening day but it would be the team from the Free State who will go into the final day with an unblemished record. It was another Eastern Province back who caught the eye, though, with Kingswood College scrumhalf-cum-centre Davron Cameron laying on an assist before grabbing a try of his own.
Western Province (23) – Tries: Mervano Da Silva, Aidon Cupido. Conversion: Tiaan Swanepoel (2). Penalties: Aidon Cupido (2), Jondré Williams.
SWD (38) – Tries: Niven Langdown, Le Roux Baard, JT Jackson (2), Shadward Fillies (2). Conversions: JT Jackson (4).
KwaZulu-Natal (38) – Tries: Jakobus Coetzee (2), Morné Joubert (2), Curtis Jonas. Conversions: Curtis Jonas (5). Penalty: Jonas.
Pumas (27) – Tries: Mfundo Ndlovu, Christian Steynberg (2), Barend Smit, Siyabonga Masuku. Conversion: Barend Smit.
Eastern Province CD (15) – Tries: Bradley Christian, Davron Cameron. Conversion: Cameron Hertz. Penalty: Hertz.
Griffons (33) – Tries: Siya Ngxesha (2), Francois Stemmet, Boeta Vermaak (2). Conversions: Tokkie van Zyl (4).
Limpopo Blue Bulls (17) – Tries: Dumisani Mushwana, Diederick Oberholtzer, Armand Davies. Conversion: Barend Janse van Rensburg.
Border (78) – Tries: Reinhardt Engelbrecht, Jerry Danquah (3), David Brits (3), Robert Lyons, Michael Brink (3), Yamkela Nyalambisa. Conversions: Morgan Steyn (9).
Griquas CD (26) – Tries: Cobus Wiese, Coenie Lamprecht, Dillon Magerman, Denvill Joseph. Conversions: Coenie Lamprecht (3).
Zimbabwe (20) – Tries: Stephen Basera, Daniel Nyamugama, Brian Muntanga. Conversion: Shaun Snyder. Penalty: Snyder.
Fixtures Day 4
10:10 Namibia vs Border CD
11:30 Boland vs Griquas
12:50 Valke vs Leopards
14:10 Blue Bulls vs Lions
15:30 Eastern Province vs Free State
Photo: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images