Free State held their nerve to take the U17 Interprovincial Sevens title after toppling Eastern Province 38-21 in the cup final in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
Making the victory even sweeter for the Free Staters was the fact that they went down in their opening pool match on Friday, while Eastern Province won all of their matches leading up to the final.
Western Province, Eastern Province, the Griffons and Golden Lions were the only unbeaten teams at the end of the opening day’s play, but Western Province and the Griffons were victims of Free State’s admirable fightback in the quarter-final and semi-final stages respectively.
The cup final was a thrilling affair, with Free State dominating the first half completely to build up a 33-0 half-time lead.
Eastern Province fought back with three converted tries, while limiting the men from Bloemfontein to only one second-half try.
Free State’s strong first-half showing – in which they touched down an impressive five times – paved the way for their victory.
Western Province defeated the Golden Lions 24-19 to win the Plate final, while the Sharks overcame a strong challenge from the Leopards for a 19-14 win in the Bowl final, and the Pumas defeated Griquas 24-14 to take the Shield.
Day 2 results:
Western Province 17 Free State 26
Pumas 12 Leopards 19
Blue Bulls 22 Golden Lions 12
SA LSEN 31 Griquas 26
Eastern Province 21 Valke 17
SWD 12 Griffons 19
Limpopo 31 Boland 14
Pumas 31 Boland 26 (Shield)
Leopards 14 Limpopo 12 (Bowl)
SA LSEN 7 Sharks 24 (Bowl)
Western Province 26 SWD 12 (Plate)
Valke 36 Golden Lions 43 (Plate)
Free State 19 Griffons 7 (Cup)
Blue Bulls 14 Eastern Province 29 (Cup)
Pumas 24 Griquas 14 (Shield)
Leopards 14 Sharks 19 (Bowl)
Western Province 24 Golden Lions 19 (Plate)
Free State 38 Eastern Province 21 (Cup)