Free State overturned an 11-point deficit to claim a 36-28 victory against the Golden Lions on day two of the U18 Academy Week in Paarl on Tuesday.
In another action-packed day, all the teams on duty scored tries, but it was the drama-filled clash between Free State and the Lions as well as the riveting encounter between Western Province Country Districts and the Lions Country Districts that captured the attention.
The Lions were in command of the game in the first half and led 11-0 at the break for their efforts. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t enough as Free State came out firing in the second half to wrestle back the ascendancy.
Free State outscored their Johannesburg-based counterparts five tries to three. MJ Odendaal also kept the scoreboard ticking over with a solid kicking performance in which he converted four of their tries and slotted a penalty goal.
Elsewhere, it took a conversion to separate the Lions CD and WP CD sides, with the former recording a nail-biting 25-23 win. Each team scored three tries and two penalty goals, but the Johannesburg-based side converted two conversions compared to WP’s one to earn the win.
In other results, the Blue Bulls beat Eastern Province 26-7, Zinedine Robinson bagged a brace to guide SWD to a 29-20 triumph over the Griffons, Border CD defeated the Pumas CD 15-8, the Griffons CD beat Griquas CD 17-13 and Eastern Province CD dispatched the Limpopo Blue Bulls 34-10.
Day 2 results:
Free State 36 Golden Lions 28
Golden Lions CD 25 Western Province CD 23
Blue Bulls 26 Eastern Province 7
SWD 29 Griffons 20
Border CD 15 Pumas CD 8
Griffons CD 17 Griquas CD 13
Eastern Province CD 34 Limpopo 10
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images