The Griffons kicked a last-minute penalty to beat the EP Elephants 28-24 while there were wins for Griquas, Western Province XV, Blue Bulls and the Blue Bulls XV on day two of the U18 Craven Week on Tuesday.
The Craven Week matches were competitive throughout the day with a few late tries alleviating the pressure on some of the sides.
The Griffons kicked a last-minute penalty goal to edge EP Elephants in a nail-biting clash. It was a physical affair as both teams’ forwards got stuck in, while the backs were solid in support. The Welkom side took a narrow 13-7 lead at the break, but Eastern Province fought back with intent, and they found themselves level on four tries in the dying minutes. Two penalty goals by the Griffons to add to their conversion, however, cancelled out the Eastern Cape side’s two conversions.
Earlier, Griquas survived a strong second-half fightback from the Limpopo Blue Bulls in a physical encounter to secure a 35-24 victory after leading 14-0 at half time. In the end the Kimberley outfit scored five tries to their Limpopo counterparts’ four, but their accurate goal-kicking, with which they landed all five conversions, allowed them to build up a comfortable lead for a morale-boosting opening win.
The Gauteng derby between the Blue Bulls XV and Golden Lions XV proved to be a gripping affair as both teams threw everything at one another, but the Pretoria side did well to take advantage of their point-scoring chances for a 32-21 victory.
In other Craven Week results, the Blue Bulls beat Border 35-24 while the Western Province XV held on for a hard-fought 18-14 victory against the Golden Lions.
In the Academy Week, the Griffons and Pumas cruised to big wins, while there were also positive results for Border, Griquas CD, the Blue Bulls XV, Golden Lions Academy XV and Valke.
Craven Week results (Day 2):
Griquas 35-24 Limpopo Blue Bulls 24
Blue Bulls XV 32 Golden Lions XV 21
EP Elephants 24 Griffons 28
Blue Bulls 35 Border 24
Golden Lions 14 Western Province XV 18
Academy Week results (Day 2):
SWD Eagles 8 Border 26
Griquas CD 45 SA LSEN XV 33
Pumas 52 SA LSEN 15
Blue Bulls XV 26 Griffons CD 24
Griffons 64 Griquas 5
Namibia 19 Golden Lions Academy XV 22
Valke 36 Golden Lions Academy 31
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images