SWD defeated Free State 19-0 on the opening day of the U13 Craven Week at Hoërskool Rob Ferreira in White River.
SWD and Free State threw everything at one another on attack and supported this with a solid defensive effort. SWD used their pack to gain ascendancy, and scored through flank Janus Ferreira to lead 5-0 at the break. Free State faded in the second stanza and SWD crossed for two more tries through wings Caston Michaels and Jowin Jantjies. Fullback Cameron Sharp slotted both conversions, pushing them to a convincing victory.
In a close affair, Boland edged the Leopards 20-15. A converted try and a penalty apiece saw the teams deadlocked at 10-10 at half-time. Boland’s Curwin Gertse had the first say in the second half as he scored their second converted try and added another penalty goal for a personal 13-point haul. And while Armand Cloete of the Leopards scored their second try nine minutes before the final whistle, they were unable to add to this.
Western Province claimed a 24-19 win over the Valke courtesy of an excellent first-half performance. WP dominated from the outset with their backs punching holes in the Valke defence, and they ultimately led 17-5 at the halfway mark. The Valke, however, refused to give up and scored their second try soon after the break thanks to a powerful showing by their forwards. They threatened to score again twice in the dying minutes, and earned the rewards with a late try by Zander Maree to come within five points of the Cape side.
KwaZulu-Natal delivered a solid display against the Pumas resulting in a comfortable 21-7 win. KZN's forwards laid the foundation upfront and the backs showed their class on attack by moving the ball throughout the match to stretch the Pumas defence, which earned them two converted tries for a 14-0 advantage. That lead was extended to 21-0 with a third try. The Pumas fought back strongly with their forwards, but the effective KZN defence managed to shut them out despite three attempts in a row to cross the tryline. The hosts did manage to grab a consolation score in the dying minutes compliments of Hardus Rothman, with Alec Vermaak adding the extras.
Border scored five tries to thump the Limpopo Blue Bulls 29-7. The winners overcame a close first-half to lead 10-7 at the interval courtesy of a try each from Bamanye Mahela and Joshua van Vreden. The duo both scored again in the second stanza, before teammate Lwanga Bongco went over for Border's fifth and final score.
The Blue Bulls were in fine form in their opening clash, blanking Zimbabwe 40-0. The boys from Pretoria ran in three tries in the first 16 minutes to secure a 19-0 lead at the break. They continued this dominance in the second half with a solid effort on attack and defence, which allowed them to add three more tries to increase their tally for the match to six.
The Golden Lions began with a 13-12 defeat of Eastern Province. The Lions started with a bang as Regardt Fourie crossed the tryline in the second minute to take a 5-0 lead. But EP hit back with a try through Lathita Nqebe. The Lions, however, cancelled this out with their second touchdown to take a 10-5 lead at the break. The Lions were only able to add a penalty to their score, while Nqebe crossed the tryline for the second time for the Port Elizabeth-based side. But despite Daniel Smith's conversion, the Lions held on for a narrow win.
Namibia secured their first victory of the week as they defeated Griquas 12-7. Griquas opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a converted try by Elric Moolman. However, back-to-back tries by Namibia, of which one was converted, pushed them into a 12-7 lead at the break. Neither side were able to add to their tally in the second half.
Border Country Districts erased a sixth-point deficit to beat the Griffons 22-16. Trailing 6-0 at the break, Border CD ran in an impressive four tries, of which two were converted, to ensure the victory. The Griffons added two unconverted tries after the interval but it wasn't enough to wrestle back the lead.
SWD (19) – Tries: Janus Ferreira, Caston Michaels, Jowin Jantjies. Conversions: Cameron Sharp (2).
Free State (0)
Boland (20) – Tries: Curwin Gertse, Jan Jeremias de Villiers Fourie. Conversions: Gertse, Kyle David Nasson. Penalties: Gertse (2).
Leopards (15) – Tries: Armand Cloete, Marco Botha. Conversion: Theuns Steyn. Penalty: Steyn.
Western Province (24) – Tries: Ethan James, Quinn Visser, Luke Burger. Conversions: Jack Cloete (3). Penalty: Cloete.
Valke (19) – Tries: Tyler Skudder, Zander Maree, Keagan Balfour. Conversions: Kyle Benadie (2).
KwaZulu-Natal (21) – Tries: Ngcebo Mdabe, Kwanele Khumalo, Khwezi Mbongwa. Conversions: Mathew Halstead (3).
Pumas (7) – Tries: Hardus Rothman. Conversions: Alec Vermaak.
Border (29) – Tries: Bamanye Mahela (2), Joshua van Vreden (2), Lwanga Bongco. Conversions: Sihlalo Benge (2).
Limpopo Blue Bulls (7) – Try: Willie Potgieter. Conversion: Ruan Basson.
Blue Bulls (40) – Tries: Chris Schoombee (2), Pieter Venter, Wonder Mkhonto, Zandre du Toit (2). Conversions: Jooste Nel (5)
Golden Lions (13) – Tries: Denis Balt, Regardt Fourie. Penalty: Sebastine Watney.
Eastern Province (12) – Tries: Lathita Nqebe (2). Conversion: Daniel Smith.
Namibia (12) – Try: Johann Janse van Rensburg, Niel Holtzhausen. Conversion: Kian Fransman.
Griquas (7) – Try: Elric Moolman. Conversion: Keanan Wentzel.
Border CD (22) – Tries: Asphe Bhunqane, Athenkosi Mutala, Luyanda Dyani, Siphe Nonkwenke. Conversion: Luyanda Dyani.
Griffons (16) – Tries: Katleho Chabanyane, Tshepiso Mzizi. Penalties: Du Toit van Huyssteen (2).
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images