Western Province kept their unbeaten record at the U18 Craven Week intact with a 29-21 win over the Blue Bulls in the unofficial final of the tournament in Rondebosch on Saturday.
Victory gave the host union bragging rights at the showpiece event of the schools’ rugby calendar. Earlier, the Pumas romped to a 47-12 win over Griquas, the boys from Nelspruit the only other team at the tournament to win all three matches.
Eight matches were played on the final day of the five-day tournament, and again it did not disappoint in terms of quality or of tries scored.
WP had a strong second-half effort to thank for their overall honours. The Bulls scored first before the hosts replied and it was anyone’s game at the break. An intercept try by Province and a rolling maul afterwards eased them into a good lead.
Although the Bulls had the last say with a well-worked try in the final stages, the Pretoria youngsters ran out of time and had to concede to their Cape opponents.
Boland left their best effort for last after defeats on Monday and Wednesday and edged past Leopards 21-14 for their first win of the tournament, while WP XV also scored a good 40-36 win over the Free State, leaving the Bloemfontein side winless for the week.
The Sharks also finished strong against SWD to win 20-13. The Durbanites held a 15-8 lead at the break in a tight affair and will thank their good defensive work for the triumphant outcome.
Eastern Province finished in a flurry, scoring 10 tries in a 66-17 win over Limpopo Blue Bulls, while the Griffons crossed the whitewash eight times in a 48-7 win over the Valke. The Golden Lions also left the Tinkie Heyns Field with a smile after beating Border 31-23 in a very entertaining match.
Logan Muller, from EP, finished the tournament as top points-scorer (43) followed closely by Jandre Genis (42) of WP XV. Grant de Jager (Pumas) finished top try-scorer with four touchdowns.