U16s get going

Griquas, Free State, Eastern Province, the Lions, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Falcons claimed victories on the opening day of the U16 Grant Khomo Week.

The week continues on Tuesday and the event ends with a final round of matches on Thursday. Wednesday is a rest day.

Matches were played at the Boland Stadium as well as at the Hugenote High School.

MATCH ROUND-UP:

Leopards 0 Griqualand West 33

Griquas dominated up front to lay the platform for their pacy backs to run in five well-worked tries.

Griquas opened the scoring in the third minute when speedy winger Lorenzo Swartz dotted down after flowing backline movement. Swartz beat the cover defence and ran around to score under the posts, ensuring an easy conversion for his namesake, centre Christiano Swartz.

Seven minutes later, the Griquas lead was extended when centre Swartz again cut the line and ran in to score in the corner.

Griquas extended the lead to 19 -0 on the stroke of half-time after fullback Irlon April finished off after great running by the backs. Centre Gert Gagiano converted.

Both sides were guilty of basic errors in the second half with the game becoming a stop-start affair. It was only in the 21st minute that the first points of the half were registered, winger Swartz crossing for his second try to put the result beyond doubt. Gagiano converted to make it 26-0. Christiano Swartz added his second try two minutes from the end after some poor midfield defence from the Leopards. Gagiano converted to seal a comprehensive win for Griquas.

Free State 43 Border 17

Free State used the size and power of their forwards to overcome a game Border side, scoring six tries to two.

Both sides made a tentative start, committing a host of handling errors in the opening 10 minutes. Border made the play early on spending a fair bit of time in their opponents half. Free State flyhalf AJ Coertsen missed an opportunity to put his side ahead in the 14th minute when he pulled a penalty kick wide of the uprights. He made amends six minutes later, converting an easy penalty after Border had gone offside on their own 22.

With the Free State forwards beginning to find their rhythm, an opportunity was created out wide for winger Christopher Boucher, who cut in to score a minute later. Coertsen missed the conversion and Free State led 8-0. Border reduced the deficit through a penalty by centre Leroy Abrahams and the teams changed sides with Free State leading 8-3.

Free State began to take control of the game early in the second half, impressive flanker Anton Earle breaking the defensive line to score under the posts in the second minute and Coertsen adding to conversion to stretch the lead to 12 points at 15-3.

Free State went further ahead after lock Tumelo Moholo went over from a tap penalty five metres out and Coertsen converted to make it 22-3.

Border fought back to send flanker Crousie Maritz over after some sustained pressure close to the line. Abrahams added the extra two points to reduce the deficit to 12. Almost immediately, Free State struck back, turning over possession from the restart for flanker Litha Ntukela to score his side’s fourth try. Coertsen added his third conversion to move the score to 29 – 10.

With six minutes to play, flanker Earle added his second try and Coertsen converted to give take the Free State lead to 36-10. Border scored a second try with two minutes to play through scrumhalf Nyoka Sinovuyo, which was converted by Abrahams. Free State had the final say, however, as hooker Johan Swanepoel added their sixth try on the stroke of fulltime. Coertsen converted to take the final score to 43 – 17.

Eastern Province 14 Blue Bulls 8

In a frustrating first half neither side could get any momentum as a result of too many handling errors and mistakes under pressure.

Eastern Province took the lead in the seventh minute though a penalty by flyhalf Louis Kruger. The Blue Bulls drew level through centre Louis Boshoff, who kicked a penalty in the 23rd minute. The teams changed sides at 3-3.

Eastern Province regained the lead when winger Jean-Pierre Hoffman rounded off some good backline play to move the score to 8-3. The conversion was unsuccessful. The Blue Bulls responded well and made good use of their forwards to drive over for a score six minutes later. The Bulls also failed convert and the scores were level again at 8-8.

With 17 minutes to play, Kruger restored the EP lead with his second penalty.

The score seemed to stun the Bulls into action as they launched a period of sustained pressure that saw them come close to crossing the EP line several times. Only poor handling and decision-making let them down.

EP weathered the storm, however, eventually forcing the Bulls to infringe on their 22 and Kruger adding another penalty in the 26th minute to stretch the lead to six points. As the clock ticked down, it was Kruger who controlled the game with the boot, pinning the Bulls back and forcing them to run from their own half. It all came to nothing as EP held on for the win.

Western Province 22 Lions 27

In an exciting clash, the Lions made a strong start to secure a nail-biting 27-22 over Western Province.

The Lions opened the scoring in the sixth minute when winger Clinton Wagman crossed in the corner after some good running by the backs. Flyhalf Elton Jantjies missed the conversion but later extended the Lions lead to 8-0 with a penalty. Western Province opened their account shortly afterwards through a penalty by fullback Tameez Vayej.

The Wagman and Jantjies combination was responsible for further extending the Lions lead, Wagman going over in the corner for his second try and Jantjies succeeding with a difficult conversion to give the Lions a 12-point cushion at 15-3. Two minutes from the break it was Jantjies again who wreaked havoc, rounding off after some poor midfield tackling from WP . He added the two points to give the Lions a commanding 22 – 3 lead.

WP responded immediately, recycling the ball well from the restart and maintaining the phases before scoring a try through hooker Paulus Viljoen. Vayej converted to make it 22-10 to the Lions at halftime.

Six minutes after the break, WP got their second try when flanker Christiaan Bester crashed over after a strong drive by the WP pack. Vayej was unsuccessful with the conversion.

The Lions restored their 12-point advantage when centre Divan Ferguson breached the defence to run in from 30 metres. The conversion was unsuccessful. WP again struck back immediately with winger Curtis Ellers darting to the corner after some good interplay amongst the backs. Vayej converted to make it 27 -22.

Despite some intense pressure from WP in the closing stages, the Lions held on for the win.

Boland 11 Kwazulu-Natal 13

Kwazulu-Natal started the game at a frantic pace, running at Boland from all over the park and opting for the touchline twice when awarded penalties on the Boland 22. They benefited in the 12th minute when they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts that was converted by flyhalf Storm Pearton.

Once Boland began to get some quality ball, they gave Kwazulu-Natal some of their own medicine, creating some great chances through straight running and great stepping from the outside backs. In the 18th minute, sustained Boland pressure saw them draw level as flyhalf Louw Heunis succeeded with a long-range penalty.

Despite making errors under pressure, KZN persisted in running the ball, particularly from their own 22. This eventually proved costly when Boland created a spectacular try from scrum ball after KZN’’s handling at pace had failed them. Playing the short side, Boland sent winger Sampie Mastriet on a blistering run down the nearside touchline. As he went to ground a metre short, Mastriet popped a pass to prop Franklin Smit who dived over for the score. The conversion was missed and Boland led 8-3 at the change.

KZN started the second half much as they did the first and it earned them a penalty in the sixth minute that was converted by Pearton to narrow the gap to two points. Five minutes later Boland restored their five point lead with another penalty by Heunis.

KZN then capitalized on some scrappy play at the lineout by Boland with lock Steen Smith breaking several tackles to score in the corner. Pearton converted to give KZN a 13 -11 lead.

With just two pints in the contest, play went from one side of the field to the other as the two went in search of the decisive score. It never came, however, and KZN held on to secure a narrow victory.

OTHER RESULTS:

Border CD 0 Mpumalanga 42
Boland XV 7 Namibia 7
Griffons 15 SWD 15
Falcons 13 Limpopo 9