Lion cubs roar loudest

The Golden Lions were crowned unofficial champions of the U13 Craven Week, beating the Pumas 14-10 in the main match on Friday.

There were also wins on the final day in Oudtshoorn for the Blue Bulls, Leopards, Falcons, Limpopo, Griquas, Natal, Griffons and Border.

The Lions have featured in all three youth week “finals” this year – the U16 Grant Khomo Week, the U18 Academy Week and now the U13 Craven Week. They have won two and lost just the U16 main match to Natal.

The Lions enjoyed a surfeit of possession in the first half and might have killed off the Pumas challenge early on had they done more with it. On several occasions that missed a scoring chance by failing to use the extra man and electing to rather kick or take contact.

They did take the lead midway through the half when athletic number eight Anthony Kapp collected a pass on the halfway line and beat the cover defence to score under the posts. Flyhalf Andrew Smith converted to give his side a 7-0 lead.

The Pumas had to feed on scraps but they took advantage when they managed to get into the Lions 22 for the first time, scoring a try through lock Jaco Bisschoff to reduce the deficit to 5-7 at halftime.

The Lions continued to dominate in the second half and extended their lead midway through with a try by centre De la Rey van Huyssteen, which was converted by Smith to take the score to 14-5.

The Pumas never gave in, however, and they created a second try out wide for winger William Mkhonto to reduce the deficit to four points. The Pumas continued to press but the Lions held out for a deserved victory.

Other results on the final day:

Blue Bulls 10 Western Province 7
Free State 3 Leopards 17
Eastern Province 19 Falcons 25
SWD 7 Limpopo 24
Zimbabwe 0 Griquas 15
Namibia 0 Natal 32
Border Country Districts 10 Griffons 17
Border 22 Boland 7