Derby rivals in final

The Golden Lions and Blue Bulls will contest the main match of the Craven Week at the University of Johannesburg tomorrow.

The 2006 “final” will be an all north affair after recent finalists Western Province and the Cheetahs failed to spark during the week. Last years losing finalists, Eastern Province, were the most disappointing team suffering heavy defeats to the Bulls (41-10) and Natal (34-7).

The Lions though continued where they left off last year and will be aiming to retain their title. Free State won both their games (28-13 over Boland and 22-21 against WP), but were simply not in the same league as the Gauteng neighbours.

Western Province, usually a powerhouse of schoolboy rugby, also failed to win a game, but their defeats came at the hands of Free State (22-21) and the Pumas (27-19). The only consolation they can take is those two teams will contest the unofficial 3rd and 4th play-off game on Saturday.

The Bulls and Lions were undoubtedly the form teams during the week. In their first match the Bulls demolished EP and then gave the Leopards a lesson, winning 49-16 yesterday.

The Lions ran rampant against SWD on Monday, winning 51-5 and then saw off the strong Mpumalanga team 23-9 on Wednesday. The final promises to be a fiercely contested affair. The main match kicks-off at 1.30pm.

Saturday’s fixtures (time, teams, venue):

8am: Western Province v Falcons – UJ
9am Griquas v Limpopo – Milo Park 1
9am Border Country Districts v Zimbabwe – Milo Park 2
9.15am Leopards v Boland – UJ
10.20am Eastern Province v Namibia – Milo Park 2
10.20am Griffons v SWD – Milo Park 1
10.30am Natal v Border – UJ
11.55am Free State v Mpumalanga – UJ
1.30pm Blue Bulls v Lions – UJ

By Andrew Hollely