Baby Bulls the best

The Blue Bulls were crowned champions of the U18 Craven Week when they beat the Golden Lions 35-22 on Saturday.

The foundation for the Bulls victory was laid up front where their loose forwards, in particular, were that much sharper than their opponents.

The Bulls backs made good use of the resultant possession that came their way, with centre Stephan Watermeyer having a storming game.

The Lions were very competitive and even led 15-14 at the break, but they never won enough ball in the second half to swing the game their way and were outscored by 21 points to five in the second period.

OTHER RESULTS:

Free State (10) 34 Mpumalanga (7) 17

Free State completed the Week as one of only three unbeaten teams, winning 34-17 against the Pumas, with fullback Robert Ebersohn getting a hat-trick of tries. The young Cheetahs opened the scoring with try by centre Ruaan Jacobs in the sixth minute and they went 10-0 ahead when Ebersohn added a second midway through the half.

The Pumas got a try by fullback Berno de Villiers on the stroke of halftime with flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff converting to make the score 10-7 at the break. Free State extended their lead early in the second half when winger Hadley Smith scored his side’s third try, which was converted by flyhalf Josias Ebersohn.

Boshoff kicked a penalty for the Pumas to close the gap to 17-10 but it was short-lived as Robert Ebersohn got his second try after a good Free State build up. The conversion was missed and the young Cheetahs led 22-10.

Some poor tackling by Mpumalanga was responsible for allowing Free State in for their fifth try of the match, centre Gerard Landsman rounding off after wing Hadley Smith had cut inside to wrong-foot the defence and move the score to 27-10.

The conversion was missed. With nine minutes remaining Robert Eberson got his hat-trick and flank Paul Roux converted to make it 34-10. The Pumas scored a consolation try by Boshoff, who converted his own try.

Kwazulu-Natal (5) 12 Border (0) 16

Border ended the Week unbeaten when they came back from 0-5 down to score a narrow 16-12 win over Kwazulu-Natal.

In a very evenly matched encounter both sides played positive rugby with Border prevailing in the end. Much similar to their opening match against the Leopards, the young Sharks were unable to finish off some promising attacking moves in the opening half.

They went ahead via a try by prop Mac Colia and held the lead until the break.

Border flyhalf Lionel Cronje reduced the deficit with a penalty early in the second half and Border later moved into a 10 – 5 lead after lock Luvuyo Lusaseni rounded off a Border foray into the KZN 22. Cronje converted and then added a second penalty a few minutes later to stretch the lead to 13-5.

KZN never gave up and launched several attacks into the Border half. They were eventually rewarded when flank Duncan Havenga went over from a drive close out.

Fullback Francois de Bruin converted to put his side within a point of Border. With just minutes remaining Border came close to scoring twice to seal the game and they eventually made sure when Cronje converted a third penalty on the stroke of fulltime.

Leopards (7) 17 Boland (7) 36

Boland ended the Week on a high note, scoring a 36-17 win over the Leopards. The halftime score was 7-all. The Leopards controlled the early phases and opened the scoring in the 13th minute when lock Bêrend Botha went over the line after a period of sustained pressure inside the Boland 22.

Centre Luan Steenkamp converted. Boland responded well, however, and within 11 minutes they were level at 7-7 after prop Heinrich Gonzales scored a try and flyhalf Henk de Villiers converted.

Both sides created a few chances during the rest of the half but neither was able to round off as their handling and passing let them down. Boland struck early in the second period when wing Jason Cleophas rounded off after some good build-up play.

The conversion was missed. Number eight Thiliphatu Marole scored a try for the Leopards to restore the balance after which flyhalf De Villiers kicked a penalty to restore Boland’s lead at 15-12.

De Villers then displayed some great individual skills when he breached the Leopards defence and evaded several tacklers to score under the posts.

He added the conversion to stretch the lead to 22-12. Within less that a minutes Boland had added another try, collecting from the restart and carrying the ball through the hands to send wing Rayno Papier over in the corner.

De Villiers converted to make it 29-12. Leopards flanker Nicolaas Ranft scored a try to narrow the gap to 12 points but Boland had the final say when they added a fourth try via centre Ashwill Rentz, which de Villiers converted, to make the final score to 36-17.

Falcons 0 Western Province (31) 87

Vodacom Western Province scored 13 tries without reply to demolish the Falcons 87-0 and record the biggest victory of the 2006 Week.

The previous biggest winning margin was Griquas’ 75-0 win over Border Country Districts on Thursday. WP led 31-0 at halftime after dominating from the start and running in five first half tries.

The points came at regular intervals as flankers Siyasanga Mkiva and Morne Hanekom, hooker CG Stougman, wing Bongani Mvumvu, and number eight Nick Koster breached the Falcons defence.

Flyhalf Coenie van Wyk added three conversions. WP continued in similar vein in the second half, making excellent use of their pack to dominate. Their loose forwards were devastating in running off the set and loose phases and punching holes in the Falcons first line defence. They combined well with the backs to create a plethora of scoring chances.

With the Falcons rushing the few chances they did get, Province also benefited from numerous Falcons mistakes. They added further tries by wing Dewaldt Duvenage (2), Mkiva, prop and captain Jean Rossouw, wing Charl van Vollenhoven, Hanekom, fullback Stephan van der Merwe, and scrumhalf Clayton Stewart. Van Wyk kicked seven second half conversions for a personal haul of 20 points. Stewart converted his own try to complete the rout.

Griquas (26) 31 Limpopo (3) 22

Griquas recorded their second win at the Week beating a competitive Limpopo Blue Bulls side 31-22. Limpopo trailed 3-26 at the break and made most of the play in the second half. Griquas’s four tries were scored by centre Andre Heyns (2), lock Willen Britz and wing Nallie Fredericks.

Fullback Lance van Wyk kicked three conversions. Heyns’ Brace took his try tally for the week to six and placed him at the top of the leading try-scorers rankings. For Limpopo, wing Akani Bvuma, and flankers Carel Erasmus and Francos Breytenbach scored tries and centre Gert Roos kicked two conversions and a penalty.

Griffons (29) 36 SWD (7) 41

South Western Districts staged a spirited second half comeback to beat the Griffons 41-36 after trailing 29-7 at the break. It was all the Griffons in the first 26 minutes as they ran in five tries via prop Daniel van der Merwe, wing Gabriel Saaiman (2) centre Gert van Zyl, and fullback Cecil Afrika, two of which were converted by van Zyl to storm into a 29-0 lead.

Prop Layle Delo got a try for SWD and flyhalf Gerhard Nortier converted to leave them 22 points adrift at the break. SWD were a changed team in the second half.

They ran in further tries by number eight Anverino Fred, hooker Derek Harwood (2) centre Hubri Bruyn and fullback Wilton Pietersen with Nortier adding three more conversions and a drop goal to give them a 41- 29 lead with four minutes to play. The shellshocked Griffons scored a consolation try by lock Jean-Pierre Jonker which was converted by flyhalf Wynand Pienaar.

Border CD (8) 29 Zimbabwe (12) 29

Border Country Districts and Zimbabwe shared the spoils 29-apiece in their final outing. Zimbabwe led 12-8 at the break. Zimbabwe scored 5 tries to four, with lock Andre Odendaal, flank Andrew Rose, fullback Ian Baines and prop Tendai Mazhuyde (2) crossing the Border line.

Flyhalf Tichfara Makwanya converted twice. For Border CD, flyhalf Bongisani Daka, centre Mlindazwe Nqoro, prop Sibulelo Mangele and wing Tabiso Hlangani scored tries, Daka kicked a penalty and fullback Siyasanga Mkunku kicked three conversions.

Eastern Province (29) 55 Namibia (0) 21

Eastern Province scored a comprehensive 55-21 win over Namibia ensuring that their Week ended on a positive note. EP led 29—0 at halftime in a one-sided encounter. They scored nine tries to Namibia’s three.

Tries for EP were scored by wing Baphiwe Mfundisi, flyhalf Johannes du Toit, scrumhalf Marlon Ruiters (2), wing Mziwoxolo Mpofu (2), flank Steffan Raubenheimer (2) and number eight Willem Serfontein. Flyhalf du Toit kicked three conversions and fullback Nilbert Kitching kicked two.

For Namibia second half tries were scored by wing Chrysrander Botha, scrumhalf Karel Kruger and lock Ruan van Taak with flyhalf Hermann Rust kicking two conversions and fullback Lourens Smit kicking one conversion.

Match reports from sarugby.co.za