Province comeback showed character

WP U18 captain Rick Schroeder was overjoyed with his side’s 19-17 victory over Free State in the unofficial Craven Week final.

Fullback Craig Barry was the hero for the Streeptruie, scoring the match-winning try with two minutes remaining, after they’d trailed 14-6 at the interval having played into the wind.

‘The victory really emphasised the character of our team,’ Schroeder told keo.co.za. ‘To come back against a Free State side that dominated most of the game says a lot for the belief we have in ourselves. It’s been a long time since Western Province has won Craven Week, so we will enjoy the celebrations.’

The finale was a scrappy affair with both teams feeling the effects of a long week. Free State had only themselves to blame as poor tactical kicking and decision-making ultimately cost them the match.

‘We lost the game due to crucial mistakes in the second half,’ said Free State captain Pieter Rademan. ‘All credit to Province, who capitalised on our lacklustre second-half display.’

There was, however, consolation for Rademan as he was named skipper of the SA Schools side.

WP coach Chris October said he was ‘elated’ with his side’s display and attributed the win to ‘a massive team effort.’

October also had the honour of being named as the SA Schools coach for their upcoming matches against England and Italy’s U18 sides.

By Gareth Wright