Western Province on Thursday took the honours as the unofficial champions at the Under-16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week for the third successive time as they registered a convincing 26-11 victory against hosts, the Blue Bulls, at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria.
The Cape side built on their victories against Border and the Golden Lions on the opening two days by delivering another impressive attacking performance, which they supported with a solid defensive effort to secure the victory.
The match marked a repeat of the final game last season, which Western Province won 22-15, while the Cape side pipped the Free State 10-7 in the 2012 tournament.
Eastern Province, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State also finished the tournament on a high note with memorable victories.
Boland 10 (10) Eastern Province 24 (0)
Boland had the upper hand in the first half against Eastern Province as they capitalised on their point-scoring chances to secure a try and penalty for a 10-0 lead at the break. But the Port Elizabeth side bounced back strongly in the second half with their forwards and backs combining well to force their way onto the front foot. This earned Eastern Province three tries, while flyhalf Malan Olivier added a penalty in the dying minutes to take their score to 24. Boland, meanwhile, failed to add to their score in the second half as they struggled to break through the Eastern Cape team’s effective defence.
Boland – Try: Rick Jordaan. Conversion: Keenan Williams. Penalty: Keenan Williams.
Eastern Province – Tries: Lance Smith, Pieter Gunter, Sibabalwe Mzanywa. Conversions: Malan Olivier (3). Penalty: Malan Olivier.
Zimbabwe 22 (7) Namibia 34 (19)
Zimbabwe’s hopes of finishing the Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week unbeaten were dealt a big blow as they went down 34-22 to Namibia in their final match. Namibia came out firing and outscored Zimbabwe three tries to one in the first half to take an encouraging 19-7 lead. Nambia built on this in the second half with back-to-back tries to extend their lead. But Zimbabwe showed their fighting spirit to crash over for two tries. Namibia, however, had the final say with their fifth try two minutes from the final whistle to secure their most impressive victory in the tournament.
Zimbabwe – Tries: Brighton Chinyanya, Matthew McNab, Tinashe Chaza, Travis Landing. Conversion: Travis Landing.
Namibia – Andre van der Berg (2), Gerweino Benade (2), Jano Rieckert. Conversions: Chad Plato, Delron Brandt (2). Penalty: Chad Plato.
Griquas 41 (26) Border CD 0 (0)
The clash between Griquas and Border CD was a one-sided encounter from the outset as Border threaded together an effective display in all facets of their game, which allowed them to cross the tryline at will against Border CD. Such was their dominance on attack they scored eight tries in total – four of which were in the first 15 minutes – with flank Willem Scholtz scoring his hat-trick. Griquas supported this with a solid defensive effort, which denied Border CD from scoring a single point.
Griquas – Tries: Bernard Jansen, Christopher Andrews, Gladwin Nieuwenhuizen, Van Zyl Jacobs, Willem Scholtz (3). Conversions: Van Zyl Jacobs (3).
KwaZulu-Natal 34 (17) Griffons 24 (14)
KwaZulu-Natal succeeded in building on their fine victory against SWD on Tuesday as they ended the Griffons unbeaten run in the competition. The match proved to be a try festival, with teams scoring nine tries in total, but it was the five tries by KwaZulu-Natal that pushed them ahead on the scoreboard. Three of these five tries were scored by wing Bongani Tonny Mahlangu, who was in top form on attack. The first half was tightly-contested as the teams put their bodies on the line, which resulted in the Griffons trailing by only three points at the break. KwaZulu-Natal, however, used their attacking chances well in the second half, and managed to keep the Griffons in check on defence, which set them up for the victory.
KwaZulu-Natal – Tries: Bongani Tonny Mahlangu (3), Durang Atembe, Lwazi Moletshe. Conversions: Dylan Kruger, Francke Botha (2). Penalty: Francke Botha.
Griffons – Tries: Cobus Erasmus, David Eyssen, Dian De Beer, Gora Gora. Conversions: Dylan Stiemmie (2).
Blue Bulls XV 20 (17) Valke 15 (10)
The Blue Bulls XV finished the tournament on a high with their unbeaten record intact as they registered a hard-fought 20-15 victory against the Valke. The Blue Bulls XV powered their way to a 10-0 lead early in the match and added their second try a few minutes later. The Valke, however, hit back with a try in the dying seconds of the half to add to their earlier penalty to force their way back into the match. The second half was particularly hard fought as neither team gave an inch, with the Blue Bulls XV only adding a penalty to their score, while the Valke managed to score their second try. The penalty, however, was sufficient for the home team to hold onto the lead until the end of the match.
Blue Bulls XV – Calderon Levens, Eduard Pretorius. Conversions: Tristan Janse van Vuuren (2). Penalties: Tristan Janse van Vuuren (2).
Valke – Tries: Jean Van der Linde, Marthinus Johannes Holtzhausen. Conversion: Marthinus Johannes Holtzhausen. Penalty: Marthinus Johannes Holtzhausen.
Border 27 (3) Leopards 22 (14)
Border staged a dramatic second-half comeback in their clash against the Leopards to recover from a 14-3 half-time deficit and secure a 27-22 victory. The East London team battled to work their way into the match in the first half, while the Leopards made the most of their point-scoring chances. But the roles were reversed in the second half as Border delivered an impressive attacking display to score four tries, the last of which was four minutes before the final whistle, to seal the victory.
Border – Tries: Azola Gomba, Hanru Sirgel (3). Conversions: Jerome Bossr (2). Penalty: Jerome Bossr.
Leopards – Tries: Adrian Jacobs (2), Rasmus Breedt. Conversions: Gerhard Fourie (2). Penalty: Gerhard Fourie.
Golden Lions 22 (3) Free State 27 (13)
The Free State were in fine form against the Golden Lions as their forwards and backs gelled well to push the team into the lead for most of the match. The Golden Lions tried hard to stamp their authority, but the solid Cheetahs defence did well to shut them out in the first half, which allowed the Bloemfontein side to take a 13-3 lead. The Lions, however, found their rhythm in the second half and earned the rewards as they crossed the tryline three times, while they limited the Cheetahs to only one five-pointer. In the end Free State back Mario Vieira’s kicking proved to be the difference on the scoreboard as he slotted over all three conversions and two penalties which cancelled out the Lions’ two conversions and penalty.
Golden Lions – Tries: MJ Pelser, Tino Jones, Tyrone Green. Conversions: Mthi Simelane (2). Penalty: Mthi Simelane.
Free State – Tries: Dian Schoonees (2), Gerrie Koegelenberg. Conversions: Mario Vieira (3). Penalties: Mario Vieira (2).
Pumas 14 (0) SWD 31 (17)
SWD started their clash against the Pumas with a bang as they scored three back-to-back tries to build up an encouraging 17-0 lead at the break. The Pumas hit back with a try shortly after half time, but they battled to contain SWD who again stamped their authority on attack to add another two tries to their tally. The Mpumalanga team, however, fought until the end to cross the tryline for the second time in the dying minutes, which allowed them to stretch their score into double figures.
Pumas – Tries: Du Preez Van der Merwe, Melokuhle Nhlabathi. Conversions: Du Preez Van der Merwe (2).
SWD – Tries: Lance Lamprecht, Llyle Daine Metembo, Llyle Daine Metembo, Wilko Du Preez (2). Conversions: Zinedene Booysen (3).
Griquas CD 12 (0) Limpopo Blue Bulls 21 (0)
The clash between Griquas CD and the Limpopo Blue Bulls was a tense affair as the teams held one another scoreless in a hard-fought first half. Both teams, however, scored two tries in the second half. But ill-discipline cost Griquas CD, as the difference on the scoreboard was three penalties by Limpopo Blue Bulls centre Chrizaan Strauss.
Griquas CD – Tries: Ashwill Botha, Heinrich Fourie. Conversion: Kylan Griqua.
Limpopo Blue Bulls – Tries: Floyd Ledwaba, Tyron Thompson. Conversion: Chrizaan Strauss. Penalties: Chrizaan Strauss (3).
Western Province 26 (14) Blue Bulls 11 (3)
Western Province were in top form in the final match of the day thanks to an effective game plan which involved retaining possession on attack and applying intense pressure on the hosts. With their pack and backline functioning well, the Cape side spent most of the match in the hosts’ half and penetrated the Blue Bulls defence at will, which earned them four well-worked tries. Such was the Blue Bulls’ struggle to make their presence felt they earned only a penalty in the first half for their efforts, while they managed to score a try and another penalty in the second half to take their score into double figures.
Western Province – Tries: Benjamin Momberg, Damian Willemse, Jade Fortune, Khanya Ncusane. Conversions: Gianni Lombard (3).
Blue Bulls – Try: Luke Fortuin. Penalties: Ruan De Swardt (2).