Two new champions will be crowned in Johannesburg on Saturday when the finals of the Absa Under-19 and Under-21 Provincial Championships will be played at Emirates Airline Park.
The defending Under-21 champions, Vodacom Blue Bulls, failed to make it into the semifinals played this weekend, with DHL Western Province and the Toyota Free State clinching the finals spots with wins over the Xerox Golden Lions and Cell C Sharks respectively. The two side finished in the top two positions after the league fixtures were completed and used their home ground advantage well to win 43-20 and 27-22 respectively.
In the Under-19 competition, defending champions DHL Western Province were eliminated by the Vodacom Blue Bulls, who edged them 30-29 in Pretoria on Friday, while the EP Kings continued their impressive season with a 31-15 win over the Free State in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
The Blue Bulls were the only team who managed a win against the Kings in 2015 and the final will be massive contest.
Run of play commentary can be viewed by clicking on the result of each match.
Absa Under-21 A-Division Semifinals
The DHL Western Province side easily outplayed the Xerox Golden Lions team at City Park in Cape Town on Saturday, scoring six tries to two in a 43-20 win.
The Province pack dominated and flanker Luke Stringer scored three of the six tries by his team. In fact, Province scored six tries without answer, before the visitors rallied late and scored two tries.
DHL Western Province 43 (24). Tries: David Ribbans, EW Viljoen, Leolin Zas, Luke Stringer (3). Conversions: Brandon Thomson (5). Penalty: Brandon Thomson.
Xerox Golden Lions 20 (6). Tries: Koch Marx, Victor Sekekete. Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (2). Penalties: Shaun Reynolds (2).
The visitors started well in Bloemfontein and despite two players in the sin-bin in the first half, still held a deserving 16-12 lead at the break. The Free State came back strongly in the second half though and scored two tries to push them past the Durban side.
The Sharks stayed in touch with a couple of well-taken penalties by Innocent Radebe, but they could not close the gap, despite the Cheetahs being a man down in the last ten minutes of play.
Toyota Free State 27 (12). Tries: Arrie Vosloo, Nicolaas Lee (2), Steven Meiring. Conversions: Andre Swarts, Arrie Vosloo. Penalty: Andre Swarts.
Cell C Sharks 22 (16). Tries: Ayron Schramm, Graham Geldenhuys. Penalties: Innocent Radebe (4).
Absa Under-19 A-Division Semifinals
The home side always held the momentum in this match despite being a man down for ten minutes in the first half. They scored two tries and in the second half slowly but surely extended their lead thanks to the boot of Michael Brink. The EP flyhalf kicked four penalties to keep the scoreboard ticking. The Free State, on the other hand, could not convert any of their kicks at goal and paid the price.
EP Kings 31 (15). Tries: Junior Pokomela, Mabhutana Peter, Nicolaas Oosthuizen. Conversions: Michael Brink (2). Penalties: Michael Brink (4).
Toyota Free State 15 (5). Tries: Glen Eriksen, Janu Botha, Victor Maruping.
A missed penalty by WP in the final act of the match gave the home side a close win in Pretoria on Friday and ended the defending champions’ run in the competition. It was a tight affair from the start. The Blue Bulls scored in the opening minute and that helped them to a 12-8 lead at the break.
The second half was heart-stopping. The visitors played well after the restart and even held a 29-19 lead with ten minutes to play. JT Jackson then scored a try and kicked a penalty to take his side into the lead. With time gone, a final penalty attempt by WP’s main points’ scorer of the season, Tiaan Swanepoel, went wide.
Vodacom Blue Bulls 30 (12). Tries: Coneree Poole, Denzel Hill, Divan Rossouw, JT Jackson. Conversions: Tinus de Beer (2). Penalties: JT Jackson, Tinus de Beer.
DHL Western Province 29 (8). Tries: Jaco Willemse (2), Jaco Coetzee, Justin Heunis. Conversions: Tiaan Swanepoel (3). Penalty: Tiaan Swanepoel.
Issued by SARU Corporate Affairs