Western Province kept their unbeaten record at the SA Rugby Under-18 Craven Week at Rondebosch Boys’ High School intact with a 29-21 win over the Blue Bulls in the unofficial final of the tournament on Saturday, giving the host union the bragging rights at this showpiece event of the schools’ rugby calendar.
The Pumas, who earlier in the day walked away with a 47-12 win over Griquas, were the only other team at the tournament to win all three matches.
Eight matches were played on the final day of the tournament, which had made a return to the rugby landscape for the first time since 2019, and again it did not disappoint in terms of quality or of tries scored.
Western Province had a strong second half effort to thank for their overall honours.
The Blue Bulls scored first before the home side replied and it was anyone’s game at the break. An intercept try by WP and a lovely rolling maul shortly afterwards eased them into a good lead. Although the Blue Bulls had the last say with a well-worked try in the final stages, they ran out of time and had to concede to their Cape opponents.
The Pumas were in rampant form against Griquas to complete a fine tournament for the Lowvelders.
Boland left their best effort for last after defeats on Monday and Wednesday and edged past Leopards 21-14 for their first win of the tournament.
Early in the day, the Western Province XV also scored a good 40-36 win over the Free State, leaving the Bloemfontein side winless at a tournament where they have a proud record.
The Sharks also finished strongest in their match against SWD to win 20-13. They held a 15-8 lead at the break in a tight affair and will thank their good defensive organisation for this win.
Eastern Province also finished the tournament in a flurry, scoring 10 tries in their 66-17 win over Limpopo Blue Bulls, while Griffons scored eight tries in their 48-7 win over the Valke. The Golden Lions also left the Tinkie Heyns Field with a smile after beating Border 31-23 in a very entertaining match.
Logan Muller (Eastern Province) finished the Craven Week as top points’ scorer (43) followed closely by Jandre Genis (42) of the Western Province XV. Grant de Jager (Pumas) finished top try scorer with four touchdowns.
Craven Week: Final day results
Western Province XV 40-36 Free State
WP – Tries: Sampie Joubert (2), Joe Bezuidenhout, Gino Cupido (2) Jandre Genis. Conversions: Genis (3), Christoff de Bruyn (2)
Free State – Tries: Nick Greyling (2), Casper Badenhorst, Nel van Heerden, Benito Goeda. Conversions: Bradley Giddy (4). Penalty goal: Giddy
Boland 21-14 Leopards
Boland – Tries: Jeandre Overmeyer, Jovawn Visagie. Conversion: Jayden Fortuin. Penalty goals: Fortuin (3).
Leopards – Tries: Grant Coetzee, Kraynu Kruger. Conversions: Erich Snyman (2)
Pumas 47-12 Griquas
Pumas – Tries: Njabulo Shabangu (2), Francios Odendaal, Danny van Staden, Grant de Jager (2), Philasande Ntshapela. Conversions: Van Staden (2), Hardus Visser (4)
Griquas – Tries: AJ Wiese, Elridge Jack. Conversions: Juan Agenbag
Sharks 20-13 SWD
Sharks – Tries: Ethan Bester, Deano Boesak, Dwight Pietersen. Conversion: AJ Knoetze. Penalty goal: Knoetze
SWD – Tries: Ramon Uys, Camden Schoeman. Penalty goal: JT Strydom
Eastern Province 66-17 Limpopo Blue Bulls
EP – Tries: Max du Pisani, MC Kruger, Liselihle Maphekula, Burrie van Heerden (2), Logan Muller, Luvuyo Nkomphela, Mtika Oliphant, Batho Hlekani (2). Conversions: Muller (8)
Limpopo – Tries: Johan van den Heever, Joy Ngobeni, Letlotlo Mohlala. Conversion: Tristan Brits.
Griffons 48-17 Valke
Griffons – Tries: Oupa Appollis, Tiaan Naude, Connie Timmie, Jayleigh Arends, Ruben Kruger, Ayanda Silwanyana, Andru Mulder, Curt Smith. Conversions: Nalei Kiewiet (2), Kruger (2)
Valke – Tries: Morne Johnson, Oregopotse Shilubane, Christopher Swart. Conversion: Jaden Bantom
Golden Lions 31-23 Border
Lions – Tries: Sifiso Magwaza, Ceano Everson, Tylor Sefoor, Joel Leotlela. Conversions: Sefoor (4), Penalty goal: Sefoor
Border – Tries: Dewan Du Preez (2). Conversions: Kyle van Wyk, Lesego Bota. Penalty goals: Bota (3)
Western Province 29-21 Blue Bulls
WP – Tries: Luca Bakkes (2), Gazza Blackmore, Luke Graham. Conversions: Thurlon Williams (3). Penalty goal: Williams
Blue Bulls – Tries: Abri van der Westhuizen, Liam Dick, Luyolo Doyi. Conversions: Tireque Apolles, Stehan Heymans (2)