The Vodacom Blue Bulls continued to lead the charge in the Absa Under-19 Provincial Championship this past weekend as they extended their unbeaten run to four matches, while DHL Western Province ended their losing streak.
The Blue Bulls reigned supreme against the MTN Golden Lions in a table-topping clash at Loftus Versfeld with the side edging through for a 15-12 victory, while Western Province thrashed Border 62-0 at Newlands and the Sharks defeated the Leopards 24-17 in Potchefstroom.
The Lions’ defeat marked their first in the series, while Western Province’s victory ended a three match losing streak.
Vodacom Blue Bulls 15 (3) MTN Golden Lions 12 (5)
The first half at Loftus Versfeld proved to be a tight tussle as log-leaders, the Vodacom Blue Bulls and MTN Golden Lions threw everything at each other.
Such was the closeness of the match the first points were scored in the 30th minute with Lions fullback Barend Herbst crossing the tryline.
Their ill-discipline, however, handed the home team three shots at goal, but flyhalf Juan-Phillip Smith converted only one two minutes before the break to trail the Lions 5-3.
The Lions again had the first say in the second half as No8 Jano Venter powered his way over the tryline and Brandan Hewit converted to hand the team a 10-5 lead.
But two tries by the Blue Bulls in the last 20 minutes, one of which was converted by Smith, allowed the team to stretch their unbeaten run in the series to four matches.
Vodacom Blue Bulls 15 (3) – Tries: Jean Droste, Pierre Schoeman. Conversion: Juan-Phillip Smith. Penalty: Juan-Phillip Smith.
MTN Golden Lions 12 (5) – Tries: Barend Herbst, Jano Venter. Conversion: Brandan Hewit.
DHL Western Province 62 (31) Border 0 (0)
DHL Western Province delivered a fantastic all-round performance against Border to register their first victory of the tournament at Newlands.
So dominant were the hosts, they ran in a total of nine tries, while flyhalf Christopher Smith had a good day with the boot as he slotted over seven conversions and a penalty for a personal total of 17 points.
Western Province started the clash with a bang and ran in their first try in the second minute.
They accumulated two more by the 24th minute and earned their bonus point try on the stroke of half time for a 31-0 half time lead.
Unfortunately for Border they had no reply and leaked another five tries in the second half.
DHL Western Province 62 (31) – Tries: Christiaan Mouton, Gareth de Bruin, Jason Worrall, Jonathan Bredell, Lindokuhle Mvelase-Julyan, Luke van der Smit, Pieter Schoonraad, Solomon Ferreira, Steven Meiring. Conversions: Christopher Smith (7). Penalty: Christopher Smith.
Border 0 (0)
Leopards 17 (5) Sharks 24 (15)
The clash in Potchefstroom proved to be close despite the Sharks building up an encouraging 15-5 lead at the break.
The Durban-based team showed their intent with a try by centre Sandile Kubeka in the 12th minute, but the Leopards hit back six minutes later with a try of their own.
With the teams closely matched in terms of skill the next few minutes proved to be an arm-wrestle, but a late try by the Sharks in the dying minutes of the first half handed them a fair lead.
The Leopards, however, came out fighting after the break and they capitalised on their point-scoring chances to increase their try tally to three.
But their discipline cost them, as the Sharks slotted over three second-half penalties to add to one in the first half, which secured their third victory of the tournament.
Leopards 17 (5) – Tries: Andries du Plooy (2), Roche Steenkamp (1). Conversion: Cornelius Swart.
Sharks 24 (15) – Tries: Bartholomeus Gabriel le Roux, Sandile Kubeka. Conversion: Colin Willemse. Penalties: Colin Willemse (2), Jean-Luc Du Plessis (2).