The Vodacom Blue Bulls and DHL Western Province are neck and neck in the race to top the log of the Absa Under-19 Provincial Championship with two weeks of action in regular play left.
Both have won eight out of ten matches this far and have 40 log points, with only point’s differential giving the Pretoria side the edge at the moment.
The Blue Bulls take on KZN in Pretoria on Friday, themselves still very much in the play-off race and in fourth position on the log, while Western Province will take on Free State on Saturday.
The Pretoria side got back to the top of the log courtesy of a 29-12 win over the Leopards in Potchefstroom, but Western Province came up short in Durban, where they lost 27-25 to KZN.
A try and conversion two minutes from time by flyhalf and captain Rob du Preez clinched the win for the home side. Du Preez almost single-handedly won this match for his team, as he kicked three conversions and two penalties and scored two tries for a personal tally of 22 points.
The Lions moved to third on the log following a valuable 31-27 away win in Bloemfontein against the Toyota Free State. The home side looked like winning this one after Sheldon Erasmus kicked his fifth penalty to give his side a 27-19 lead with ten minutes to play.
Tries by Fred Roodt and Deon Meiring in the last seven minutes changed the result however.
•In the First Division, the EP Kings finished top of the log, followed by Border, Valke and GWK Griquas.
The Kings secured their spot with a 31-10 win over Griquas in Kimberley, while the Valke produced a great effort to beat Border 33-12 in East London. In the other match of the weekend, Ford Pumas lost at home to Griffons.
Ironically the top four sides face each other again in this weekend’s play-offs, with the only change the venue of the Kings/Griquas game, now moving to Port Elizabeth.
•Rob du Preez (KZN) is the leading point scorer in the competition with 110 points, followed by JJ Deale (MTN Golden Lions) with 101 and Tomasso Allan (DHL Western Province) with 99 points.
Aubrey Faul (Border) tops the try scoring list with nine touchdowns, followed by JP Lewis (DHL Western Province) and Luther Banks St Charles Obi (Leopards) on eight each.