OUDTSHOORN – Cooler conditions descended on the Klein Karoo after overnight rain and players in the opening matches on the final day were greeted by a cold, damp and frosty field. The laurels in the Week’s final match went to the Lions, who scored a 14-10 win over a brave Mpumalanga side. There were also wins on the final day for the Blue Bulls, Leopards, Falcons, Limpopo, Griquas, KZN, Griffons and Border.
Played at the Recreational Ground
Mpumalanga (5) 10 vs Golden Lions (7) 14
The Golden Lions beat Mpumalanga 14-10 in the tight final game. The Lions enjoyed a surfeit of possession in the first half and might have killed of the Pumas challenge early on had they done more with it. On several occasions that missed a scoring chance by failing to use the extra man and electing to rather kick or take contact. They did take the lead midway through the half when athletic number eight Anthony Kapp collected a pass on the halfway line and beat the cover defence to score under the posts. Flyhalf Andrew Smith converted to give his side a 7-0 lead.
The Pumas had to feed on scraps but they took advantage when they managed to get into the Lions 22 for the first time, scoring a try through lock Jaco Bisschoff to reduce the deficit to 5-7 at halftime. The Lions continued to dominate in the second half and extended their lead midway through with a try by centre De la Rey van Huyssteen, which was converted by Smith to take the score to 14-5.
The Pumas never gave in, however, and they created a second try out wide for winger William Mkhonto to reduce the deficit to four points. The Pumas continued to press but the Lions held out for a deserved victory.
Blue Bulls (5) 10 vs Western Province (0) 7
The North/South derby ended in a 10-7 win for the Blue Bulls. The match was typical of a clash between two of the country’s top Provinces and it was evident from the start that the players had “lifted their game” for this one.
The Blue Bulls used their pack well and caused havoc with the darting runs of the multi-talented Timothy Nhlapo, who played at hooker and at centre during the Week. The Bulls led 5-0 at the change after prop Luan de Bruin scored a try.
Province spurned numerous chances before halftime with their handling letting them down. It was Nhlapo who made his presence felt when he went over in the corner eight minutes into the second half to give the Bulls a 10-0 lead.
Despite some intense Bulls pressure, WP created a chance out wide for winger Anthony Abrahams with flyhalf Jean Rossouw adding the conversion to narrow the deficit to three. Although WP had a few chances as the game drew to an end the Bulls defence held firm.
Free State (0) 3 vs Leopards (5) 17
The Leopards finished strongly with a well-earned 17-3 win over Free State. They were 5-0 ahead at the break.
It was their third win in four matches and was based much on the fact that they were able to bring their outside backs into play.
They scored three tries to nil, two of them by lighting quick fullback Jackson Mokwetla, who bagged four tries in the 40-0 drubbing of Griquas on Monday. Their third try was scored by centre Justin Kruger with flyhalf Gerhann Pieters adding the conversion
. Free State’s points came from a penalty by fullback Meyer van Tonder. They might have scored a consolation try in the dying stages had they passed instead of holding onto the ball and taking contact.
Eastern Province (12) 19 vs Falcons (13) 25
The Falcons fought back from an early setback to score a deserved 25-19 win over a competitive Eastern Province side.
EP started well, scoring two early tries through wing Curtly van Heerden and flank Justin Benn, converted by flyhalf Andreas Nel, to storm into a 12-0 lead after seven minutes.
The Falcons came back strongly, using their bigger forwards to carry the ball and set up the phases. This paid off as they responded with tries by centre Ruan Grove and fullback Daniel Motitsoe and a penalty by scrumhalf Adriaan van Heerden to lead 13-12 at the break.
The Falcons continued to dominate and added further tries through hooker Jacobus Cronje and number eight Armand Havenga, converted by flyhalf Marius Scheepers to lead 25 – 12.
EP had several chances in the closing stages and eventually managed a consolation try through wing Ruwellyn Isbell, the tournament’s top try scorer, which was converted by Nel.
SWD (0) 7 vs Limpopo (17) 24
Limpopo scored a minor upset when they beat hosts SWD 24-7 to end the Week with a 50% success rate. The win followed their upset 39-0 thrashing of Kwazulu-Natal on Thursday.
Limpopo led 17-0 at the break after running in three first half tries through wingers Pshegane Maponya and Nicephore Omba, and prop Johan Maree. Fullback Tovhowani Nefale added one conversion. Limpopo continued to dominate in the second half and went further ahead shortly after halftime when Nefale joined the line, straightened and ran almost 20 metres to score his team’s fourth try. Flyhalf Harold. Vorster converted to make it 24-0.
SWD, who faded after a solid start to the Week on Monday, scored a consolation try through wing Jackson Uithaler, which was converted by fullback Andre Venter.
Zimbabwe (0) 0 vs Griquas (0) 15
Griquas scored three tries to nil to secure a 15-0 win over Zimbabwe and ensure that they finished the week on a positive note.
There was no score at halftime as both sides battled to get going in icy conditions that were more akin to players getting frost burns than grass burns. Conditions were slippery underfoot and handling was uncertain with a slippery ball.
Griquas, however, made the most of their chances and it was no surprise that two of their tries were scored by forwards – number eight Hans Lingenfelder and flank Graham de Reuck – with centre Jaco Buys getting the third on the stroke of fulltime.
Played at Oudtshoorn High School
Namibia (0) 0 vs Kwazulu-Natal (15) 32
Kwazulu-Natal ended the Week on a high note with a comprehensive 32-0 win over Na
mibia. They led 15-0 at halftime. First half tries were scored by centre David Brill (2) and wing Mutala Chileshe. The young Sharks kept up the pressure in the second half and ran in a further three tries via flankers Penuel Shezi and Nicholas Colepeper and wing Chad Crouch, two these in the final few minutes. Fullback Anrich Rosslee converted one of the six tries.
Border CD (5) 10 vs Griffons (12) 17
The Griffons beat Border Country Districts 17 -10 after leading 12-5 at halftime.
Border CD opened the scoring with a try by wing Phaphani Canga in the seventh minute, which was not converted. The Griffons replied four minutes later when hooker Christiaan Kleynhans scored a try, which was converted by flyhalf Thomas Janeke. Prop Jacobus Nel added a second try for the Griffons before the break.
The Griffons extended the lead to 15-5 after winger Ntadime Litabe scored a try and Border CD got a consolation try when Canga went over for his second score of the match.
Border (14) 22 vs Boland (7) 7
Border secured a 22-7 win over Boland in their final match after leading 14-7 at the break.
Border went into a 14-0 lead with tries by wingers Ayabonga Masiba and Emihle Siziba, which were converted by flyhalf Justin Haynes.
Boland pulled a try back via flank Clinton Ruiters just before the break. Border added a third try through number eight Tseop Gcanga shortly after halftime and they made certain of the win when Haynes kicked a penalty four minutes from time.