The 2007 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Under-16 Week continued at Kearsney College in Hillcrest on Tuesday. Warmer conditioned greeted the 18 teams on the second day of the tournament after a chilly opening day.
On day two, SWD, unbeaten at this tournament in four years, put their hands up for a place in the final game with a classy display in beating the Leopards, Border were good value playing clever rugby to score a second successive win, EP won a thriller against WP and hosts KZN winning a nail-biter against Free State.
KZN (0) 9 vs Free State (8) 8
Hosts KZN reversed a 0-8 half-time deficit to secure a second consecutive win at the tournament. It was a tactical contest from the outset between two very well drilled and physical teams.
From the opening whistle both were intent on stamping their authority on the game and the result was a match of high intensity and great skills, but with limited opportunities on both sides. The only blot on a fantastic match was Free State’s lapse in discipline in the final quarter that saw them conceded a series of penalties and escape having a player yellow-carded.
Free State took the lead through a penalty by flyhalf Adriaan Britz in the sixth minute. For much of the first half, play moved from one side of the field to the other as both sides tried to find a way through. On the stroke of halftime, Free State forced KZN to commit more men to defence as they drove the ball forcefully from a lineout on the left. This created an overlap in midfield which they exploited fully by swinging the ball across field to put winger Sipho Tom over in the right corner.
Britz failed to convert and Free State changed sides 8-0 ahead. Within 4 minutes of the restart, KZN narrowed the gap with a penalty by centre Robert de Bruyn and it shrunk further six minutes later when the centre succeeded with another well-struck penalty. After spurning two penalty chances by opting for the lineout KZN took a third penalty shot at goal with de Bruyn succeeding to put them 9-8 ahead with ten minutes to play. Free State tried desperately to find an opening as the clock would down but it was in vain as KZN held on for a memorable win.
EP (10) 25 vs WP (6) 18
The fans in the stands were as entertaining as the action on the pitch as EP and WP slugged it out in a fast-paced and physical encounter. As the boys traded hits and tackles rival fans exchanged barbs as they cheered their respective teams. WP opened the scoring with a penalty by centre Ryan Barthus in the second minute but EP struck back swiftly, creating space on the left to send wing Papama Hoyi over in the corner. Centre Hanro Louw added the conversion. Midway through the half Louw kicked a penalty to stretch the EP lead to seven but Barthus cut the WP deficit to four points with his second penalty three minutes later. Louw kicked a third penalty to give EP a 13-6 lead at the break. WP reclaimed the lead with two tries in the space of four minutes midway through the second half - the first was scored by fullback Loagan Solomons after WP had created a three-man overlap on the left and the second by winger Zingisa Ndiki, who went in under the posts after a clever switch in midfield. Barthus added one conversion to give WP an 18-13 lead. EP refused to lie down, however, and created two great tries in the closing stages to seal the win. First, winger Azolo Tonisi went over in the corner after a quick tap penalty and then big number eight Siyamthanda Kolisi finished with a storming 15 metre run to the line. Louw added one conversion.
SWD (33) 54 vs Leopards (10) 10
South Western Districts preserved their unbeaten record at the Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week with a sublime display of open, running rugby, characterized by some superb skills. They ran in five tries in the first half to effectively put paid to a brave Leopards’ effort. The boys from North West simply had no counter when SWD gave the ball air and exploited the space. First half tries were scored by wings Henry Gordon (2) and Benjamin Pierre, flanker Rudger van Wyk and flyhalf Jaco van Tonder, who also kicked four conversions. The Leopards replied with a try by wing Johan Meyer and a conversion and penalty by flyhalf Janus Jonker to change over 23 points adrift. SWD extended their lead early in the second half when hooker Armand van der Merwe rounded off a good forward try and van Tonder converted to make it 40-10. The Leopards never stopped trying but they were unable to contain an SWD side that is well coached and highly skilled. Flyhalf van Tonder and centre Adrian Fransman added late tries, both converted by van Tonder, to instill SWD as favourites to be crowned the top Under-16 Provincial side of 2007.
Border (24) 41 vs Limpopo (5) 5
Winger Olunje Gwampi scored a hat-trick of tries as Border showed what can be achieved if the ball is used properly and cleverly. Their first two tries, both scored by speedy right winger Lionel Makiwane came from intelligent play and swift decision making. The first was created by quick play from inside their 22 after an aimless Limpopo clearance kick and the second after a clever chip kick by flyhalf Sabbagh behind a shallow-lying Limpopo defence. On both occasions, Makiwane was perfectly in position to collect and beat the defence with his some nimble stepping.
Sabbagh converted both tries. Gwampi scored Border’s third and his first try, which was also converted by Sabbagh, before Limpopo opened their account with a try by number eight Johan van der Hoogt after some good forward play. The conversion was missed and Border changed halves 24-5 to the good. After a slow start in the second half, Border finished with a flourish. A drop goal by centre Lucien Ruiters was followed by two well worked tries by Gwampi – both converted by substitute flyhalf Athenkosi Mnci – to complete a comprehensive win.
Blue Bulls (3) 9 vs Lions (3) 8
The Blue Bulls emerged victorious from a hard fought contest between the two Highveld rivals. Most of the action was amongst the two big packs of forwards and there was little clean possession for both sets of backs to work with. The Blue Bulls went 3-0 ahead via a penalty by flyhalf Neil Bosman in the second minute and the Lions leveled on the stroke of halftime when flyhalf Quwin Rankin succeeded with a penalty. Bosman restored the Bulls lead with a second penalty five minutes into the second half and the Lions took the lead with the only try of the match seven minutes later, scored by Lodewicus Uys. Ronkin’s missed conversion proved costly as Bosman succeeded with a third penalty four minutes from time to give the Bulls a one-point win.
KZN XV (21) 26 vs Griffons (3) 20
The Griffons staged a brave fightback in the final quarter after conceding three first half tries and forcing themselves to chase the game. In the end, some stout defence from the KZN XV and a series of handling errors by the Griffons at crucial times saw the host side triumph. The KZN XV controlled the game in the first half with some strong running from their inside backs carving holes through the Griffons defence. Flyhalf Jacoubas Lourens and outside centre Daniel Truter were prominent in the creation of their three first half tries. Truter got the first after breaking the line on the Griffons 22, and wings Sanele Mpanza and Philani Bhengi rounded off after good build-up play. Lourens converted all three tries to give his side a commanding 21-0 lead. All the Griffons had to show for their efforts in the first half was a penalty by fullback Richard Webber. KZN extended their lead to 26-3 with a fourth try by fullback Ziphokuhle Zwane early in the second half before the Griffons spirited, but delayed, fightback that included tries by centre Algarvon Ouman and wing Jeremiah Tumane (2), and a conversion by Webber.
Pumas (8) 16 vs Griquas (0) 0
The Pumas ended on the winning side in a tight contest between two Provinces who are known for their strong forward play. This clash was no different with the Pumas making the most of the few chances that were on offer in an abrasive battle of the packs. The Pumas scored tries on either side of the break and shut out a determined Griquas effort with some strong defence in the final quarter. The Pumas tries were scored by prop Stiaan Barnard and centre Clearance Khumalo. Flyhalf Stefan Momberg kicked a penalty in each half to complete the scoring.
Boland (17) 24 vs Valke (5) 10
Boland put in a solid first half display to come away with a good win over a competitive Valke team. The teams traded early tries, winger Granville Petersen opening the scoring for Boland and flanker Dirkie Wessels replying for the Valke to make it 5-5 after seven minutes. In the 11th minute, hooker Austin Adams scored Boland’s second try and wing Rouvaun Appel converted to extend the lead to 12-5. The boys in black went further in front after fullback Garth April added third try six minutes from the break to make it 17-5. Appel scored a try and converted ten minutes into the second period to underline Boland’s domination whilst the Valke got a consolation try in the final quarter from hooker Michael Phillipson.
Border CD (0) 0 vs Namibia (9) 9
Namibia grabbed a rare victory at the Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week getting the better of a gritty Border Country Districts team in a match that failed to produce a try. Namibian scrumhalf Raymond Maasdorp opened the scoring with a penalty in the ninth minute and added two more before the break for a 9-0 cushion. Both teams defended stoutly in a scoreless second half that was characterized by a lot of errors and some poor decision making. A string of substitutions in the closing stages also saw both sides battling to play with any consistency.