KZN Sharks edge ahead in Absa Under-21 Provincial Championship
August 12, 2013
Their try-scoring abilities edged the Kwazulu-Natal Under-21 side ahead of rivals DHL Western Province, Vodacom Blue Bulls, Toyota Free State and MTN Golden Lions in a tightly contested Absa Under-21 Provincial Championship, but there is still a lot to play for in the coming weeks.

The East Coast side have so far scored 23 tries in their four matches, including nine in Potchefstroom last Friday as they brushed the Leopards aside in a very impressive 62-18 win, helping them to pick up valuable bonus points along the way.

After notching up four wins the KZN Sharks side have 16 log points, with WP (15), the Blue Bulls and Free State (both 14) and Golden Lions (10) all within a win from the top spot.

With KZN taking on WP this weekend and the Blue Bulls hosting Free State, there will again be log movement in a week's time.

The nine try romp in Potchefstroom started in the fourth minute already for the visitors as fullback Sean Robinson raced through to set the tone.

Strong running centre Andrè Esterhuizen, who incidentally hails from nearby Klerksdorp, scored three times for the visitors as the Natal backline had way too much pace and power for the home side.


Leopards 18 Under-21 (6). Tries: Armandt Stoman, Rowayne Beukman. Conversion: JJ du Plessis. Penalty. Warren Gilbert (2).
KZN Under-21 62 (34). Tries: Andrè Esterhuizen (3), Guy Alexander, Hanco Venter, Johan Meyer, Robert du Preez, Sean Robinson, Tyler Fisher. Conversions: Du Preez (4), Brendan Cope (3). Penalty: Du Preez.

In Pretoria, the Vodacom Blue Bulls had to come from behind to beat a determined Golden Lions side 26-20.

Flyhalf Kobus Marais, who was drafted from the Under-19 side following Tony Jantjies' elevation to the Absa Currie Cup side, had a fantastic debut, contributing 21 points in the match where both sides scored two tries, but the four penalties Marais kicked proved decisive.

The first 20 minutes was a straight shoot-out between Marais and MTN Golden Lions sharp shooter, Marais Schmidt.

Marais opened the scoring with a penalty and when Schmidt replied, Marais scored a converted try.

Tries by Golden Lions flanker Kwagga Smith and winger Peter-John Walters edged the visitors into a 17-13 score at the break.

The second half was all Blue Bulls. Hencus van Wyk scored after 50 minutes and after some re-enforcements in their pack, the home side applied all the pressure. Marais kicked two more penalties, but Schmidt kicked a late penalty to give his side a well-earned bonus point.


Vodacom Blue Bulls Under-21 26 (13). Tries: Kobus Marais, Hencus van Wyk. Conversions: Marais (2). Penalties: Marais (4).
MTN Golden Lion Under-21 s 20 (17). Tries: Kwagga Smith, JP Walters. Conversions: Marais Schmidt (2). Penalties: Schmidt (2).

The DHL Western Province team played in spurts, but in the end had a convincing 38-20 win over the visiting Border Bulldogs at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

The home side scored six tries, with no 8 Carel du Preez getting a brace. Credit to Border who came back strongly after being outplayed in the early stages of the match, with fiery loose forward Stephan Deyzel the stand-out.

Three tries in the first half hour laid the foundation for the win. Kobus van Wyk scored in the opening five minutes, JP Lewis added another after 15 minutes and hard-working halfback Godlen Masimla scored ten minutes later to give the home side an easy 24-3 lead.

Border did score twice just after the restart, but Du Preez's second secured the bonus point for WP after 55 minutes. A penalty try late in the match aided the Bulldogs efforts.


DHL Western Province Under-21 38 (24). Tries: Carel du Preez (2), Jean Nel, JP Lewis, Godlen Masimla, Kobus van Wyk. Conversions: Tim Swiel (4).
Border Bulldogs Under-21 20 (3). Tries: Etienne Taljaard, Stephan Deyzel, Penalty Try. Conversion: Janco Lehmann. Penalty: Lehmann.

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