The Under-16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week on Monday started on an exciting note at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria with a series of big wins and a few close encounters keeping spectators entertained.
Western Province, the Blue Bulls and the Free State, in particular, established themselves as the early favourites to compete for places in the final match of the tournament on Thursday after encouraging victories in their opening games.
Western Province 61 (42) Border 0
The Western Province forwards and backs combined well in the first match of the day and stamped their authority from the outset against Border, which resulted in an impressive nine tries and a 61-0 victory. Six of these tries were scored in a strong first half showing.
The Cape side’s fullback Gianni Lombard was also in fine form with the boot as he slotted over eight conversions to add to his try for a personal tally of 21 points.
Western Province – Tries: Benjamin Momberg (2), Bernard Swart, Gianni Lombard, Khanya Ncusane (2), Lubello Scott, Wian Van Zyl (2). Conversions: Gianni Lombard (8).
Valke 6 (3) Griffons 19 (12)
The Griffons scored two first-half tries to only a penalty for their 12-3 lead against the Valke. But the Kempton Park side contained them well in the second half and limited them to scoring only one more try. Unfortunately for the Valke, however, they battled to score points, which resulted in them having to settle for two penalties in the match.
Valke – Penalties: Marthinus Johannes Holtzhausen (2).
Griffons – Tries: Duke Vincent Jantjies, Johannes van Huyssteen, Lubabalu Stan-Lee Mteyise. Conversions: Dylan Stiemmie (2).
KwaZulu-Natal 17 (10) Golden Lions 22 (10)
The clash between the Golden Lions and KwaZulu-Natal, meanwhile, was close from the outset as the teams were head-to-head at 10-10 at half time. They again found themselves deadlocked on 17-17 with a few minutes to go. But a late try by Lions lock Sam Eshun sealed the 22-17 victory for the Johannesburg side.
KwaZulu-Natal – Tries: Bongani Tonny Mahlangu, Sibusiso Anele Hlophe. Conversions: Dylan Kruger (2). Penalty: Dylan Kruger.
Golden Lions – Tries: Sam Eshun, Stefan Moolman, Wandisile Simelane. Conversions: Wandisile Simelane (2). Penalty: Wandisile Simelane.
Blue Bulls XV 62 (33) Border CD 3 (0)
The Blue Bulls XV were impressive in all facets of their game against Border Country Districts as they powered their way to a 33-0 lead at the break and the highest score of the day. In total the Blue Bulls XV crossed the tryline 10 times, while they shut out the visitors on defence, which limited them to only a penalty for the match.
Blue Bulls XV – Tries: Calderon Levens (3), Denzel Liebenberg, Eduard Pretorius (2), Henro Conradie, Leon Pretorius, Lwandile Mabhongo, Tristan Janse van Vuuren. Conversions: Tristan Janse van Vuuren (6).
Border CD – Penalty: Enrico Bokwe.
Griquas 13 (7) Zimbabwe 15 (7)
Griquas and Zimbabwe were involved from a tight tussle as both teams put their bodies on the line throughout the clash. Such was the closeness of the match the teams were level at 7-7 at the break. However, two tries in five minutes after the break by Zimbabwe pushed them ahead on the scoreboard.
Griquas tried to force their way back into the match with a try and penalty, but this still left them short on the scoreboard.
Griquas – Tries: De-An Ackerman, Sergio Kasper. Penalty: Van Zyl Jacobs.
Zimbabwe – Tries: Mufaro Mpisaunga, Nqobisile Ncube, Travis Landing.
Eastern Province 12 (5) Free State 48 (10)
The Free State also started their Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week campaign on an encouraging note with a convincing 48-12 victory against Eastern Province with seven tries to show for their efforts.
The first half, however, was close as the teams scored a try a piece, but an extra conversion and penalty by Free State back Mario Vieira handed them a 10-5 lead at the break. The side, however, found their rhythm in the second half and ran in tries at will.
Eastern Province – Tries: Sazi Sandi, Sihle Njezula. Conversion: Vaughen Isaacs.
Free State – Tries: Gerrie Koegelenberg (2), Kyle Kermis, Lehlohonolo Makhamba, Mario Vieira, Mfezeko Moyo, Thian Du Randt. Conversions: Mario Vieira (5). Penalty: Mario Vieira.
Boland 22 (7) Pumas 19 (7)
The battle between Boland and the Pumas was epic as the teams found themselves head-to-head up until the dying minutes. The teams managed only a converted try a piece in a tightly-contested first half and built on this with two more tries in the second half, of which they each converted one.
This left the teams level at 19-19 on the stroke of full time. But Boland were awarded a penalty which Keenan Lyle Williams slotted over to secure the victory.
Boland – Tries: Austin Murtz, Lincoln Daniels, Rick Jordaan. Conversions: Keenan Lyle Williams (2). Penalty: Keenan Lyle Williams.
Pumas – Tries: Hermanus de Jager Kruger, Jaco Joubert, Johannes Christoffel Pretorius. Conversions: John-Robert Charles Smith, Zander Joubert.
Griquas CD 14 (11) Leopards 12 (12)
Griquas CD had to fight for their 14-12 victory against the Leopards as neither team gave an inch throughout the clash. The Leopards led by a point at the break thanks to two tries to only a try and two penalties by Griquas CD flyhalf Kylan Griqua.
But they were unable to score a single point in the second half, while Griqua added another penalty, which earned his team the narrow 14-12 victory.
Griquas CD – Try: Gerhard Gregory . Penalties: Kylan Griqua (3).
Leopards – Tries: Izak Jonker, Lionel George. Conversion: Gerhard Fourie.
Namibia 29 (10) Limpopo Blue Bulls 19 (5)
The clash between Namibia and the Limpopo Blue Bulls started slowly as the teams used the first half to find their feet. But they both applied pressure on attack in the second half and earned the rewards. Namibia’s four tries to only three by the Limpopo Blue Bulls, however, allowed them to register a morale-boosting 29-19 victory.
Namibia – Tries: Chrischen Olivier, Enrique Pretorius, Gerbus Van Wyk, Wynand Breytenbach. Conversions: Delron Brandt (2). Penalty: Delron Brandt.
Limpopo Blue Bulls – Tries: Danny Mokhoabane, Franco Van der Watt, Henk Van Zyl. Conversions: Chrizaan Strauss (3).
Blue Bulls 40 (27) SWD 19 (7)
Hosts the Blue Bulls showed that they could be a force to be reckoned with in the competition as they powered their way to a 40-19 victory against SWD. The hosts came out firing with their first try being scored three minutes into the match.
They camped in the visitors half early on and earned the rewards with a 27-7 lead at the break thanks to effective performances by their forwards and backs. They built on this in the second half, despite SWD fighting back strongly, to stretch their score to 40 points.
Blue Bulls – Tries: Happiness Badise Peterson, Henk Pretorius, Hluma Zondani, Jack Hart, Rudolph De Lange. Conversions: Ruan De Swardt (3). Penalties: Ruan De Swardt (3).
SWD – Tries: Bradley Kiewitz, Llyle Daine Metembo, Xavier Swartbooi. Conversions: Darren Adonis, Zinedene Booysen.
Under-16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week day one results:
Western Province 61 – 0 Border
Valke 6 - 19 Griffons
KwaZulu-Natal 17 - 22 Golden Lions
Blue Bulls XV 62 - 3 Border CD
Eastern Province 12 - 48 Free State
Griquas 13 - 15 Zimbabwe
Boland 22 -19 Pumas
Griquas CD 14 - 12 Leopards
Namibia 29 -19 Limpopo Blue Bulls
Blue Bulls 40 - 19 SWD
Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week day two fixtures:
TUT A Field:
10h30 – Pumas vs. Eastern Province
11h45 – KwaZulu-Natal vs. South Western Districts
13h00 – Boland vs. Griffons
14h15 – Blue Bulls vs. Free State
15h30 – Western Province vs. Golden Lions
10h30 – Border Country Districts vs. Leopards
11h45 – Blue Bulls XV vs. Namibia
13h00 – Griqualand West Country Districts vs. Zimbabwe
14h15 – Limpopo Blue Bulls vs. Griqualand West
15h30 – Valke vs Border