The 2007 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Under-16 weeks kicked off in cool conditions at Kearsney College in Botha’s Hill on Monday.
The Week, first held in 2003, has grown in stature in recent years and is today regarded as an important indicator of the players that will go on to represent their Provinces at Under-18 level.
In the only upset of the day, EP beat the much-favoured Lions 9-5 in an error-riddled encounter. Border were impressive in beating Griquas in the opening match of the day.
KZN (24 ) 41 vs Valke (0) 5
Strong running play and good interplay between forwards and backs proved too much for the Valke as hosts KZN won comfortably in the day’s main match.
KZN number eight Francois Kleinhaus put in a solid all-round performance that included a hat-trick of tries.
KZN opened the scoring in the tenth minute after a period of sustained pressure inside the Valke 22.
Kleinhaus picked up from the base of a scrum and crashed over after a powerful, low drive. Centre Robert de Bruyn converted to give the hosts a 7-0 lead. Kleinhaus was involved in the move that led to KZN’s second try four minutes later when he took the ball up strongly to breach the advantage line and put winger Khayelihle Mbuyazi in under the posts.
De Bruyn added the conversion. Kleinhaus got his second try when he carried the ball well from close to the line to extend his team’s lead to 19-0.
The conversion was missed. On the stroke of halftime the lead was extended to 24-0 after hooker and local Kearsney boy Minenhle Bengu went over in the corner following some great handling and passing.
The Valke opened their account five minutes into the second half when centre Tobie Jacobs rounded off a move that featured some impressive interplay between flyhalf Jacob Taute and inside centre Dawie van Staden.
The conversion was unsuccessful. KZN were not done however as they added a further three tries before the final whistle.
Kleinhaus grabbed his third after pouncing on a soft pass from de Bruyn who had breached the last line of defence.
De Bruyn added the conversion.
Scrumhalf Mlamuli Ntuli dived over in the corner after KZN had again done some good work in the build up and winger Mbuyazi delivered the final blow with a score on full time
WP (15) 29 vs Blue Bulls (10) 27
The clash between two of the SA game’s oldest rivals was a match to savour as the lead changed hands several times and both sides produced scintillating running rugby.
WP drew first blood when winger Zingisa Ndiki rounded off in the corner after some good build up play.
Centre Ryan Barthus missed the conversion.
The Blue Bulls, despite playing second fiddle in the forward exchanges responded with a well-taken try by centre Leroy Afrika, which was converted by flyhalf Neil Bosman to give them a slender 7-5 lead. Barthus, who kept WP on the front foot with some great tactical kicking, restored his side’s lead with a converted try and added a penalty a few minutes later to move WP into a 15-7 lead.
Bosman kicked a penalty for the Bulls on the stroke of halftime to leave his side five points adrift at the break.
The Bulls got their hands on the ball early in the second spell and created a fantastic try for winger Mongezi Bosch with Bosman, who converted to make it 17-15, delivering a spectacular final pass in the move.
Flanker Nizaam Carr restored the WP lead when he rounded off after a controlled build up that saw WP switch the angle of attack nicely.
Barthus converted to make it 22-17, and minutes later Bosman cut the lead to two points with his second penalty of the game.
Scrumhalf Rick Schroeder scored a fourth try for his side and Barthus converted to restore WP’s nine point advantage.
With time running out the Blue Bulls refused to lie down and were rewarded when flanker Thabang Hlangoane went over for a try. Bosman added the conversion to make it 29-27 but WP held on to secure a hard-fought win.
Lions (0) 5 vs EP (6) 9
The Lions will rue their decision not to go for posts on several occasions in the closing stages of the match that might have given them a narrow win against a resilient EP side.
Despite being up against a stronger pack, EP were able to put enough pressure on their opponents at the breakdown to win two early penalties, both of which were converted by centre Hanro Louw for a 6-0 lead after eight minutes. Both sides sought to play attacking rugby but a litany of errors and infringements, particularly at ruck and maul, reduced it to a stop-start affair for most of the first half.
The Lions had an opportunity to level the scores before the break, but scrumhalf Nico Kruger was unsuccessful with two penalty attempts.
The Lions were eventually rewarded for their good build-up play when flanker JP le Grange charged over for the game’s first try early in the second spell. Kruger missed a conversion in front of the poles to keep EP in a 6-5 lead.
EP’s Louw kicked a third penalty soon after the restart to move the score to 9-5 and EP weathered a late flurry of attacks by the Lions to secure a valuable win.
Boland (3) 18 vs Free State (21) 40
Free State put their big pack to good use from the outset, forcing their lighter opponents to commit more players to the breakdown and open up space in which to attack. They were rewarded early on when centre Mzuvokile Duma went over for a try in the third minute.
Flyalf Frederick Ras – son of former great De Wet Ras - converted to make it 7-0. Free State doubled their advantage with a try by centre Petrus Lindeque, which was also coverted by Ras. Boland opened their account with a penalty by fullback Rouvaun Appel but Free State stretched their lead even further when stocky hooker Bernard van Heerden scored their third try after sustained pick and drive play in the Boland 22. Ras added the conversion to move the score to 21-3.
Boland played with more fire in the second half but struggled to contain their more physical and skillful opponents. Free State extended their lead to 28-3 when Ras added their fourth try and converted.
They went further ahead with two tries in the space of as many minutes by wingers Chejane Mallane and Makgema Setlaba, one converted by Ras, to lead 40-3.
Appel kicked a second penalty for Boland before number eight Werner Badenhorst added two tries for Boland, one of which was converted by Appel to give the score some respectability at 40-18.
Border (3) 10 vs Griquas (3) 3
Border got off to a good start with a 10-3 win over Griquas.
After and opening spell that saw the two sides feeling each other out, Griquas opened the scoring in the 17th minute via a penalty by centre Johandre van der Walt. But it was Border who made most of the play as they effectively brought their outside backs into the attack. They spurned numerous try-scoring chances before the break, the first after a great run by fullback Apelele Rasmeni, who saw his final pass knocked on by winger Lionel Makiwane and another when Makiwane stepped into touch whilst making a pass inside that would have seen Border score under the posts.
The boys from East London persisted and were rewarded with a penalty on the stroke of halftime that was goaled by flyhalf Dale Sabbagh to level the scores at the break. Sabbagh and van der Walt both missed penalty chances early in the second half and it was the nippy Rasmeni who broke the deadlock midway through the half, joining the line for a simple score after Border had secured quick ball from a scrum 20 metres out. Sabbagh converted to give border a 10-3 lead.
Border continued to control the game and despite losing Rasmeni after a yellow card in the closing stages, they held on for a deserved win,
KZN XV 35 vs Namibia 3
The KZN XV scored a one-sided win over a spirited Namibian team that refused to give up despite conceding six tries to nil.
KZN led 13-3 at halftime after tries by wing Philani Majeke and centre Kayde Fisher and a penalty by flyhalf Shane Swart in response to a penalty by Namibia flyhalf Abraham van Niekerk.
KZN kept the scoreboard ticking over with some solid play in the second half, adding further tries through Majeke, centre Jacobus Lourens, lock Campbell Pletts and prop Thobelani Mabaso, only one of which was converted by Swart.
Leopards (12) 29 vs Border CD (13) 13
The Leopards reversed a 12-13 half-time deficit to record a deserved 29-13 win over Border Country Districts in their opening match of the Week.
The Leopards drew first blood when flyhalf Janus Jonker went over for a try in the opening minute. Fullback John Denner converted to make it 7-0. Border struck back quickly, however, sending centre Mveleli Nduko over for a try, which was converted by flyhalf Abongile Boyana to level matters. Boyana extended the Border lead to 10-7 with a penalty midway through the half but the Leopards reclaimed the lead through a try by hooker Jacques Gnade eight minutes from the break. Denner was unable to convert.
Boyana struck back with a drop goal three minutes later to give his side a one-point cushion at the break.
The second half belonged to the Leopards as they repeatedly found gaps in the Border defence to add further tries via number eight Gabriel Strydom, wing Kethbile Mokgatle and Gnade, one of which was converted by Denner.
Limpopo Blue Bulls (3) 27 vs Pumas (6) 14
After a tight first half, the Limpopo Blue Bulls dominated the second spell to secure a deserved 27-14 win.
The Pumas led 6-3 at the break with two penalties by fullback Ulrich Beyers canceling out a penalty by Limpopo scrumhalf Charles van Staden.
Limpopo took the lead for the first time in the game when number eight Kingdom Malaudzi went over for a try, which was converted by van Staden to give his team and 10-6 lead. The lead changed hands six minutes later when the Pumas struck via a try by centre Clearance Khumalo, which was not converted. Beyers stretched the Pumas lead to four points at 14-10 with another penalty before Limpopo responded with tries by centres Buhle Ngonyama and Gideon Blignaut as well as two conversions and a penalty by van Staden to put the result beyond doubt.
SWD (7) 24 vs Griffons (9) 16
South Western Districts reversed a half-time deficit to record a deserved win over the Griffons. The Griffons started well, moving into a nine-point lead within 13 minutes after flyhalf Johannes du Toit had succeeded with two penalties and a drop goal.
SWD cut the lead to two points before the break after wing Benjamin Pierre scored a try, which was converted by fullback Jaco van Tonder. Shortly after the restart van Tonder added a try to give SWD the lead for the first time at 12-9.
Van Tonder added a second try midway through the second half to move the score to 17-9 and centre Adrian Fransman extended the lead to 22–9 with a try four minutes from time. Van Tonder converted. The Griffons scored a consolation try via flank Rudi Mostert, which was converted by du Toit, on the stroke of fulltime.
Tuesday 3 July fixtures:
09h30 KZN XV vs Griffons
Border CD vs Namibia
10h45 SWD vs Leopards
Pumas vs Griquas
12h00 Border vs Limpopo
Valke vs Boland
13h15 EP vs WP
Blue Bulls vs Lions
14h45 KZN vs Free State