REPORTS FROM DAY 1 – MONDAY 2 JULY
Border Country Districts 13 (5), Namibia 5 (0)
Border CD started the tournament with a bang beating Namibia convincingly in this year’s curtain raiser. It took the winning team only 3 minutes to open their score sheet when right-winger, Lutho Boyana, went over for the first try of the tournament. Flyhalf Xolile Pali missed the conversion, but the early breakthrough rattled Namibia initially.Despite this blow Namibia managed to keep Border Country Districts at bay for the rest of the first half. In the 25th minute the Border Express Boyana scored his second try of the match. Fortunately for the Namibians the conversion attempt missed the target yet again. Namibia struck back in 28th minute when the outside centre Le-Roy Garth Losper crashed over for his team’s only try. Fullback Ethan Beukes could not add another two points to their tally. Pali finished off his team’s victory with a penalty in the 35th minute.
Griffons 17 (12), Zimbabwe 10 (0)
Even though the Zimbabweans gave the Griffons a run for their money, team from the Northern Free State, upped the ante to taste victory. The Griffons ran in two tries in the first half to lead 12-0 at the break. Zimbabwe came back hard in the second half when the flanker Warren Ganye crashed over for his team’s first try. André Odendaal missed the conversion. For the Griffons the right wing Odwa Dingani score the last of his team’s three tries. In the 38th minute Clive Zvandasara scored a consolation try for Zimbabwe, but it was too little, too late.
Limpopo Blue Bulls 17(3), Border (15) (3)
In another low scoring match Limpopo managed to pull the match through courtesy of flyhalf Johannes Marais’s excellent goal kicking display. Marias converted both tries of right wing Peter Masego and scored another penalty to put the game out of Border’s reach. In the first half both teams battled to break through the defense, but Masego broke the drought in the 22nd minute. In the 36th minute the young speedster crossed the try line again. Border’s tries came courtesy of Andries Jonker and Siphamandla Zilani. The losing team’s only penalty was slotted through by Trevor Stander early in the first half.
Boland 18 (12), Leopards 12 (0)
Boland almost paid the penalty for being complacent when the Leopards fought back in the second half to stay within striking distance. Despite the fact that both teams scored two tries apiece, Boland won the battle of the boot. The highlight of the match was undoubtedly the delightful touch by the Boland flyhalf Brendan Olivier who slotted through a drop goal from 25m meters out, to the big crowd’s delight. Boland “won” the first half 12-0 thanks to tries by Kurtley du Plessis and Phillip Jacobs. The fullback David de Villiers Stiffer converted one to leave the Leopards shell shocked. The Leopards’ blitzkrieg in the secondly half was introduced when the scrumhalf Christoff Venter crossed the line in the 25th minute. Zybrand Lombaard scored his team’s second try, but fortunately for the Boland their lapse in concentration did not come at price.
Falcons 16 (10), Free State 12 (7)
The Falcons caused the first upset of the week when they defeated the strong Free State side.Free State ran in two tries to one, but the superb kicking performance of the Falcons’ eighthman, Jan Heimricks Viljoen, shifted the game in the Red Devils’ favour. Taking into account that the elements, especially the strong wind played around with the goalkickers performances Viljoen’s hundred percent record ws really impressive. Free State powerhouse and tighthead prop, De Ville Piek (78kg, 1.76m), scored both his teams tries, but his hard work was made undone by Viljoens sterling kicking performance.
Blue Bulls 20 (15), Griquas 0 (0)
If this was a tennis match the men in blue won their opening encounter in this year’s Week in straight sets. Donovan Grobler, strong running outside centre of the Bulls, had an exceptional game. His sniping runs were also rewarded with a try. The team from North of the Jukskeiriver scored four (Jonathan Makkink, Grobler, Lukas Gouws, Armand de Beer) unanswered tries, but the score could have been much higher if the fullback and captain Jean-Gerbrand Schoeman had packed in his kicking boots. He missed all four conversions. The Pretoria-based team played constructive 15man-rugby, and deserved to win the match, but Griquas deserve a pat on the back for their gutsy performance.
Western Province 7 (0), Natal 5 (0)
This was a fiercly contested match that could have gone either way. Despite the result all eyes were on the Western Province flyhalf, Jean Luc du Plessis, son of the legendary Springbok wing, Carel. Both teams defended like tigers and there was very little to choose between the two coastal teams. Province flanker, Luthando Manase, was deservedly crowned as the man of the match. But the Banana Boys could have changed the outcome if their goalkicking was a bit more accurate.
Eastern Province 6 (6), Pumas 5 (0)
If tries alone won matches then the Pumas would have won their match yesterday against EP. But unfortunately the scoreboard at the end of the match is the only thing that counts. Flyhalf, Pieter Jordaan, won the match for his team with two well struck penalties respectively in the 5th and 20th minute, but the only try of the game came in the last minute when flanker, Christoffel Ludeke, crossed the goal line. Pieter Wolmerans missed the conversion.
Lions 10 (3), SWD 3 (0)
Despite the fact that the match was closely contested, the host province could have had a bigger lead at halftime if they were able to finish of promising movements.
The brightest star was undoubtedly the lions captain Janrij Dorfling, who had the rugby guru’s buzzing with his work rate and physical presence. Even though the game was not a try fest, the Lions showed who was the king of the jungle. The ploy by the Lions to play all their reserves luckily did not backfire.