Free State crowned Under-19 champions
October 31, 2009
The Free State Under-19s were crowned Absa Under-19 champions on Saturday following their comprehensive 47-13 victory over the Xerox Lions Under-19s at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

The Bloemfontein team played some entertaining and attacking rugby and ran in six tries to the one scored by their opponents.

Johannes Swanepoel and Marcel van der Merwe both ran in a brace of tries while flanker Jannie van den Berg and winger Jamba Ulenga were the other try scorers for the Free State Under-19 team.

Fullback Nicolaas Scheepers kicked three penalties and three conversions to end the match with a personal points haul of 15.

“I am extremely happy with my side’s performance this season and it’s great to end the competition as champions,” said Free State Under-19 captain Hendrik van der Walt.

“We’ve got a special group of guys playing some good rugby and I think we deserve this victory. We stuck to our game plan and scored some good tries today.”

Winger Jacques Erasmus was the sole try score for the Xerox Lions Under-19s. Flyhalf Garth April, who recently represented the SA Under-18 team in international friendlies against France and Namibia, kicked two penalties and a conversion.

“Congratulations to Free State,” said Xerox Lions Under-19 captain Rinus Riekert.

“They outplayed us on the day and fully deserve the victory. We couldn’t build any momentum during the match and as a result failed to trouble their defence.”

Scorers: Free State Under-19s – Tries: Johannes Swanepoel (2), Marcel van der Merwe (2), Jannie van den Berg, Jamba Ulenga; Conversions: Nicolaas Scheepers (3); Penalties: Scheepers (3). Xerox Lions Under-19s – Try: Jacques Erasmus; Conversions: Garth April; Penalties: April (2)