U19: Final a Gauteng affair
U19: Final a Gauteng affairSHARE
The Blue Bulls and Golden Lions ensured that the Under-19 provincial championship Final would be a Gauteng derby at Newlands on Saturday after emerging victorious in their respective semifinals this past weekend.
The Blue Bulls defeated the Leopards 37-21 at Loftus Versfeld after topping the table at the conclusion of the round-robin stages, while the Golden Lions held their nerve in a hard-fought semifinal against the Sharks at Ellis Park to book their Final berth.
Blue Bulls 37-21 Leopards
In Pretoria, the Blue Bulls broke away after a tight first half to stretch their unbeaten run to 13 matches and advance to the Final. The Leopards started the match strongly with two converted tries in the first 13 minutes.
But the Blue Bulls hit back soon after with two tries to add to a penalty by flyhalf Kobus Marais for a narrow 17-14 lead at the break.
The Blue Bulls found their rhythm in the second half and did well to use their point-scoring chances, which earned them two more tries by Wilco Louw and Keagon Gordon respectively in the third quarter. Marais also did his bit to keep his team on the front foot as he added two more penalties to push the side into a comfortable position to win the match at 37-14 up.
The Leopards, however, refused to go down without a fight and they earned the rewards with Blessing Makhayhu crossing the try-line four minutes from full-time, despite his teammate Derek Taylor being sin-binned a minute earlier. The defeat, however, marked the end of the Leopards’ campaign.
For the Blue Bulls:
Tries: Massyn, Viljoen, Gordon, Louw
Cons: Marais 4
Pens: Marais 3
For the Leopards:
Tries: Makhayhu, September, Rudolph
Cons: Van Wyk, Boddington 2
Yellow card: Derek Taylor (Leopards, 65)
Blue Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel (captain), 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Daniel Kriel, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Keagon Gordon, 10 Kobus Marais, 9 JP Smith, 8 Chris Massyn, 7 Jean Droste, 6 Heinrich Viljoen, 5 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 2 Corne Els, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Arno van Wyk, 17 Wilco Louw, 18 Ngwako Ralepelle, 19 Carel Swart, 20 Cameron Anthony, 21 Leighton van Wyk, 22 Ganfried May, 23 Piet-Louw Strauss.
Leopards: 15 Shandro Issel, 14 Andries du Plooy, 13 Lourens Boddington, 12 Lloyd Greeff, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Cornelius Swart, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Jeandre Rudolph (captain), 7 Sias Koen, 6 Estehan Visagie, 5 Gerhard Cloete, 4 Marcus Brand, 3 Dirk Botha, 2 Thomas Dreyer, 1 Jackson Hulley.
Replacements: 16 Roche Steenkamp, 17 Zander Schlemmer, 18 Werner Haman, 19 Derek Taylor, 20 Janko Barnard, 21 Gysbert van Wyk, 22 Blessing Makhavhu, 23 Jandre Venter.
Referee: Tahla Ntshakaza
Assistant referees: Eduan Nel, Sieg van Staden
Golden Lions 27-25 Sharks
The semifinal between the Golden Lions and the Sharks at Ellis Park was neck-on-neck from the start as the teams fought hard to keep alive their Final hopes. The Sharks’ ill-discipline, however, cost them dearly, as three late penalties by Golden Lions flyhalf Brandan Hewit ultimately earned the Johannesburg side the victory.
The Golden Lions opened up the scoring with a penalty in the seventh minute by Hewit, but they suffered a setback minutes later as Pieter Scholtz received a yellow card. The Sharks capitalised on their extra man immediately with Bartholomeus le Roux crossing the try-line, which flyhalf Jean-Luc Du Plessis converted and subsequently added a penalty to push the visitors into the lead. The next 15 minutes proved to be tight as the Golden Lions scored two tries compliments of Malcolm Marx and Jano Venter, while the Sharks added their second try. Hewit added another penalty for the Golden Lions to hand the home side an 18-17 lead.
The second half was equally tense, although the Sharks had the first say as Christopher de Beer added their third try of the match in the 45th minute to force the visitors into the lead. But penalties conceded at crucial times dealt the killer blow to the Durban side’s hopes of a Final berth as Hewit slotted three penalties in seven minutes to take a 27-25 lead with eight minutes to go. They then succeeded in shutting out the Sharks to emerge victorious.
For the Golden Lions:
Tries: Venter, Marx
Pens: Hewit 5
For the Sharks:
Tries: Le Roux, De Beer, Kubeka
Cons: Du Preez 2
Pens: Du Preez 2
Yellow cards: Pieter Scholtz (Golden Lions, 14), Alrin Eksteen (Sharks, 57)
Golden Lions: 15 Barend Herbst, 14 Chad McKay, 13 Koch Marx, 12 Daniel Arries, 11 Carlisle Nel, 10 Brandan Hewit, 9 Christiaan Meyer, 8 Jano Venter, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Sikhumbuzo Mabuza, 5 Estian Enslin, 4 Victor Sekekete, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith (captain).
Replacements: 16 Rynard Snyman, 17 Francois van Heerden, 18 Quinton Terblanche, 19 Jaun Vorster, 20 Akhona Sihunu, 21 Gerdus van der Walt, 22 Sampie Hearn, 23 Kyle van Dalen.
Sharks: 15 Colin Willemse, 14 Michael Cloete, 13 Wion Robbertse, 12 Sandile Kubeka, 11 Alrin Eksteen, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Ayron Schramm, 7 Barend Potgieter, 6 Thembalethu Williams, 5 Pieter Grobler, 4 Hendrik Botha, 3 Bart le Roux, 2 Chris de Beer (captain), 1 Stephan Morkel.
Replacements: 16 Roan Dalzell, 17 Michael Downer, 18 Stefan van Schalkwyk, 19 Jonas Mikalcius, 20 Joseph Jones, 21 Lotter Pretorius, 22 Nkululeko Marwana, 23 Riaan O’Neill.
Referee: Daniel Fortuin
Assistant referees: Lihan Pretorius, Jaco Pretorius