Craven Week: Free State upstage Blue Bulls
WRAP: What a turnaround! Down 7-15 at half-time and lucky to be behind by so little as they hung on with their fingernails in the face of the aggressive Blue Bulls, Free State became a new force in the second half and ended 38-21 winners.
They scored 31 points to two penalty goals in the second half and that against the big Blue Bulls.
It was an astonishing match. They who had seemed well beaten scored six tries to two.
The Blue Bulls dominated possession in all but the line-outs but the Free State had the better of territory somehow. The Blue Bulls were stronger in the scrums (till Jacobus Agenbag came on in the second half) and more forceful in the tackles where they forced penalties against the Free Staters.
The penalty count in the first half was 7-3 to the Blue Bulls, but they won only five of their 11 line-outs.
Within the first five minutes, the Blue Bulls led 10-0. It seemed that they were in for another big Craven Week win.
First Regardt Roets, the flyhalf who seemed so in charge of the match, goaled a penalty. Then Janco Uys broke and Christian Kamffer charged onto the line where Bernard van der Linde darted over for a try, 10-0 after 5 minutes.
A break by strong inside centre Jurich Claasens had the Blue Bulls hammering at the line. But they were penalised and – incredibly – Free State tapped and set their backs running. They were stopped inside the Blue Bulls 22.
They tapped their next penalty as well, and off went flank De Wet Marais, charging down the field. He did a scissors with fullback Richard Kriel who scored. 10-7 after 30 minutes.
Roets broke from a scrum, well inside the Blue Bulls’ half and he sent sturdy Diego Appollis flying for the try that made the half-time score 15-7 in the favour of the Blue Bulls.
Early in the second half the Free State captain, scrumhalf Ross Braude came on as a substitute. It may well be this change that most brought about the change in Free State fortunes.
First Du Plessis raced down the right, the Free State went wide left where Kriel – a fullback – grubbered ahead, collected the ball and scored, 15-12.
After a charge by Lohan Potgieter, Roets goaled a second penalty, 18-12 but Free State answered when, going left, Wyclef Vlitoor beat Appollis on the outside and scored. 18-17 with 20 minutes to play.
When Free State collapsed a Blue Bulls maul, Roets goaled, 21-17. It was the last time that the Blue Bulls scored while the Free State scored 21 points.
The first try was started when Kriel stayed on his feet and staggered ahead and Lehlohonolo Litabe on the left wing, handed off Appollis to score a try which Du Plessis converted, and with 12 minutes to play Free State took the lead for the first time.
As Free State attacked again, the Blue Bulls were penalised at their posts but Braude tapped and Willem Steenkamp swept over for the try, 31-21 with 7 minutes to play. Free State attacked again and Brandon Adams was tackled out at the corner.
Free State had a remarkable prop-constructed try. Tighthead Agenbag held the ball and drew the Blue Bulls to him before popping a short pass to loosehead Wessels on his left, and Wessels ran some 24 metres to score under the posts.
This ended all the scoring of the second day of the 55th Craven Week.
Would that all rugby could be played like this – adventurous, tense, brave, hard and courteous. You picked up a fallen opponent and you did not try to put pressure on referees or query their decisions. Even post-try celebrations were sedate.
For Free State:
Tries: Richard Kriel 2, Wyclef Vlitoor, Lehlohonolo Litabe, Willem Steenkamp, Jan-Hendrik Wessels.
Cons: Zander du Plessis 4
For Blue Bulls:
Tries: Diego Appollis, Bernard van der Linde
Con: Regard Roets
Pens: Regard Roets 3
Free State: 15 Richard Kriel, 14 Brandon Adams, 13 Wyclef Vlitoor, 12 Franco Smith, 11 Ian Small-Smith, 10 Zander du Plessis, 9 Delano Williams, 8 Werner Gouws, 7 De Wet Marais, 6 Samkele Mzayiya, 5 Danwich Beukes, 4 Willem Steenkamp (captain), 3 Albertus Annandale, 2 Fafa Boonzaaier, 1 Jan-Hendrik Wessels
Replacements:16 André Venter, 17 Lihle Lolwane, 18 Jacobus Aggenbag, 19 Nhlanhla Senoamadi, 20 Lekobe Ofentse, 21 Ross Braude, 22 Jade Pedro, 23 Lehlohonolo Litabe.
Blue Bulls: 15 Campwill Willemse, 14 Jaden Visagie, 13 Diego Appollis, 12 Jurich Claasens, 11 Nsuku Baloyi, 10 Regard Roets, 9 Bernard van der Linde, 8 Divan Venter, 7 Lohan Potgieter, 6 Johandré Buitendag, 5 Raynard Roets, 4 Christian Kamffer,3 Tapiwanashe Katete, 2 Janco Uys, 1 Dewald Donald1
Replacements: 16 Dewald Pienaar, 17 Brailon Brandt, 18 Sarel Joubert, 19 Kgalalelo Mothomologo, 20 Marcelle Mombers, 21 Marven Petersen, 22 Dian Nordier, 23 Shurwin Smith.
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Three early second-half tries turned a tight game in the favour of the Sharks as they managed to overcome SWD 46-28 in a pulsating 2018 Craven Week encounter.
Just four points separated the sides at the interval but Dylan Pretorius and Lwandile Menze (2) changed the complexion of the game to put enough of a buffer between the sides that set the Sharks on their way to claim the win.
SWD got the scoring going with a third-minute Jan Strydom penalty, only for the Sharks to level matters in the 10th minute through the boot of Dylan Pretorius.
The Sharks had their tails up and grabbed the first try of the match in the 15th minute when Joe Jonas cut in from the wing to dive over. Pretorius added the extras for a 10-3 lead. SWD cut the Sharks’ lead to four points when Clyde Lewis popped over a penalty from right in front of the uprights in the 18th minute.
SWD grabbed their first try of the match in the 26th minute when Pieter Maritz muscled and stretched his way over the line from close range. Lewis made no mistake with the conversion to hand SWD a slender 13-10 lead.
The match became a real arm-wrestle form that point until the 35th minute when Sharks flyhalf Dylan Pretorius spotted a gap inside SWD’s 22 and sniped his way through to score. He converted his own try to hand his side a 17-13 half-time lead.
The Sharks took the game to SWD in the second half and Pretorius bagged his second try of the match when he sniped through another hole in SWD’s defence to dot down. He was once again on target with the conversion to stretch his side’s lead to 24-13 after 41 minutes.
The Sharks had to grind out their next points, but two quick tries by centre Lwandile Menze – both converted by Pretorius – extended their lead to 38-13. But SWD hit back immediately when Abraham van Huyssteen bashed his way over to reduce the deficit to 18-38 in the 52nd minute.
The Sharks were unlucky to be reduced to 14-men in the 54th minute when fullback Siyanda Cele was deemed to have deliberately tackled SWD’s Keano Hendricks in the air, despite replays suggesting that Cele was committed to the tackle before Hendricks decided to leap in the air to collect a pass.
That opened the door for SWD to grab their third try of the game when Janco Klinck rounded off a scintillating break from Hannes Gous. Lewis hit the upright with his conversion attempt but the deficit was cut to 23-38 with 15 minutes remaining in the game.
Pretorius slotted a 60th-minute penalty to stretch the Sharks lead to 18 points but SWD managed to score their fourth try through scrumhalf Derick Jooste in the 64th minute to reduce the deficit to 28-41.
There was enough time for the Sharks to score one final try through Andrew James to seal the victory.
For the Sharks:
Tries: Joe Jonas, Dylan Pretorius 2, Lwandile Menze 2, Andrew James
Cons: Dylan Pretorius 5
Pens: Dylan Pretorius 2
Tries: Pieter Maritz, Abraham van Huyssteen, Janco Klinck, Derick Jooste
Con: Clyde Lewis
Pens: Jan Strydom, Clyde Lewis
Yellow card: Siyanda Cele (Sharks, foul play – dangerous tackle, 54)
Sharks: 1 Jordan Clarke, 2 Ruan Olivier, 3 Mthokozisi Gumede, 4 Lunga Ncube, 5 Deon Slabbert, 6 George Luzolo, 7 Sibusiso Sangweni, 8 Celimpilo Gumede, 9 Gareth Swanepoel, 10 Dylan Pretorius, 11 Joe Jonas, 12 Rynhardt Jonker, 13 Lwandile Menze, 14 Jean Roux, 15 Siyanda Cele, 16 Teague Loelly, 17 Thabiso Mdletshe, 18 Spekahle Dube, 19 Andrew James, 20 Asande Mnguni, 21 Runako Brynard, 22 Nkondlo Radebe, 23 Jacques Odendaal.
SWD: 1 Magnus Muller, 2 Keano Hendricks, 3 Pieter Maritz, 4 Pierre-Raymond Uys, 5 Hannes Gous, 6 Abraham van Huyssteen, 7 Henco Beukes, 8 Joshua Hermanus, 9 Derick Jooste, 10 Jan Strydom, 11 Ridge Gaffley, 12 Etienne Steyn, 13 Janco Klinck, 14 Trevino Gordon, 15 Clyde Lewis, 16 Sydney Volkwyn, 17 GW Lund, 18 Brian Williams, 19 Pieter Ferreira, 20 Vernon Paulo, 21 Abre Minnie, 22 Mihlali Gxavu, 23 Joaquin Taute.
Boland 61-14 Griquas
Boland put in an all-round performance to run in 11 tries on their way to a comfortable 61-14 victory over Griquas in the third game of Day Two at the 2018 Craven Week.
The crowd were firmly behind Boland and they obliged by running in five first-half tries and six in the second half while restricting their opponents to just two converted scores.
Boland made a fast start and took a 12-0 lead within the opening 10 minutes compliments of tries from Conner Mahoney and Shaun-Christian Baxter. Flyhalf Lionel April converted Mahoney’s try.
Griquas got themselves on the scoreboard in the 18th minute when Linton Maritz forced his way through Boland’s defence. Flank SJ Oberholzer slotted the conversion to reduce the deficit to 7-12. But Christoffel Grobbelaar hit back immediately for Boland to stretch their lead to 17-7 lead after 21 minutes.
After an arm-wrestle period, Boland managed to outwork Griquas and grab their fourth try through Jacobus Groenewald. April was on target with the conversion to ensure a 24-7 lead after 30 minutes. Boland maintained that pressure on Griquas and Mahoney crossed for his second of the game to ensure a 29-7 lead at the break.
It took Boland six minutes into the second half to grab their sixth try as Grobbelaar rounded off a flowing attack to stretch the lead to 34-7 but Griquas’ Marco van der Merwe interception on Boland’s 10-metre line saw the lock race away to dot down under the uprights. Oberholzer popped over the conversion to reduce the deficit to 14-34.
However, Heinrich Naude hit back for Boland with two consecutive tries to take their lead to 44-14 after 53 minutes. Storm Hanekom bagged Boland’s ninth try in the 59th minute to take his side’s lead to 49-14.
Boland finally breached the 50-point mark when No.8 Marthinus van Zyl muscled his way over for a 54-14 lead. Grobbelaar ended the match with his hat-trick, and with April’s conversion, Boland sent out a warning to their Thursday opponents.
Tries: Conner Mahoney 2, Shaun-Christian Baxter, Christoffel Grobbelaar 3, Jacobus Groenewald, Heinrich Naude 2, Storm Hanekom, Marthinus van Zyl
Cons: Lionel April 3
Tries: Linton Maritz, Marco van der Merwe
Cons: SJ Oberholzer 2
Boland: 1 Thomas Bezuidenhout, 2 Reevan Strydom, 3 Duan Chad, 4 Jurie de Kock, 5 JW Human, 6 Charl van Rensburg, 7 Heinrich Naude, 8 Marthinus van Zyl, 9 Luciano Elias, 10 Lionel April, 11 Ethniqe Adams, 12 Shane-Cole Williams, 13 Christoffel Grobbelaar, 14 Dylan May, 15 Conner Mahoney, 16 Jacobus Groenewald, 17 Storm Hanekom, 18 Eduard Bruwer, 19 Thomas Linnegar, 20 Keanu Adonis, 21 Aphelele Madaka, 22 Shaun-Christian Baxter, 23 Roann Jansen.
Griquas: 1 Anrich Rosenstrauch, 2 Jannie Visser, 3 Rudolph Fourie, 4 Leon Koortzen, 5 Marco van der Merwe, 6 SJ Oberholzer, 7 Venter Scholtz, 8 Johannes Viljoen, 9 Berne Engelbrecht, 10 Handre Bruwer, 11 Linton Maritz, 12 Henru Kotze, 13 Cole Arnoldus, 14 Elzandro Fredericks, 15 Jacques Marthinus, 16 Nolan Coetzee, 17 Tlotlo Madiba, 18 Johnny Markram, 19 Sello Maketlo, 20 Ruan van Loggerenberg, 21 Craig Ockhuis, 22 Godwill Romain, 23 Rowie Malgas.
Falcons 63-24 Leopards
The Falcons turned a 10-point half-time lead into a 63-24 victory as they blew the Leopards away in the second half to get their 2018 Craven Week started on a winning note.
The first half was a tense affair with the teams matching each other but the Falcons’ backline proved to be the difference in the second half as they ran the Leopards ragged.
The Leopards came out firing and grabbed the first try of the game in the opening minute through fullback Frank-Lee Jackson, who benefitted from a solid scrum close to the Falcons’ line. He added the conversion to ensure an early 7-0 lead. The Falcons hit back immediately though as centre Dylan Schwartz rounded off a flowing move to reduce the deficit to 5-7 after five minutes.
The Leopards extended their lead to 10-5 in the ninth minute when Jackson slotted his first penalty of the match. Back came the Falcons though as flank Thabo Ndimande went over in the corner to level matters at 10-10.
The Falcons took the lead in the 15th minute when Rayno Nel stretched his way over the line. The Leopards hit back a minute later when flyhalf Isrome Phatudi jinked this way through the Falcons’ defence. Jackson’s conversion ensured a 17-15 lead but the Falcons’ Thabang Mahlasi took advantage of a Leopards error at the restart to hand his side the lead once again.
Zian de Jager slotted his first kick of the game to ensure a 22-17 lead after 19 minutes. Leshley October punished a poor Leopards clearance kick in the 26th minute to extend his side’s lead to 27-17.
There was no stopping the Falcons in the second half as De Jager added penalty and converted Nel’s second try to stretched their lead to 37-17 after 50 minutes. Zeilinga Strydom was put through a massive gap by De Jager that allowed the fullback the race away and score under the uprights. De Jager popped over the conversion to extend their lead to 44-17 after 56 minutes.
The Falcons were reduced to 14 men in the 60th minute as No.8 Wesley Noeth was sent to the sin bin and the Leopards immediately scored when Kobus Burger ran through a massive gap close to the line. Jackson’s conversion reduced the deficit to 24-44.
A defensive error cost the Leopards another try as October’s chip ahead was not gathered and the wing grabbed his second of the game to stretch the Falcons’ lead to 49-24 after 64 minutes. Danny Keyser took the Falcons beyond the 50-point mark when he broke through a massive gap to dot down.
De Jager’s fourth successful conversion took the lead to 56-24 and there was time for one more Falcons try as a powerful driving maul saw Tony Edmund emerge with the ball. De Jager popped over the conversion to end the match.
Tries: Dylan Schwartz, Thabo Ndimande, Rayno Nel 2, Thabang Mahlasi, Leshley October 2, Zeilinga Strydom, Danny Keyser, Tony Edmund
Cons: Zian de Jager 5
Pen: Zian de Jager
For the Leopards:
Tries: Frank-Lee Jackson, Isrome Phatudi, Kobus Burger
Cons: Frank-Lee Jackson 3
Pen: Frank-Lee Jackson
Yellow card: Wesley Noeth (Falcons, 60)
Falcons: 1 Tony Edmund, 2 Rayno Nel, 3 Divan Meyer, 4 Thabang Mahlasi, 5 Marno Swanepoel, 6 Danny Keyser, 7 Thabo Ndimande, 8 Wesley Noeth, 9 Dewie Strydom, 10 Zian de Jager, 11 Leshley October, 12 Dylan Schwartz, 13 Franco Pienaar, 14 Garren Morris, 15 Zeilinga Strydom, 16 Dian Coetsee, 17 Ntokozo Hlope, 18 Dian Coetzee, 19 Thanbang Malone, 20 Christiaan Burger, 21 Wesley Miller, 22 Aurelio Pilander, 23 Keegan Williams.
Leopards: 1 Kobus Burger, 2 Gistav van Staden, 3 Vernon Moagi, 4 Lwazi Gumedze, 5 De Wet Botha, 6 Ryan Burger, 7 JF Kotze, 8 Anelka Barends, 9 Estian Heyneke, 10 Isrome Phatudi, 11 Ashley Madube, 12 Xakile Manelisi, 13 Awie Visser, 14 Keenan Twigg, 15 Frank-Lee Jackson, 16 Roebert Kruger, 17 Mamello Letsoalo, 18 De Wet de Villiers, 19 Andre Rossouw, 20 Kamohelo Majola, 21 Max Williamson, 22 Johannes Fuller, 23 Gustav Erlank.
WP XV 57-15 Golden Lions XV
The Western Province XV turned on the style in the second half to cruise to a convincing 57-15 victory over the Golden Lions XV on Day Two of the 2018 Craven Week.
The teams were deadlocked at 10-10 at the interval but three tries in the opening 10 minutes of the second half turned the game in WP XV’s favour and they never looked like letting go of their lead.
Tiaan Botes drew first blood for the Golden Lions XV with a seventh-minute penalty, only for WP XV to his back through a Cullen van der Merwe try. Marcquiewn Titus doubled their lead a few minutes later to ensure a 10-3 lead.
The Golden Lions XV grabbed their only try of the game in the 20th minute when Simon Dionisio dotted down. Botes’ conversion drawing the teams level and that is how it remained as the teams went into the halftime break.
WP XV ran riot in the second half, with Remy Engelbrecht, Mikyle Vraagom and Jovan Bekker getting their names on the try scorers list. Vraagom slotted all the conversions to ensure a 31-10 lead.
Nahum Johannes was sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle in the 51st minute but that did not stop WP XV as they ran in a further [NUMBER] tries through Seth Christian and Vraagom, the latter converted both to stretch the lead to 45-10 after 61 minutes.
The Golden Lions XV grabbed a consolation try in the 65th minute through Brandon Pawson but WP XV finished the game with a further two tries when Christian grabbed his second and Juanre de Klerk scored after the final hooter. Vraagom converted one of those scores to secure the emphatic victory.
For WP XV:
Tries: Cullen van der Merwe, Marcqiewn Titus, Remy Engelbrecht, Mikyle Vraagom 2, Jovan Bekker, Seth Christian 2, Juanre de Klerk
Cons: Mikyle Vraagom 6
For the Golden Lions XV:
Tries: Simon Dionisio, Brandon Pawson
Con: Tiaan Botes
Pen: Tiaan Botes
Yellow card: Nahum Johannes (WP XV, foul play – dangerous tackle, 47)
WP XV: 1 De Wet Wolhuter, 2 Cullen van der Merwe, 3 David Ige, 4 Nahum Johannes, 5 Emile van Heerden, 6 Dean Niewoudt, 7 Thys Kitshoff, 8 Matthew Cordy, 9 Abdur-Rageem Ismail, 10 Nivan Petersen, 11 Marcqiewm Titus, 12 Erik Lambrecht, 13 Luca Liebenberg, 14 Tharquinn Manuel, 15 Remy Engelbrecht, 16 Allister Williams, 17 Seth Christian, 18 Jovan Bekker, 19 Tyrone Maritz, 20 Arminn Posthumus, 21 Morndrey Titus, 22 Mikyle Vraagom, 23 Juanre de Klerk.
Golden Lions XV: 1 Brendon Pawson, 2 Maxwell Motaung, 3 Quintusz Geyser, 4 Hendre Fourie, 5 James Macindoe, 6 Tyler Skudder, 7 Paki Lawu, 8 Zander du Toit, 9 Justin Lambert, 10 Tiaan Botes, 11 Kagiso Nyamande, 12 Douw Scheepers, 13 Ngia Selengebe, 14 Munashe Chaitezwi, 15 Neil Hoffman, 16 Kayleb O’Donoghue, 17 Kyle Everton, 18 Tshepo Kalayamodimo, 19 Simon Dionisio, 20 Vuyane Nqaba, 21 Reece Botha, 22 Christiaan Bezuidenhout, 23 Joseph Iye.