Craven Week's worst ever
CRAVEN WEEK REPORT: What a disgrace! This “match” between Free State and Western Province on 3 July 2019 must be far and away the worst match ever played in Craven Week. Go back to 1964 and you will not find anything like it.
If this is a showpiece of rugby in South African schools, all concerned should hang their heads in shame and those responsible should be found and sanctioned. Not just the players but all of those responsible.
It seems that the innocence of schoolboy rugby, the best of the game which is historically a school game, has been drowned.
It has been coming this week with its many penalties, yellow cards and TMO interventions that have no place in a game for schoolboys.
There was great expectations. This was going to be, possibly, the best match of the 2019 Craven Week. Regardless of what happens after this, it will stay the worst – the worst ever.
Look at some of the happenings and wonder – the mob squabble early in the game at which André-Hugo Venter of Free State was penalised for his intrusion , two red cards, late tackles, throwing the ball in an opponent’s face – not the stuff of a school rugby match between respectful opponents, but a battle between enemies. Oh, and there was a yellow card for a deliberate knock-down, which, in the context of the game was pitiable.
And were Jan-Hendrik Wessels and Ricardo Fourie applauded by their team-mates and others when they were sent off? It seemed so.
For what it is worth, the score was 51-14 to Western Province who led 20-0 at half-time.
How Doc Craven would have hated this! He wanted the week to be a joyful festival of rugby.
We give match details – scorers and teams.
For Western Province:
Tries: Bobby Alexander 2, Pierich Siebert, Rhynhardt Rijnsburger, Gideon van Wyk, Romauld Ntumba, Dylan De Leeuw
Cons: Kade Wolhuter 4, Jacques Rousseau
Pens: Kade Wolhuter 2
For Free State:
Tries: Katleho Chabanyane, Sisonke Vumazonke
Cons: Juan-Dee Olivier 2
Western Province: 15 Tharquin Manuel, 14 Curwin Gertse, 13 Quan Horn, 12 Tyler Bocks, 11 Angelo Osch, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 9 Bobby Alexander (captain), 8 Gideon van Wyk, 7 Pierich Siebert, 6 Romauld Ntumba, 5 Dylan De Leeuw, 4 Connor Evans, 3 Brian le Roux, 2 Allister Williams, 1 Rhynhardt Rijnsburger
Replacements: 16 Lukhanyo Vokozela, 17 Gert Marais, 18 Jovan Bekker, 19 Marco de Witt, 20 Isaiah Wharton, 21 Liam Kloosman, 22 Sacha Mgomezulu, 23 Jacques Rousseau.
Free State: 15 Sonwabo Sokoyi, 14 Katleho Chabanyane, 13 Ian Small-Smith, 12 Lesley Botha, 11 Paschal Ekeji, 10 FC du Plessis, 9 Juan-Dee Olivier, 8 Tiaan Jonker, 7 Nhlanhla Senoamadi, 6 Ricardo Fourie, 5 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 4 Sisonke Vumazonke, 3 Mamelo Letsoalo, 2 André-Hugo Venter, 1 Tielman Nieuwoudt
Replacements: 16 Deon le Roux, 17 Mamello Mochaliba, 18 Boela Manyala, 19 Monwabisi Khani, 20 Kian Fransman, 21 Elmar Lintnaar, 22 Revaldo Maurice, 23 George Cronjé
Referee: Christopher Allison
Assistant referees: Aaron Parry (Wales), Rauiridh Campbell (Scotland)
TMO: Lourens van der Merwe