Western Province on top - again
Yet another Western Province junior team has come out on top. This time it is the Academy team which beat the Blue Bulls in the main match on Day 3 of the Academy Week played in Wellington.
Western Province left it late against a Blue Bulls side that defended stoutly, but once Jarrod Sage scored with only a few minutes left on the clock, the result was inevitable.
The Blue Bulls missed an early opportunity to score when flyhalf Kobus Marais pulled a penalty attempt wide, but Western Province flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis took his first opportunity well to put his side 3-0 up.
Marais kicked a penalty to draw the scores level and found his range again soon after as the Blue Bulls started to put pressure on the Western Province defence. Du Plessis lost his radar though and missed two penalty attempts before the break and it was up to Western Province hooker Arno van Wyk to put his side into the lead. Following numerous drives by his pack, Van Wyk ran onto a pass from Du Plessis to score and put Western Province 8-6 up.
Marais rewarded some good play by his pack by kicking his third penalty, but after Du Plessis kicked a second penalty the Sage effort sealed the win.
In an earlier match, the Boland XV scored early against Rooi Valke in the main curtain-raiser on a muddy Boland Stadium, but the team in red came back well towards the end of the half and a try by Henry Badenhorst (No.8) gave the Valke a 12-5 lead at the break. A strong burst by Badenhorst after the restart edged his side further ahead and when Gift Twili raced 80 metres after intercepting a ball near his tryline, it was all over bar the shouting. The Rooi Valke won 25-5.
In the match between South Western Districts and the Free State, the latter secured their 27-24 win only in the last minutes of the match when flyhalf Heinrich Benzi kicked a penalty. South Western Districts raced into a 19-0 lead in the opening minutes, with a superb try by Lorenzo Gordon giving his side the perfect start. He scored his second minutes later, but credit to the Free State, who fought back well.
Two tries, one a good effort by lively hooker Markus Odendaal, put them back in the match. A try by Carel Coetzee (centre) and a penalty by Benzi edged the Free Staters ahead, before another try by South Western Districts saw them recapturing the lead. Benzi had the last say in the match though.
Results, Day 3:
Griffons Country Districts vs Leopards Country Districts, 38-10
KwaZulu-Natal vs Limpopo, 41-25
Griquas Country Districts vs Border Country Districts, 60-3
Pumas Country Districts vs Leopards, 23-12
Blou Valke vs Eastern Province Country Districts, 25-10
Pumas vs KwaZulu-Natal Country Districts, 30-24
Border vs Griffons, 31-29
Eastern Province vs Griquas, 53-22
SA LSEN vs Namibia, 11-7
Boland vs Golden Lions, 13-7
Free State vs South Western Districts, 27-24
Rooi Valke vs Boland XV, 25-5
Western Province vs Blue Bulls, 16-9
Results, Day 1:
Border vs Limpopo, 22-15
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province, 22-8
South Western Districts vs KwaZulu-Natal, 34-19
Western Province vs Golden Lions, 33-11
Free State vs Boland, 28-15
Pumas vs Griffons Country Districts, 22-19
Griquas vs Namibia, 49-24
Boland XV vs Griquas Country Districts, 28-14
KwaZulu-Natal Country Districts vs Leopards Country Districts, 53-10
Eastern Province Country Districts vs Leopards, 15-10
Rooi Valke vs SA LSEN, 50-10
Griffons vs Pumas Country Districts, 34-15
Blou Valke vs Border Country Districts, 49-0
Results, Day 2:
Golden Lions vs Eastern Province Country Districts, 30-16
Leopards Country Districts vs Griquas Country Districts, 28-26
SA LSEN vs Border Country Districts, 41-3
Griffons Country Districts vs Namibia, 36-28
Limpopo vs Pumas Country Districts, 19-19
Boland vs KwaZulu-Natal, 40-17
Eastern Province vs Leopards, 27-14
Boland XV vs Blue Valke, 31-7
Pumas vs Border, 18-17
Rooi Valke vs Griquas, 29-8
KwaZulu-Natal Country Districts vs Griffons, 25-22
Western Province vs Free State, 51-8
Blue Bulls vs South Western Districts, 40-25