Bulls March on and EP Give WP a Scare

Mon, 22/09/2014 - 11:49

The Vodacom Blue Bulls extended their lead on top of the Absa Under-19 Provincial Championship on Saturday, beating Leopards 46-26 in Potchefstroom, while early front-runners, DHL Western Province, battled to get past the EP Kings, beating them 20-19 in Cape Town. The Xerox Golden Lions kept their slim play-off hopes alive by beating the Cell C Sharks 41-36 in Johannesburg on Friday.

After nine rounds, the Blue Bulls (37), WP (32), Free State (31), Sharks (22), Kings (20) and Golden Lions (20) are still in contention, but the Leopards (9) has only honour to play for.

A summary of the matches played are:

Xerox Golden Lions 41 (22), Cell C Sharks 36 (15)

There was an 11-try feast at Ellis Park on Friday, with the Golden Lions securing a good win over a very willing and able Sharks team. It was a ding-dong affair with both sides attacking from all angles and the lead never more than a score apart.

In fact, the Sharks, who opened the scoring in the first half, went ahead 29-22 just after the break with a brace by lock Jean-Luc du Preez, but three unanswered tries on the hour gave the home side the buffer needed to play out the game. The visitors did score in the last minute to set up a thrilling finish, but the home side's defense held out.


Golden Lions (Under-19) 41 (22). Tries: Jade Solomons, Pieter Labuschagne, Ronald Brown, Shaun Reynolds (2), Xander Cronje. Conversions: Reynolds (4). Penalty: Reynolds. 
Sharks (Under-19) 36 (15). Tries: Hyron Andrews, Jean-Luc du Preez (2), Innocent Radebe (2). Conversions: Radebe (4). Penalty: Radebe.

Leopards 24 (17), Vodacom Blue Bulls 46 (29)

Three tries by Junior Springbok winger Duhan van der Merwe helped the defending champions in the Absa Under-19 Provincial Championship to skip clear of the Leopards early on route to a seven try win.

Van der Merwe scored twice in the opening six minutes and when Willem Louw scored six minutes later, the visitors knocked the stuffing out of the Potchefstroom-based home side.

The Leopards did come back with two tries of their own in the first half, but were always playing catch-up rugby. Van der Merwe's third, early in the second half, confirmed the result in a lively final spell which saw two more backline tries, one from each side.


Leopards (Under-19) 24 (17). Tries: Akhona Nela, Eugene Hare, Wessel Steyn. Conversions: Sydney du Plessis (3). Penalty: Du Plessis.
Vodacom Blue Bulls (Under-19) 46 (29). Tries: Duhan van der Merwe (3), Peet Schoeman, Simon Bolze, Stefaan Grundlingh, Willem Louw: Conversions: Bolze (4). Penalty: Bolze.

DHL Western Province 21, EP Kings 20

Poor goal-kicking cost the Kings at City Park in Cape Town as they came within a point of upsetting DHL Western Province on Saturday. The visitors missed four kicks at goal and a drop goal in the opening half hour of the match in which they outplayed an out of sorts WP team. A good try by promising EP Kings fullback Malcolm Jaer gave the visitors a 10-3 lead at the break.

Coach Nazeem Adams clearly laid it out at halftime as the Province team looked much more focussed in the second half. The Kings never stopped playing though and with five minutes left, they were still leading 17-13.

A try by Justin Phillips got their noses in front, but a Jaer penalty again edged EP ahead. It was left to former EP Craven Week flyhalf and now top WP point’s scorer Ernst Stapelberg to kick the winning penalty with one minute remaining.


WP (Under-19) 21 (3). Tries: David Ribbans, Justin Phillips. Conversion: Ernst Stapelberg. Penalties: Stapelberg (3).
EP Kings (Under-19) 20 (10). Tries: Arno Lotter, Malcolm Jaer. Conversion: Jason Baggott, Kewan Gibb. Penalties: Jaer (2).

In the B-Division, the undefeated Valke's 38-16 win over the Griffons secured a home semi-final. Second played Limpopo Blue Bulls also stayed on the winning path by beating Pumas 43-25 in Nelspruit, while third-placed Boland left George with a close 17-13 win over SWD. In the other match, Griquas moved to sixth place on the log, beating cellar dwellers Border 58-0 in East London for their first win of the year.

The log standings after seven weeks:

Valke 7 7 33
Limpopo BB 6 5 25
Boland 6 5 23
Pumas 6 3 16
Griffons 6 3 15
Griquas 6 1 8
SWD 6 1 8
Border 7 0 2


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