Defending U19 champs in strong start to new season
July 10, 2017
In the opening round of the SA Rugby Under-19 Provincial Championship played on Saturday, the defending champions, the Xerox Golden Lions, flexed their muscles and showed ominous form early in the season.

They travelled down to Port Elizabeth, where they scored 11 tries in a very convincing 67-15 win over the 2015 champions, Eastern Province.

In fact all three travelling sides returned victorious, with the Toyota Free State beating the Leopards 36-24 in Potchefstroom, while DHL Western Province edged the Vodacom Blue Bulls 17-15 in Pretoria.

The Cell C Sharks had a bye.

It was a tight affair in Potchefstroom, with the sides evenly matched. The Free Staters had a 19-12 lead at the break and in the end scored five tries to four. Free State's Lubabelo Dobela converted all four and slotted a penalty and helped to build the scoreboard pressure.

The Leopards did manage a bonus point with four tries, including one by captain Bernu Engelbrecht, but could only converted two of them.

In Pretoria, the Vodacom Blue Bulls finished strongly, but were edged 17-15 by the DHL Western Province at Loftus Versfeld. This was the opening match of the SA Rugby Under-19 Provincial Championships for both teams.

DHL Western Province U19 opened the scoring with a try from inside centre Henlo Marais which was converted by flyhalf Francke Botha.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls U19 responded with a penalty, but the seven-point margin was restored when Botha landed a penalty of his own to give his side a 10-3 advantage at half-time. They extended that lead to 17-3 just after half-time as flank Charl Serdyn got over for a try which was converted by Botha.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls came storming back as they sought a comeback victory and managed to score two tries via Xander Kruger and Jerome Bossr, but only one was converted, which gave DHL Western Province U19 a slender victory away from home.

The results and scorers in the SA Rugby Under-19 Championships were:

Leopards 24 (12), Toyota Free State 36 (19)

Leopards - Tries: Johan Odendaal, Bernu Engelbrecht, Janlo Steenkamp, Stefanus Mare. Conversions: Steenkamp (2).
Toyota Free State - Tries: Bheki Qaba, Henk Pretorius, Athi Halom, Duncan van Vuuren, Tonny Mahlangu. Conversions: Lubabalo Dobela (4). Penalty: Dobela.

Vodacom Blue Bulls 15 (3), DHL Western Province 17 (10)

Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Xander Kruger, Jerome Bossr. Conversion: Bossr. Penalty: Bossr.
DHL Western Province – Tries: Schalk Erasmus, Francke Botha. Conversions: Botha (2). Penalty: Botha

Eastern Province 15 (3), Xerox Golden Lions 67 (22)

Eastern Province 15 - Tries: Vaughen Isaacs, James Cheia. Conversion: Isaacs. Drop Goal: Chadwin November
Xerox Golden Lions - Tries: Arno Van Wyk, Cohen Kiewit, MJ Pelser, Ricardo Duarttee, Louritz van der Schyff, Manuel Ras, Tatendaishe Mujawo (2), Tyrone Green, Seun Maduna, Tiaan van der Merwe. Conversions: Keegan Marengo (4), Austin Davids (2)

Vodacom Super Rugby
Friday, July 28 2017
00:00 - Winner QF1 vs Winner QF2
Saturday, July 29 2017
00:00 - Winner QF3 vs Winner QF4
Saturday, August 05 2017
00:00 - Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2
The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
Saturday, August 19 2017
17:05 - South Africa vs Argentina
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, PE
Saturday, August 26 2017
21:40 - Argentina vs South Africa
Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, Salta
Saturday, September 09 2017
12:05 - Australia vs South Africa
NIB Stadium, Perth
Saturday, September 16 2017
09:35 - New Zealand vs South Africa
QBE Stadium, Albany, North Harbour
Saturday, September 30 2017
17:05 - South Africa vs Australia
Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Saturday, October 07 2017
17:05 - South Africa vs New Zealand
DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Castle Lager Outgoing Tour
Saturday, November 11 2017
00:00 - Ireland vs South Africa
To be confirmed

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