The Bizhub Free State Cheetahs announced themselves as one of the teams to beat in the 2010 Coca-Cola under-18 Craven Week following their impressive victory over Border in Welkom on Tuesday.
The Bloemfontein side entertained the crowd at the North West Stadium with their entertaining brand of running rugby which was orchestrated by flyhalf Johan Goosen. The Free State pivot who was a member of Saru’s 2009 under-18 High Performance squad was solid on defence and regularly aided his talented backline.
Captain and centre William Small-Smith who was also part of Saru’s High Performance squad last year and Paul Jordan also created havoc in the midfield and looked dangerous as a centre combination against the Border backline which included centre Andile Jho and scrumhalf Bongi Kobese who were both members of the SA Schools side of 2009.
The Free Staters scored four tries which were added by Small-Smith, Jordaan, hooker Armandt Stoman and scrumhalf Kevin Luiters. Flyhalf Goosen kicked three penalties and three conversions.
Border’s only try in the match was scored by the vice-captain Jho, while Kobese kicked two penalties and converted Joho’s try.
KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) ran in three well worked tries to defeat the Impala Platinum Leopards 33-12 in the penultimate game of the day.
Fullback Mbembe Payi, flanker Meyrick Walker and centre Patrick Howard all scored five pointers for the Durban side which were all converted by flyhalf Duncan Campbell. Who also kicked four penalties.
Campbell dictated play with his tactical kicking while Howard wreaked havoc in the midfield by regularly breaking the Leopards’ defensive lines. Hooker Sewzo Mtshali also impressed up front for the KZN side.
The Platinum Leopards scored two tries thanks to the efforts of winger Pieter Bornman and prop Louwrens Strydom. Scrumhalf Divan Visser converted Bornman’s try.
The Griquas Country Districts kicked off day two of the Craven Week with a solid 23-15 victory over Zimbabwe.
The Kimberley side held a 13-12 half-time lead thanks to the efforts of flyhalf Juan Booysen and Derek Botha who added tries for their side before the break. The other points for the Griquas CD came via a penalty kick from winger Johan Myburgh.
Zimbabwe’s points in the first half came via two tries from centre Fakudzwa Chieza and lock Graham Logan. Corey van Rensburg kicked one conversion before the restart.
In the second half Myburgh scored a converted try and slotted a penalty in the final stages of the match.
The tourists tried to play the ball wide to their speedy wingers Claude Bare and Takudzwa Chipumha, but failed to build moment during the game to allow their quick backs excellent ball on attack.
Griquas recorded their first victory at the 2010 Coca-Cola Under-18 Craven Week after defeating the NWU Valke 26-24 in a thrilling second match played at the North West Stadium.
The Valke held a 14-9 half-time lead, but it was the Kimberley side who came up with the goods in the second half to snatch victory in the final minutes of the game.
Griquas’ only points before the break came via three penalty kicks from Jacobus du Plessis. However after the break Herman Groenewald and Hermanus van Niekerk both scored tries which were converted by Du Plessis.
Wiehan Hay, Ruaan Stephen Lerm and Damian van Wyk were the try scorers for the Valke. All three five pointers were converted by Ruan Bernard who also added one penalty.
However minutes before the end, Du Plessis steered Griquas to victory after kicking his fourth penalty of the afternoon.
Meanwhile the Pumas ran in four tries and recorded a 26-18 victory over the SWD Eagles in Welkom.
Outside centre Nkululeko Ngozo scored a brace of tries, fullback Marthinus van der Merwe and hooker Mark Pretorius were the other try scorers for the Witbank side.
The Pumas’ other points came via the boot of Van der Merwe who kicked two conversions while flyhalf Clinton Swart added one conversion.
Flyhalf Johannes Potgieter and lock Ruan Snyman were the try scorers for the Eagles. Centre Hendri Rust kicked one conversion and two penalties.
Coca Cola Under-18 Craven Week, Day Two results and scorers:
Bizhub Free State Cheetahs 35 Border 13
Scorers: Free State Cheetahs – Tries: William Small-Smith, Armandt Stoman, Kevin Luiters, Paul Jordaan; Conversions: Johan Goosen (3); Penalties: Goosen (3).
Border – Try: Andile Jho; Conversion: Bongi Kobese; Penalties: Kobese (2).
Kwazulu Natal (KZN) 33 Impala Platinum Leopards 12
Scorers: Kwazulu Natal – Tries: Mbembe Payi, Meyrick Walker, Patrick Howard; Conversions: Duncan Campbell (3); Penalties: Campell (4).
Leopards – Tries: Pieter Bornman, Louwrens Strydom; Conversion: Divan Visser.
SWD Eagles 18 Pumas 26
Scorers: SWD Eagles – Tries: Johannes Potgieter, Ruan Snyman; Conversions: Hendri Rust; Penalties: Rust (2).
Pumas – Tries: Nkululeko Ngozo (2), Marthinus van der Merwe, Mark Pretorius; Conversions: Van der Merwe (2), Clinton Swart.
NWU Valke 24 Griquas 26
Scorers: Valke – Tries: Wiehan Hay, Ruaan Stephen Lerm, Damian van Wyk; Conversions: Ruan Barnard (3); Penalty: Barnard.
Griquas – Tries: Herman Groenewald, Hermanus van Niekerk; Conversions: Jacobus du Plessis (2); Penalties: Du Plessis (4).
Zimbabwe 15 Griquas CD 23
Scorers: Zimbabwe – Tries: Fakudzwa Chieza, Graham Logan; Conversion: Corey van Rensburg; Penalty: Van Rensburg.
Griquas CD – Tries: Juan Booysen, Derek Botha, Johan Myburgh; Conversion: Myburgh; Penalties: Myburgh (2).
Coca Cola Under-18 Craven Week Fixtures for Day Three:
Game 1: Eastern Province CD v Namibia (10h10)
Game 2: Border CD v Limpopo Blue Bulls (11h30)
Game 3: Lions v Blue Bulls (12h50)
Game 4: Western Province v Eastern Province (14h10)
Game 5: Boland v Griffons (15h30)
Coca Cola Under-18 Craven Week Fixtures for Day Four:
Game 1: Griquas CD v Platinum Leopards (10h10)
Game 2: Zimbabwe v SWD Eagles (11h30)
Game 3: Border v Valke (12h50)
Game 4: Pumas v Griquas (14h10)
Game 5: Free State Cheetahs v Kwazulu Natal (15h30)