SWD beat Free State in main game at Coca-Cola u18 Craven Week
July 12, 2008
South Western Districts beat Free State 31-12 in the main game at the 45th annual Coca-Cola Under-18 Craven Week, which came to a conclusion at Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies) on Saturday.

In other action, Boland ended the week unbeaten after outclassing the Valke 53-17, hosts the Blue Bulls got their first win of the week beating Griquas 41-24, and KZN held on for a 34-32 win over the Pumas after playing with 14 men for the entire second half. There were also wins for Limpopo, the Leopards, Namibia, Border and the Eastern Province.

Match reports

Main Game
SWD (21) 31 vs Free State (10) 25

Free State surrendered their "unofficial" Champions crown won in spectacular fashion in Stellenbosch last year, going down 31-25 to SWD in a pulsating main game. The young Eagles started the game well, controlling the possession early on and launching a series of attacks at the Free State line. They opened the scoring in the 6th minute when wing Vogan Lourens ran on to a clever chip kick down the short side by scrumhalf Enrico Acker after SWD had turned over possession in the Free State 22. Acker's conversion was unsuccessful. Free State struck back within three minutes, with fullback Riaan Britz rounding off after Free State had created an overlap on the right and outside centre Piet Lindeque held his line to deliver a pin-perfect pass. Flyhalf Franna du Toit converted. The Free State lead was short-lived with SWD fullback Renier de Villiers restoring his team's lead in the 12th minute with a well struck penalty. Flank Heinrich Pyper got the young Eagles' second try in the 22nd minute when the SWD pack attacked a Free State scrum inside the 22. With Free State moving backwards, the ball popped out at the back and scrumhalf Acker reacted quickly to chip ahead and collect before off-loading to Pyper for the score. De Villiers added the conversion to move the score to 15-7. The fullback had clearly packed in his kicking boots as he slotted penalties in the 25th and 27th minutes to stretch the SWD lead to 21-7. Free State pulled three points back a minute before the break with du Toit kicking a penalty. SWD captain CJ Stander got his team's third try less than a minute after the restart. Free State knocked on from the kickoff and, with the ref playing advantage, Acker swept the ball to the left for Stander to collect and beat the cover defence to score under the posts. De Villiers added the extra points to extend the SWD lead to 28-10. Free State got a second try in the 42nd minute when centre Lindeque rounded off in the corner after his forwards had controlled the ball well during a foray into the SWD 22. They cut the Eagles' lead further a minute later when du Toit kicked a massive 55m drop goal. With 15 minutes to play, de Villiers kicked a fourth penalty for SWD to move the score to 31-18. With time running out, Free State's decision to set up a lineout from a penalty paid off as the forwards drove well to set up a try for number eight Adriaan Theisinger. Du Toit converted to narrow the difference to six points. SWD withstood a late rally by Free State, in which they twice came close, to earn bragging rights until 2009.

Blue Bulls (21) 41 Griquas (10) 24

Hosts the Blue Bulls ended the Week on a high note with a deserved win over Griquas in which they scored six tries to four. The Blue Bulls led 21-10 at the break. They made a perfect start to the match, running in two tries in the first eight minutes, both scored by fullback Pieter van der Walt and converted by flyhalf Juan-Claude Roos to lead 14-0. Griquas opened their scoring in the 27th minute when wing Evan de Wet ran in a well-taken try, which was converted by flyhalf Johandre van der Walt. Van der Walt reduced the deficit to four points in the 32nd minute but the Bulls extended their lead a minute before the break when flank Marcelle Esterhuyze rounded off after some good work by the pack. Roos converted to make it 21-10. Griquas again narrowed the gap three minutes after the break when scrumhalf Paul Erasmus sniped over the line. Van der Walt converted to move the score to 21-17. Roos kicked a penalty to restore the Bulls seven-point lead and number eight Jan-Hendrik Hoogenboezem went over for a try two minutes later, which was converted by Roos, to make it 31-17. The Bulls put the game out of their opponents reach in the 61st minute when centre Pierre Lombard ran in for their fifth try. Roos missed the conversion. Four minutes later, wing Katlego Magakwa got the Bulls sixth try to move the score to 41-17. Griquas scored a consolation try two minutes from time via wing Darren-Lee Koopman, which was converted by van der Walt.

KZN (21) 34 Pumas (12) 32

The young Sharks kicked a penalty four minutes from time to record a narrow win over the Pumas despite playing the second half with 14 men. Flank Brynard Stander was shown a red card after a dangerous tackle a minute before the break leaving KZN with some work to do despite enjoying a 23-12 lead at the break. KZN scored two tries in the first half through centre Robert de Bruyn and fullback Patrick Lambie, one of which was converted by wing Luan Combrinck. Lambie also added two penalties and Combrinck one. The Pumas' first half points came via four penalties by flyhalf Gary van Aswegen. The Pumas reduced the deficit to two points shortly after the break with a try by flank Gift Mathonsi, which was converted by van Aswegen. The Pumas took a 22-21 lead in the 40th minute when van Aswegen kicked his fifth penalty, but the young Sharks struck back from the restart with flyhalf Storm Pearton capitalizing on some poor defence to score under the posts and Lambie converting to put KZN 28-22 ahead. Lambie kicked a penalty in the 49th minute to move the score to 31-22 but the Pumas fought back with a try by flank Martin Scheepers, converted by van Aswegen to leave them two points adrift. With 10 minutes to play, van Aswegen kicked what looked to be the winning points when van Aswegen landed a long-distance penalty. But the young Sharks had the final say with Lambie replying with a penalty in the 65th minute to seal the win.

Lions (19) 29 Western Province (3) 23

The Lions held on for 29-23 win after a spirited fight-back by Western Province in an action-packed second half. The Lions had the better of the possession in the first half, using their forwards to good effect to take ball up and put WP under pressure inside their own half. Centre Wandile Njekevu opened the scoring with a well taken try in the third minute and the Lions went further ahead in the 14th minute when fullback Jaco Taute breached the defence out wide. Flyhalf Elton Jantjies added the conversion to make the score 12-0. WP opened their scoring with a long-range penalty by flyhalf Johannes Potgieter, but the Lions extended their lead with a third try, again by Njekevu, after some good build-up play on the right. Jantjies converted to give the Lions a 19-3 lead at the break. WP started the second half well, managing to improve their share of possession and being able to do more with the ball. They scored a try early on via wing Tythan Adams after forcing a five metre scrum and reduced the deficit to four points in the 50th minute when impressive prop Marcel van der Merwe barged his way over after a good build up by the pack. Potgieter converted to make it 19-15 but the Lions restored their seven point advantage two minutes with a Jantjies penalty. Potgieter was again on target with a penalty for WP in the 60th minute but they had the wind knocked out of their sails when they failed to secure the ball from the restart to allow centre Bradley Moolman in for the try. Jantjies added the extra two points to move score to 29-18. Potgieter added a third penalty to bring WP within eight points but the Lions prevailed to finish the week on a high.

Boland (19) 53 Valke (3) 17

Boland ran in eight tries to two to score a convincing win over the Valke and end the week as one of only two unbeaten teams. Boland played a swift, running game to gain the upper hand, scoring three tries in the first half to race into a 19-3 lead. Wing Sampie Mastriet, flank Morne Williams and centre Adri Jacobs crossed the Valke line as Boland spread the ball at pace. Fullback Garth April added two conversions. The Valke's only points in the first spell came via a penalty by flyhalf Dewald Nel. April extended the lead shortly after the break with a penalty and it was one-way traffic for most of the remainder with Boland moving the heavier Valke pack around the field and punching holes through the defence at regular intervals. They ran in five more tries – through centre Louw Heunis, lock Alan Strecker, wing Dean Swart and Mastriet (2), earning him a deserved hat-trick. Fullback Ryan Jordaan converted three of the tries. For the Valke, wing Morne Stassen and centre Paseko Moloi scored tries and Nel added two conversions but it was small consolation in a game in which they were on the back foot most of the time.

Other matches played at Pretoria Boys High School

Limpopo (17) 41 Griquas CD (6) 6
Leopards (13) 49 Border CD (0)
Zimbabwe (8) 43 Namibia (20) 32
Border (13) 23 Eastern Province CD (3) 14
Eastern Province (21) 35 Griffons (8) 29

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