The day’s action took the points scored in the first two days of the SA Rugby Academy Week to 498 points, with 77 tries scored.
SA Rugby Academy Week match summaries:
Thepa Trading Griffons outplayed Griquas completely for the biggest win of the day in the tournament, with their 10 tries steering them to a comprehensive 64-5 victory. Such was their dominance they built up a 33-5 lead at the break. Their fine finishing saw nine players cross the tryline, with Thapelo Moshodi (flanker) scoring twice, while Tshepang Morake (wing) scored a try and kicked four conversions for 13 points. Their rock-solid defence, meanwhile, limited Griquas to a first-half try.
The Phakisa Pumas produced a solid performance all around against the SA LSEN team for a rewarding 52-15 victory, scoring an impressive eight tries in the process. The Mpumalanga side raced to a 33-5 halftime lead and continued this fine form as the match progressed to get their campaign off to a solid start. Phakisa Pumas No 8 Tshimo Mogale contributed a brace, with Ricardo Schonfeldt (flyhalf) kicking six conversions for a personal total of 12 points, while they limited the SA LSEN side to three tries.
Griquas CD dominated their clash against the SA LSEN XV from the outset, building up an encouraging 26-14 halftime lead en route to their 45-33 victory. A total of 12 tries were scored in the match – all by different players – with Griquas CD accounting for seven of them. The SA LSEN XV tried hard to make their presence felt, with Luan Gouws (flyhalf) leading the charge with a try and four conversions, but their efforts were not enough to counter the opposition.
Border’s patience and will to attack handed them the edge in their clash against the SWD Eagles, with the side registering a 26-8 victory thanks to their four tries to one. In stark contrast to the East London outfit who backed themselves with ball in hand, SWD opted for goal kicks at times as they battled to breach the defence, and they found themselves defending most of the time. Border, however, used the first half to find their feet as they held a slender 7-3 lead, but they found their rhythm and crossed the chalk three times in the second half.
The clash between the Blue Bulls XV and Thepa Trading Griffons CD was nail-biting from the outset with the team’s neck-on-neck for most of the match. They entered the break tied at 14-14 before the Pretoria side edged through for a 26-24 victory. Blue Bulls XV No 8 Xander Nel and Bongani Ndlovu (centre) each scored two tries to match the four by the central team, but scrumhalf Wihan Strauss’ three conversions to only two by the opposition sealed the win.
The Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions Academy XV also held their nerve in a tightly-fought encounter against Namibia to secure a narrow 22-19 victory, with five penalty goals seeing them through for the win despite being outscored three tries to one. The Gauteng side inched their way to a 13-12 halftime lead, but Cameron Melville (flyhalf) proved to be star of the day as he kicked all the penalty goals and converted the team’s only try to account for 17 of the team’s points.
The Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions Academy team, meanwhile, went down 36-31 in a physical encounter against the Valke despite leading 19-12 at the break. Valke flanker Bishop Mohono and fullback Jason Edwards each crossed the chalk twice, which helped the side to a total of six tries, while Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions Academy centre Diego Swartz tried in vain to keep his team in the game with his two tries and three conversions for a rewarding 16 points.
U18 SA Rugby Academy Week Day Two results (Tuesday, 2 July):
SWD Eagles 8-26 Border
Griquas CD 45-33 SA LSEN XV
Phakisa Pumas 52-15 SA LSEN
Blue Bulls XV 26-24 Thepa Trading Griffons CD
Thepa Trading Griffons 64-5 Griquas
Namibia 19-22 Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions Academy XV
Valke 36-31 Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions Academy
U18 SA Rugby Academy Week Day Three fixtures (Wednesday, 3 July):
08h20 - Blue Bulls v Leopards (A Field)
08h20 - Blue Bulls CD v Sharks CD (B Field)
09h40 - Limpopo Blue Bulls v DHL Western Province XV (A Field)
09h40 - Pumas CD v Eastern Province CD (B Field)
11h00 - Eastern Province v Zimbabwe (B Field)
12h20 - Free State Cheetahs v Boland (B Field)
13h40 - DHL Western Province v Cell C Sharks (B Field)