The Limpopo Blue Bulls were particularly impressive on attack, scoring 50 points against the DHL Western Province XV, while six other teams registered scores of 30 points or more.
SA Rugby Academy Week match summaries:
The Limpopo Blue Bulls banked their second win of the tournament as they defeated the DHL Western Province XV 50-31, with their seven tries to five and their accurate goal-kicking proving valuable. A red card for the Cape side, however, didn’t assist their cause.
The Limpopo outfit raced to a 36-7 halftime lead, and they built on this as the match progressed, although the DHL Western Province XV deserve credit for their spirited second-half fightback. Nathan van den Heever (centre) touched down twice for the Capetonians, while Zander Deridder (flyhalf) scored a try, six conversions and penalty goal for 20 points.
DHL Western Province produced a smooth performance against the Cell C Sharks to earn a rewarding 41-19 victory. The team’s finishing was good and they scored seven tries – two each by Dalvon Bradley Blood (centre) and Duran Rayn Koevort (wing) – while they leaked three.
Such was the high quality of the Cape side’s first-half performance, they boasted a 29-7 halftime lead. The Cell C Sharks tried hard to force their way back into the match, but DHL Western Province proved too classy in the end.
Eastern Province dominated from the outset against Old Mutual Zimbabwe and built up an impressive 31-12 halftime lead en route to their 43-19 victory. The young men from the Eastern Cape did well to capitalise on their try-scoring chances and their efforts earned them seven tries – with two by Darrion Edwards (scrumhalf) – while the Zimbabweans to three.
The Pumas CD also maintained their good form with the side overcoming a tough first half against Eastern Province CD for a 41-21 victory. The Mpumalanga outfit held a slender 15-13 halftime lead, but they found their rhythm on attack after the break to increase their try tally to six, while they limited Eastern Province CD to three tries.
Donovan Theart, who played scrumhalf for the Pumas CD team, proved to be a key figure, scoring a try, four conversions and a penalty goal for a rewarding 16 points.
Hosts, the Free State Cheetahs, overturned a 19-17 halftime deficit against Boland thanks to a gutsy second-half showing to register a 45-26 victory.
The Free Staters scored six tries – with centres Franco Knoetze and Zane Bester each crossing the chalk twice – while Francois van Rooyen (flyhalf) had a good day with the boot, scoring six conversions and a penalty goal. Boland tried hard to make their presence felt and earned four tries for their efforts, but the home side had too much firepower.
The Sharks CD secured their first victory of the tournament as they delivered a strong performance for a convincing 30-5 victory against Border CD, scoring three tries to one. The first half was tight as they held a narrow 10-5 lead, but Ruan Muller (flyhalf) played a vital role in keeping the scoreboard ticking as he converted all the tries and kicked two penalty goals and a drop goal for 15 points.
The clash between the Blue Bulls and Leopards was a tight tussle with neither team giving an inch, but the Pretoria side prevailed in the end winning 19-15.
In a closely fought first half the Blue Bulls scored a converted try and limited the Leopards to a penalty goal, and this proved vital as both teams scored twice in the second half. Blue Bulls centre Niel Beukes scored a brace and kicked two conversions, while Leopards flyhalf Stephan Van Niekerk scored all of his team’s points compliments of two tries, a conversion and penalty goal.
SA Rugby Academy Week Day Three results (Wednesday, 3 July):
Blue Bulls 19-15 Leopards
Border CD 5-30 Sharks CD
Limpopo Blue Bulls 50-33 DHL Western Province XV
Pumas CD 41-21 Eastern Province CD
Eastern Province 43-19 Zimbabwe
Free State Cheetahs 45-26 Boland
DHL Western Province 41-19 Cell C Sharks
SA Rugby Academy Week Day Four fixtures (Thursday, 4 July):
08h00 – Namibia v Griquas (A Field)
08h00 – Thepa Trading Griffons CD v SA LSEN XV (B Field)
09h20 – Griquas CD v SA LSEN (B Field)
10h40 – Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions XV v Blue Bulls XV (B Field)
12h00 – Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions v SWD Eagles (B Field)
13h20 – Border v Thepa Trading Griffons (B Field)
14h40 – Valke v Phakisa Pumas (B Field)