Both sides kicked off the match with two wins from two outings and had everything to play for, with the Vodacom Blue Bulls edge on attack handing them the ultimate glory.
With no extra time in the competition, the Pretoria side edged their Johannesburg rivals as they scored more tries in the match, and now advance to the U19 final against the winners of the Coastal Section, to be determined in Paarl on Saturday.
In the other matches played, the Valke showed some real intent in beating the more fancied Leopards 29-24, mainly due to better handling and using their possession more wisely. The Leopards had little regard for their possession with a number of handling errors undermining their efforts.
The Toyota Free State finally came to light in their match against Phakisa Pumas and smashed them 112-3 in the biggest win of the week. The team in orange scored at will with little reply coming from their opponents.
The Coastal Section concludes in Paarl on Saturday, with DHL Western Province and Cell C Sharks contesting the remaining place in the final. Boland face the EP Elephants in the other match at Paarl Gymnasium, with bragging rights at stake.
Match summaries and scorers:
Xerox Golden Lions 27 (19), Vodacom Blue Bulls 27 (10)
A strong second half performance secured the Vodacom Blue Bulls the spoils of victory, with their four tries securing them the title despite drawing on the scoreboard.
The Xerox Golden Lions had the upper hand (on the score board at least) for most of the match mainly thanks to the sharp-shooting Regardt Roets, who kicked five penalty goals.
They led 19-10 lead at the break and extended that halftime lead with another penalty goal and a try, their second of the match. Their Jukskei foes refused to give up though and attacked from all angles and field positions.
That enthusiasm was rewarded when Siya Tyulu (winger) scored after the Golden Lions fluffed a high kick and suddenly a converted try was the only difference between the sides.
With the match nearing its end, the home side missed a penalty attempt that would have forced the Vodacom Blue Bulls to score twice, and that proved very costly.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls attacked from a scrum close out and WJ Steenkamp (No 8) scored near the posts. The conversion was good and the scores were tied with a minute left to play.
The Pretoria side then played out time and kicked the ball into the stands at the sound of the siren as they secured the draw, which was good enough for a place in the final.
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Ethan Burger, WJ Steenkamp, Siya Tyulu, Richard Kriel. Conversions: Lionel April (2). Penalty goal: April.
Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Morne Brandon, Banele Mthenjane. Conversion: Regardt Roets. Penalty goals: Roets (5).
Valke 29 (14), Leopards 24 (12)
The Valke shocked the Leopards at Emirates Airline Park, scoring a much celebrated 29-24 win to claim third place overall at the tournament.
The East Rand side were much more clinical than their opponents, who made numerous errors on attack and paid dearly for their lethargic display.
It was a tight match, with both sides scoring two tries each at the break and the Valke having a slender 14-12 lead.
The second half delivered more of the same with both sides scoring two tries each. The match seemed to be heading for a draw with scores tied at 24-24 for quite some time.
A brilliant run by Werner Schoeman (winger) close to the end proved the difference. The Valke try-scorer outran a number of Leopards tacklers to score what proved to be the winning try.
Hard as they tried, the Potch team could not put any constructive plays together to equalise. They lost the ball on attack numerous times and paid a heavy price. To add to their woes, a penalty try was also awarded against them for illegal play near their try-line.
Valke – Tries: Ethan Wentzel, Jenaldo Oliver, Werner Schoeman, Penalty Try. Conversions: PJ de Beer (2). Penalty: De Beer.
Leopards – Tries: Aphelele Madaka, Henru Kotze, Meyer Kriel, Siyabonga Khoza. Conversions: Zinedine Robinson (2).
Toyota Free State 112 (42), Phakisa Pumas 3 (0)
The Toyota Free State finally came to the party at the tournament, displaying all their skill on attack by beating Phakisa Pumas 112-3.
The Bloem side won their first match of the week by totally outclassing their Nelspruit rivals by scoring 16 tries without reply.
It was one-way traffic from the start, with the Free State leading 42-0 at the break, and showing no signs of slowing down after the restart.
Janco Klink got a hat-trick, with four other players scoring a brace each.
Toyota Free State – Tries: Cohen Jasper (2), Aaron Larue (2), Siyanda Cele (2), Juandre Sabbat (2), Janco Klink (3), Eben van Niekerk (2), Jhaques Thyssen, Max Williamson, Goose Meyer. Conversions: Franco Smith (6), Eben van Niekerk (6), Max Williamson (2).
Phakisa Pumas – Penalty goal: Timothy Townsend.