Exciting start to the Girls and LSEN Weeks
The SA Rugby Girls U16 Week and Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN) Week got off to a thrilling start in two Gauteng venues on Monday in an action-packed day of rugby which saw 54 tries and 627 points scored in 15 matches.
In the main games of the day in the SA Rugby Girls U16 Week at Jeppe High School in Johannesburg, a missed conversion by the Sharks on the stroke of full-time saw Western Province pip them 20-19, while Border scored a try in the dying seconds against SWD to secure a 22-20 victory.
Western Province and the Sharks both ran hard on attack, and tried to spread the ball wide, which they balanced with a strong display up-front, and the match was close until the last minute as the Sharks crossed the tryline for their third try. This pushed them within range of snatching a victory, but their conversion attempt was unsuccessful and they had to settle for the heart-breaking defeat.
The clash between Border and SWD was equally gripping as the teams entered halftime at 5-5 before SWD broke away with two tries to lead 15-5, which Border matched. SWD snuck back into the lead as the half progressed, but they were denied in the dying seconds as Border forced their way over the tryline to nudge their way to a 22-20 victory.
The Leopards, meanwhile, registered the biggest win of the day in the U16 Girls week as they ran in seven tries to defeat the Griffons 41-0 thanks to a fantastic display all around. Thozama Nyeleku and Likhona Sibhenye each crossed the tryline twice, with the latter adding three conversions for a rewarding 16 point haul.
Eastern Province also registered a solid 17-0 victory against hosts, the Golden Lions, as they scored two converted tries and a penalty goal, while the hosts struggled to find rhythm on attack.
The clash between Boland and Free State was a tight tussle as both teams threw everything at one another using their big forwards and speedy backs, but Boland edged through for a 29-20 victory thanks to braces by Lee-Ann Yman and Niveena Jantjies.
The Pumas were also made to work hard for their 24-17 win against the Griquas, as both sides tried to gain ascendancy using their forwards, but the Mpumalanga side’s more effective execution saw them score four tries – two of which were by Kamohelo Mokoena – to three by the opposition.
The Blue Bulls, meanwhile, delivered a solid second-half performance to defeat Border CD 15-5 after a tight first half in which the sides entered the break tied at 5-5. Limpopo put their speed out wide and ability to read the game to good use against Western Province B as they built up a 26-19 halftime lead en route to their 36-24 victory. They scored five tries, one of which was by Martina Shai who also slotted over four conversions and a penalty goal in the match.
In the LSEN Week at Isak Steyl Stadium in Vanderbijlpark, it was a good day for the Valke who ran riot against the Leopards for a convincing 69-10 victory, while the Valke XV held their nerve in a hard-fought encounter against the Sharks to outscore them four tries to three for a 28-21 victory.
Boland were in fine form against SWD as they scored six tries and conceded only one thanks to their impressive defence, which steered them to a comprehensive 42-7 victory. The match was particularly satisfying for William Khoba who scored twice, and Shadley Gertze who scored one try and kicked all six conversions.
DHL Western Province and Eastern Province were involved in an arm-wrestle which ended in a 7-7 draw, with each side only managing to score once. The Eastern Cape side scored in the first half to enter the break in the lead, but the Capetonians fought back to level the scores, which forced them to settle for a draw.
The Blue Bulls, meanwhile, produced a strong first-half showing against the Pumas to secure a 27-19 victory, as they out-scored their Mpumalanga counterparts four tries to three with Jared Kleynhans earning a brace.
It was a day of mixed fortunes for the Johannesburg teams, as Free State beat the Golden Lions 38-14, with scrumhalf Katlego Molete scoring a try and kicking four conversions for a personal total of 13 points, while the Lions EE dominated their clash against the Griffons to touch down six times, with lock Shamiso Maseko earning a double in their 34-22 victory.
The SA Rugby Girls U18 Week will kick off on Tuesday at Jeppe High School, while the U16 players have the day off to rest before Wednesday’s second round. The LSEN teams, meanwhile, will take to the field in their second round of matches on Tuesday.
SA Rugby Girls U16 Week day one results (Monday, 25 June):
Boland 29-20 Free State
DHL Western Province B 19-31 Limpopo
Golden Lions 0-17 Eastern Province
Blue Bulls 15-5 Border CD
Pumas 24-17 Griquas
Griffons 0-41 Leopards
DHL Western Province A 20-19 KZN
Border 22-20 SWD
LSEN Week day one results (Monday, 25 June):
Blue Bulls 27-19 Pumas
Sharks 21-28 Valke XV
Golden Lions 14-38 Free State
Lions EE 34-22 Griffons
DHL Western Province 7-7 Eastern Province
Boland 42-7 SWD
Valke 69-10 Leopards
SA Rugby Girls U18 Week fixtures (Tuesday, 26 June):
10h00 – SWD v DHL Western Province
10h00 – Leopards v Border CD
11h15 – Boland vs KZN
11h15 – Griffons v Pumas
12h20 – Border v Limpopo
12h20 – Eastern Province v Griquas
14h30 – Free State v Golden Lions
15h45 – Blue Bulls v Zimbabwe
LSEN Week day two fixtures (Tuesday, 26 June):
09h00 – Griffons v Sharks
09h00 – Golden Lions v Leopards
10h20 – SWD v Golden Lions EE
10h20 – Eastern Province v Pumas
11h40 – Valke XV v Free State
13h00 – Valke v Blue Bulls
14h20 – Boland v DHL Western Province