The SWD Eagles and the Pumas scored upsets on the opening day of Craven Week, beating the Blue Bulls and Western Province respectively.
Reports courtesy www.news.24.com
The Eagles turned around a 13-16 half-time deficit to beat the hosts 26-21 in the main game of the day whilst the Pumas fought back from 9-17 down to beat WP 19-17
Pumas (9) 19 v Western Province (17) 17
A man-of-the-match performance by flyhalf Gary van Aswegen gave the Pumas a surprise 19-17 win over Western Province. WP, who failed to score in the second half, opened the scoring in the 4th minute via a penalty by wing Tythan Adams.
The Pumas drew level three minutes later with a well-taken drop goal by van Aswegen. WP scored the first try of the game in the tenth minute when centre Louis Jordaan went in under the posts after the pack had built up momentum with a series of drives up the middle that were characterised by some slick handling.
Adams converted to give WP a 10-3 lead. Midway through the half, Van Aswegan showed his kicking prowess to land a 40m penalty and reduce the deficit to four points.
With the Pumas on the attack, Adams intercepted to race almost 50m for a try, which he converted to move the score to 17-6 in favour of WP.
After narrowly missing a 60m penalty attempt on the half-hour, Van Aswegan made amends soon after, kicking his second penalty to cut the WP lead to eight points at the break.
Despite some enterprising play from both sides during the second half, neither was able to make a breakthrough and it wasn’t until the 25th minute that Van Aswegan was again on target to bring the Pumas within five points at 12-17.
With better quality possession in the closing stages, the Pumas launched an attack from just inside their half, taking the ball through the hands down the right. With Van Aswegen timing his pass to perfection, wing Clearance Khumalo took the ball at pace, drew the defender and offloaded to centre Dewald Pieters who went over in the corner.
Van Aswegen held his nerve to slot a difficult conversion and give the Pumas the lead for the first time in the game as well as the win.
Blue Bulls (16) 21 v SWD (13) 26
Hosts the Blue Bulls failed to make the most of their chances in the closing stages and succumbing 21-26 to a spirited SWD team in an action-packed main game.
The young Eagles started at a frenetic pace, quickly getting into the Blue Bulls 22 and forcing home their early advantage with a try by flyhalf Erick Colyn inside the first two minutes. Fullback Renier de Villiers converted to extend the lead to 7-0.
The Blue Bulls pulled three points back with a penalty by flyhalf Jean-Claude Roos but two penalties in quick succession by De Villiers saw the Eagles move into a 13-3 lead after 10 minutes.
After 14 minutes, Roos was on target with his second penalty for the Bulls, reducing the deficit to seven. After having a try disallowed by the TMO for a knock-on, the Blue Bulls drew level when prop Juan-Phillip Pike crashed over after a period of sustained pressure inside the SWD 22. Roos converted to nullify the Eagles’ advantage.
The Blue Bulls took the lead on the half-hour with Roos kicking a third penalty to move the score to 16-13. De Villers missed a chance to level the scores on the stroke of half-time, pushing his penalty attempt wide.
Within four minutes of the restart, the Eagles restored their lead after the Blue Bulls had failed to clear their lines and centre Jaco van Tonder intercepted a forced pass to score under the posts. De Villiers added the conversion to give the Eagles a 20-16 lead. The fullback extended the SWD lead to seven points at 23-16 with his third penalty in the 48th minute.
Three minutes later, the Blue Bulls surged up-field to create an over-lap down the right. Wing Richmond Collins was stopped short but the Bulls took a quick tap from a penalty at the breakdown, swung the ball wide and sent wing Katlego Makgakwa over in the left corner. Roos failed to convert for the Eagles to hold a slender lead at 23-21.
With ten minutes to play, De Villiers succeeded with a fourth penalty to make it 26-21 and secure a famous win for the young Eagles.
Eastern Province Country Districts (5) 28 v Griquas CD (5) 10
Eastern Province Country Districts put their superior speed and skills to good use to record a 28-10 win over Griquas Country Districts in the opening match of Craven Week.
After sizing each other up in the opening spell, Griquas broke the deadlock in the 20th minute when flank AJ Burger rounded off after some sustained pressure inside the EP 22.
The try was not converted. Within three minutes of the restart, EP had drawn level via a try by flank Reagan Makwena, which was also unconverted.
Griquas enjoyed most of the possession in the remainder of the first half but were unable to add to their tally and the teams changed sides at 5-5. Five minutes after the restart, EP took the lead when captain and flyhalf Gouws Prinsloo kicked a long-range drop goal.
Within two minutes EP stretched the lead to 13-5 when fullback Lundi Ralarala joined the line out wide to score in the corner. Prinsloo’s conversion was unsuccessful. That score was a turning point in the game as EP grew in confidence and began to control the play. With 20 minutes to remaining, centre Leon van Straaten added a third try to extend the lead to 18-5 and EP put the outcome beyond doubt just minutes later when wing Nkululeko Currie scored in the corner after some solid build up play.
Griquas doubled their score with a try via replacement centre Jaco Visser but EP had the final say when scrumhalf Benjamin Koeberg scored their fifth try in the final minute to round off a satisfying 28-10 win.
Namibia (7) 36 v Border CD (3) 11
Namibia put their bigger pack to good use from the start and were rewarded inside five minutes when bulky tight-head Henk Roets crashed over after a series of drives close to the line. Centre Dan van Zyl converted to make it 7-0.
Border were forced to play most of the game in their own half but they capitalised midway through the half when fullback Bakumeni Thulani succeeded with a penalty after a rare Border foray into the Namibia 22.
Namibia pressed hard in the closing stages of the first half but were unable to breach a resolute Border defence and took a 7-3 lead into the break.
Namibia were rewarded for their persistence when wing Divan Singaraum got a try early in the second half to stretch the lead to nine points at 12-3. But, Border responded well and struck back with a try by number eight Boli Thembelani after a series of pick and drives.
The conversion was unsuccessful, leaving them four points adrift.
The teams exchanged penalities – Thulani for Border and van Zyl for Namibia – midway through the second half to move the score to 15-11. The impressive Singarum got his hat-trick after crossing the Border line twice in quick succession to extend Namibia’s lead 29-11 with five minutes to play. Both tries were converted by van Zyl.
Namibia added a fifth try after the hooter when centre Danjamin de Bruin scored after a quick tap penalty. Van Zyl converted to seal a convincing victory.
Limpopo Blue Bulls (6) 21 v Boland (17) 32
Boland looked the sharper of the two from the start, making good use of the width of the field to put their quick outside backs into space.
It paid off handsomely as they ran in three well-taken first half tries, two from wing Sampie Mastriedt and one from centre Adri Jacobs, one of which was converted by fullback Garth April. Limpopo replied with two penalties from flyhalf Ewald Meiring that took the halftime score to 17-6.
Limpopo narrowed the gap to four points shortly after the restart when scrumhalf Zylon Mc Gaffin sniped over the line on the short side after some good work from his forwards. Meiring added the conversion.
Within minutes Boland had restored the nine-point lead, with wing Dean Swart splitting the Limpopo defence out wide and April converting from the touchline.
Limpopo refused to lie down, however, and centre Barend Den Molenaar scored their second try after a spectacular break down the left-hand touchline. The conversion was unsuccessful leaving Boland 24-18 in front. April and Meiring exchanged penalties to move the score to 27-21, before Boland scrumhalf Frederick Muller had the final say, scoring his side’s fifth try to take the final score to 32-21.Tweet