The Sharks Under 19s host Western Province Under 19s at The Absa Stadium Durban in Saturday’s Absa Under 19 Final at 12h00 ready to finish off what has been a very good season for the juniors.
Michael Marnewick, www.sharksrugby.co.za
After the pool stages, the Sharks finished top of the Group A log with creditable 22 points (out of a possible maximum 30), having won four of their six matches, drawing one and losing only one.
It was an outstanding season for the team who now stand on the cusp of winning the trophy. They finished with the highest number of points scored of all four semi-finalists (only the Bulls, with two extra points were higher, but they failed to crack the top four). They also conceded the fewest number of points thanks to outstanding defence and their 22 tries scored in the six games was the highest in the tournament.
Both teams fighting it out in the final came through tough semi-finals two weeks ago, the Sharks Under 19s holding out to a 28-25 victory over the Lions U19s at The Absa Stadium Durban, while Western Province narrowly beat Free State 20-18.
Victories over the Blue Bulls, Lions, Leopards and Boland in the pool stages, as well as a draw against Free State saw them finish top to earn home ground status, and come 12 noon on Saturday, Captain Ross Cronje and his team-mates will have the game of their season to prove they can go all the way.
Sharks Under 19s
15 Faizel de Bruin
14 Mark Richards
13 Arno van Zyl
12 Wynand Pienaar
11 Logan Basson
10 Guy Cronje
9 Ross Cronje (Captain)
8 Meyer Swanepoel
7 Lambert Groenewald
6 Cameron Dunlop
5 Kenechukwu Okafor
4 Jan Andre Marais
3 Julian Redelinghuys
2 Johannes Snyman
1 Dale Chadwick (Vice Captain)
16 Kyle Cooper
17 Pierre Hanekom
18 Francois Robertse
19 Renaldo Bothma
20 Justin Botha
21 Howard Mnisi
22 Damien Jansen van Rensburg
And according to www.wprugby.co.za…
Defending champions Vodacom WP are through to the finals of the under-19 tournament after having narrowly beaten the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs in a hotly contested semi-final a fortnight ago (20-18).
Vodacom WP take on the Sharks in a curtain raiser to the Absa Currie Cup Final taking place at Absa Park, Durban, on Saturday 25 October. The under-19 Final kicks off at 12h00.
The Vodacom WP team finished second on this year’s log with 20 points, with the Sharks finishing first with 22 points.
Vodacom WP are the defending champions, having beaten the Vodacom Blue Bulls in last year’s final.
Said coach Kennedy Ford, “We have trained and prepared well this week and the guys are very focused. The spirit in the side is excellent. However, it will come down to the team that best takes their chances on the day, and we cannot underestimate the Sharks.”
The team is as follows:
Vodacom WP under-19: 15.Martin Du Toit, 14.Jean Du Plessis, 13.Nicholaas Hanekom, 12.Johann Sadie (C), 11.JJ Engelbrecht, 10.Jurgen Visser, 9.Liam Slatem, 8.Reuben Johannes 7.Wimpie Van Der Walt, 6.Jacobus Rossouw, 5.Yaya Hartzenberg, 4.Rynhardt Elstadt, 3.Nezaam Bewee, 2.Sydney Tobias, 1.Alistair Vermaak. Reserves: 16.Madoda Yako, 17.Ruan Smith, 18.Stephan Greeff, 19.Theunis Botha, 20.Willem Louw, 21.Nathanael Pekeur, 22.Thythan AdamsTweet