Tuesday, July 8, 2014
UNDER 16 COCA-COLA RUGBY YOUTH WEEK KICKS-OFF
The long awaited under-16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Youth Week kicked off at the Tshwane University of Technology today.
Twenty provincial teams from around the country locked horns and scouts were there in numbers with the hopes of snapping up some of the country’s best young athletes.
The regular strong provincial showing from Western Province, Free State, Lions, Bulls and Sharks continued as they all displayed a strong and entertaining running brand of rugby.
Western Province took on Border in a one sided affair that saw Western Province win by 9 unanswered tries, with 8th man Khanya Ncusana scoring a hat trick.
KwaZulu-Natal and the Lions played in an evenly tight match up that saw the lead exchange hands a number of times but it was the Lions who hung on to their 5 point lead to see off the Sharks. Lion’s Wandisile Simelane scooped the man of the match award and contributed 12 of his teams 22 points.
In other matches the Free State dispatched a valiant Eastern Province and Boland edged out Pumas. The Griffons did just enough to comfortably overcome the Red Valke.
The Blue Bulls XV showed little to no mercy as they beat the Border County District team 64 – 3 and Zimbabwe’s Travis Landing did well to set up his team’s 19 – 15 win over the Griquas. The Griquas CD team triumphed in their physical encounter with the Leopards.
Blue Bulls beat South West Districts 40-19 and Namibia beat Limpopo Blue Bulls 29-19 in the final games of the day.
Former Springbok and Blue Bulls scrumhalf Derick Hougaard had this to say about the tournament: “This is an important youth rugby week. At this age the players are starting to show their worth and I am pleased to see so many scouts are here as they need to identify and nurture the future talent. I also think it’s a great opportunity for players to make a name for themselves before they progress through to the under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week. I also encourage these young players to watch the other provincial teams in action.”
Former SA 7’s Captain Paul Delport attended the first day of play to look for talent for his Springbok 7’s Academy. “Each team only played one game today and the players need to settle in a bit more, but I have to say that I am impressed so far and there are a couple of youngsters I will keep my eye on tomorrow. It’s a very important identification stage for SA rugby. We are all looking for youngsters to place in various elite squads.”
Delport says that looking for 7’s players requires certain qualities. “We look for different qualities in players to the conventional XV brand of rugby, but it is also important for them to be able to move seamlessly through either code. Those are the kind of guys we are looking for, guys with all-round ability and all round skill that are willing to work hard.”
Play will resume Tuesday at the TUT stadiums in Pretoria and teams will be scheduled head to head according to their performance today.
Border 0 vs Western Province 61
KwaZulu-Natal 17 vs Golden Lions 22
Free State 48 vs Eastern Province 12
Boland 22 vs Pumas 19
Blue Bulls 40 vs SWD 19
B-Field, TUT Stadium
Valke 6 vs Griffons 19
Blue Bulls XV 64 vs Border CD 3
Griquas 13 vs Zimbabwe 15
Griquas CD 14 vs Leopards 12
Namibia 29 vs Limpopo Blue Bulls 19