Saturday, July 28, 2012


The South Africa Schools under-18 squad to play a series of matches against under-18 teams from England Wales and France next month was announced on Saturday following a trial game in Kempton Park.

The 50 top under-18 rugby players in the country, identified at the recent Coca-Cola Craven Week in Port Elizabeth were on show in front of the SA Schools selectors, and SA Rugby’s national selection panel, assisted by SA under-20 coach, Dawie Theron.

The players were divided into three teams of 15 players each and each team and each team played the other two before the players were whittled down to two teams of 30 for the final trial game

Dawie Theron explained that each team only had an hour to get to know each other the day before the trail games. “They were taken out of their comfort zones and we were able to see them displaying their natural talent,” he said.

"The new selection process adopted this year – in the past the SA Schools team would be named at the Coca-Cola Craven Week - has proven to be successful,” Theron said.

“We got to watch the players during the Craven Week and then we got to watch them during the trail games which confirmed what we had already seen and helped good players who play in weaker teams to prove themselves. We are very happy with the talent that we have on show today."

This was confirmed by Yusuf Jackson SARU’s Manager: Amateur, Events and Teams. “The trials showed that the players identified during the Coca-Cola under-18 Craven Week and under-18 Academy Week were the best on show,” he said

The all conquering Blue Bulls team, not surprisingly, dominate the selection with 10 representatives.

There are four players from KwaZulu-Natal; three each from Boland and Western Province; two from Eastern Province and SWD, while the Golden Lions, Free State and the Pumas supply one each.

The team will be captained by Blue Bulls prop Pierre Schoeman, with Western Province’s Handre Pollard the vice-captain.

The squad is:


Aidon   Davis                                       (Eastern Province)

Daniel  du Preez                                  (KwaZulu Natal)

Jean-Luc du Preez                               (KwaZulu Natal)

Francois Esterhuizen                           (Boland)

Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg              (Blue Bulls)

Gideon Koegelenberg                         (Boland)

Wilco   Louw                                        (Boland)

Thabo  Mabuza                                   (Blue Bulls)

Malcolm Marx                                    (Golden Lions)

Ox Nche                                              (Free State)

Abongile Nonkontwana                       (Blue Bulls)

JD Schickerling                                    (Western Province)

Pierre  Schoeman                               (Blue Bulls)

Chad    Solomon                                  (Western Province)

Dayan  van der Westhuizen                (Blue Bulls)

Jano     Venter                                     (Pumas)


Ryno Eksteen                                       (Blue Bulls)

Warrick Galant                                   (SWD)

Rohan  Janse van Rensburg                (Blue Bulls)

Sandile Khubeka                                  (KwaZulu Natal)

Jesse    Kriel                                         (KwaZulu Natal)

Jurie    Linde                                       (Blue Bulls)

Matjikinyane Molapo                         (Blue Bulls)

Sergeal Petersen                                 (Eastern Province)

Justin   Phillips                                     (Blue Bulls)

Handre Pollard                                    (Western Province)

Akhona Sihunu                                    (Border)

Duhan  van der Merwe                       (SWD)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thapelo Seboko from Randfontein to accompany Sinamuva Public Primary School to the under-12 Danone Nations Cup World Final

Can one get a better 13th birthday present than a trip to Poland to attend the 40-nation under-12 Danone Nations Cup football World finals? For Thapelo Seboko this is a dream come true.

Seboko, from Mohlakeng in Randfontein, whose father is a cleaner and mother a street sweeper, is a Grade 7 pupil at the AB Phokomope Primary School and was lost for words when he heard he had won the trip after entering the Danone Canon kids reporter competition on etv’s morning show, Sunrise.

“English is my favourite subject at school, particularly reading, and this opportunity will help me learn more,” said Seboko.  “I don’t know what to expect when I get to Poland, but I am looking forward to seeing the country and tasting the food.  Never did I think that I would ever get to go overseas.  When I told my friends I became the hero of the township.”

Seboko comes from a football loving family.  His father, Desomond Motlogelwa, was a defender with amateur club, Home Stars, and once he stopped playing went on to form and coach an amateur club, Majova, which he was forced to close due to lack of funds.    Seboko himself is a football fanatic and plays for the local amateur club, Kwaal FC. 

“I support Chiefs and Thapelo supports Pirates so we are at war when these two side play,” laughs Motlogelwa.  “But football is always the winner so after every game we talk about the team that played the best football, and why, and that team is the winner.  We like to watch international football as well and Barcelona is our best team.”

Motlogelwa is particularly excited because both his sons have got to travel while still in Primary School.  “My older son, who is now 16, went to Cape Town when he was the same age as Thapelo to participate in an Athletics event.  Now it is Thapelo’s turn and I am a proud father.”

On a sombre note, the person that Seboko looks up to the most is Mrs Pharule, his Maths and EMS teacher.  “She is my favourite teacher because she is so kind and generous.  Lots of the children at school do not get any food at home and she helps and gives whatever she can.”   Motlogelwa explains that the school does have a feeding scheme, a government initiative, which gives  all children at least one meal a day.

Sebeko will join the 14 players from Sinamova Public Primary School from KwaZulu-Natal on the trip.  Sinamova became eligible to participate in the World Finals after winning the South African Danone Nations Cup.  The team will leave South Africa on the 4 September and the World Finals will take place in Warsaw from 7 to 9 September.  Sebeko could well get to meet the Danone Nations Cup ambassador, Zinedine Zidane.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


The Blue Bulls handed the Golden Lions the biggest hiding in the main game at the Coca-Cola Craven Week that anyone can remember when they beat them 47-0 in the final game of the 2012 Week in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The Lions had no answer for the power play of the Bulls forward and, although they did have a fair amount of possession, they were largely ineffective against a side that tackled like demons and outplayed them in the loose phases.

The Bulls produced the perfect balanced performance - good in the set phases, strong on the drive and deadly in the backs. This combination led to seven tries scored in the game and, in the end, the Lions would have been praying for the final whistle to sound.

The Powerade Chosen one for the game, Rohan Janse Van Rensburg got two of the Blue Bulls tries, with the others coming from Jaco Hayward, Jurie Linde, Thabo Mabuza, Steven Meiring and Marquit September. Ryno Eksteen kicked two penalties and three conversions.

Earlier, Eastern Province beat KwaZulu-Natal 27-24 in a thriller to become the only other team to finish the week with three wins out of three.

The game was played in a torrential downpour, which made handling difficult and it was very tight for most of the 70 minutes. KZN led 12-9 at the break and were ahead by single point with five minutes to go when EP's star winger scored a long-range individualistic try to give his side the victory.

The win meant that the hosts were one of only two teams, along with the Bulls to win all three games at the week.

EP's tries were scored by Petersen, Thembalethu Williams and Gabriel Le Roux. Ernst Stapelberg kicked two penalties and three conversions.

Joshua Moon dotted down twice for the Young Sharks and Robert Anderson kicked four penalties and a conversion.


SWD 20 Boland 10, Griffons 34 Griquas Country 5, Namibia 28 Zimbabwe 7, Western Province 29 Pumas 14, Limpopo 20 Border 7, Eastern Province 27 KwaZulu-Natal 24, Free State 30 Valke 5, Blue Bulls 47 Golden Lions 0.

A group of 50 players to play in trials to select the South African Schools team was named after the final game.

They will play matches in Kempton Park on July 28 before the team to play against under18 teams from England, Wales and France next month will be chosen.

SA Schools Trial Squad

Abongile Nonkontwana (Blue Bulls), Aidon Davis (Eastern Province), Akhona Sihunu (Border), Cashwell Khoza (Blue Bulls), Chad Solomon (Western Province), Chris Massyn (Lions), Christiaan Meyer (Valke), Courtney Cupido (Boland), Daniël du Preez (KwaZulu-Natal), Dayan van der Westhuizen (Blue Bulls), Duhan van der Merwe (South Western Districts), Dylan Smith (Lions), Edward Schmidt (Free State), Francois Esterhuizen (Boland), Ganfried May (South Western Districts), Gideon Koegelenberg (Boland), Handré Pollard (Western Province), Heinrich Viljoen (Blue Bulls), Hyon Andrews (Blue Bulls), Jakó van der Walt (Lions), Jano Venter (Pumas), Jason Worral (Western Province), JD Schickerling (Western Province), Jean-Luc du Preez (KwaZulu-Natal), Jesse Kriel (KwaZulu-Natal), Johan Bannink (Blue Bulls), Johan Labuschagné (Valke), Jurie Linde (Blue Bulls), Justin Phillips (Blue Bulls), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Leighton van Wyk (Western Province), Liam Hendricks (Western Province), Koch Marx (Lions), Marcus Kleinbooi (Blue Bulls), Matjikinyane Molapo (Limpopo Blue Bulls), Nicholas Janse van Rensburg (Limpopo Blue Bulls), Ox Nche (Free State), Pierre Schoeman (Blue Bulls), Ramone Samuels (Western Province), Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Blue Bulls), Rynard Snyman (Griffons), Ryno Eksteen (Blue Bulls), Sandile Khubeka (KwaZulu-Natal), Selvyn Davids (Eastern Province), Sergeal Petersen (Eastern Province), Stephan Vermeulen (Lions), Thabo Mabuza (Blue Bulls), Warrick Galant (South Western Districts), Wesley Adonis (Western Province), Wilco Louw (Boland).

Friday, July 13, 2012


The Coca-Cola Craven Week has always been a talent-spotters paradise and over the years there have always been those who would speculate about those players who we are likely to see more of in the years to come.

The week was last in these parts in 2000 and the records show that The Pumas beat Boland 19-18 in the main game of that week. It must have been a memorable final and even more noteworthy would have been the crop of outstanding players on the field.

The Eastern Province side that year was captained by Luke Watson, and he was joined by no fewer than eight other players who were to go on to play for South Africa. They were Fourie Du Preez, Ricky Januarie, Derrick Hougaard, Brian Habana, Wynand Olivier, Jacques Cronje, Jannie Du Plessis and Wian Nel.

Whether the class of 2012 will get to match that rich crop of stars remains to be seen. There were, however, a number of outstanding players in action in Port Elizabeth this week many of whom, in the words of the talent spotters: “we are likely to see more of in the years to come.”

The name most bandied about going into the week was that of Handre Pollard, Western Province flyhalf. He was the star of the Baby Boks triumph in the junior World Cup and much was expected of him.

He was, unfortunately, injured early in his first game, and we never really got to see him play. So much has been said about him, however, that his name will be heard again, no doubt.

In his absence, the flyhalf to shine was the Blue Bulls’ Ryno Eksteen. Other backs to catch the eye were Blue Bulls centre Jurie Linde and Eastern Province wing Selvyn Davis.

The backline player to really stand out has been KwaZulu-Natal fullback Jesse Kriel. He has a bright future in the game, no question.

The forwards on display have also been impressive. The Du Preez twins, Jean-Luc and Daniel have made an impact for KwaZulu-Natal, as have Blue Bulls prop Pierre Schoeman and his flanker team mate Thabo Mabuza.

The one forward who has had many talking, however, was Golden Lions hooker Malcolm Marx. He is big and skilful and looks ready to take his place in Super Rugby almost immediately.

He’s not the only one, of course, and any list like this will always be woefully incomplete.

Compiling it has been, however, one of the pleasures of being a Coca-Cola Craven Week aficionado.

It’s just one of the thing that make this tournament better than any other of its kind in the world.

“All Coca-Cola Youth Weeks, of which there are four, are aimed at identifying and nurturing talent within South Africa,” said Coca-Cola SA Marketing Asset Manager, Craig Van Niekerk.  “Seeing players progress through the various Coca-Cola Rugby Youth Weeks is amazing and we are proud to be the sponsor to make this transition possible.”

Saturday’s Fixtures

A Field – 9.10am SWD v Boland, 10.40am Western Province v Pumas, 12.10pm Eastern Province v KwaZulu-Natal, 1.40pm Golden Lions v Blue Bulls.

B Field – 9.10am Griquas v Griffons, 10.40am Border v Limpopo, 12.10pm Valke v Free State.

C Field – 9.10am Eastern Prvince Country v Leopards, 10.40am Namibia v Zimbabwe, 12.10pm Griquas v Border Country.


The Northern Cape is traditionally known as a rugby playing province, but judging by the display of skills seen at the under-15 COPA Coca-Cola football National Finals, currently underway in Soweto, football could well knock the sport off its pedestal.

Coach, Chris Samuels, from Steinkopf, the school representing the Northern Cape, is happy with his team’s performance in the tournament.  “We battled a bit on the first day as my boys were tired from the trip, but today has been different. My midfield is proving to be my key strength, particularly my captain and left wing, Reagan Visagie. He joined the school at the beginning of the year and was made captain based on his humbleness.  Further, he has a dangerous left foot which has frustrated our opponents today.”

Samuels said he was surprised to have made it to the national finals, thanks to his striker and ex Cape Town player, Reagan De Vos who scored the winning goal in the provincial final. 

Meanwhile Johannesburg Secondary School continued on their winning ways.  The team of Orlando Pirates development players ended the League with 11 goals from 4 games.  They lost their final game against Lehlasedi from Mpumalanga 1 – 0.  “My task tonight is to motivate my players and get them to realise that success also means losing games sometimes and we must just go out there, lift our heads and play like we have never played before,” said coach, Mandla Qhogi.

Lebo Matakanya, the tournament crowd favourite due to his expertise in producing shibobo’s and tsamaya’s said after the team’s defeat.    “We beat Lehlasedi yesterday and it was clear that they did their homework to come back and beat us today.  But I believe we were the better team but we just missed our chances and they capitalised on our mistakes.

Games resume tomorrow, Saturday, at 09:00 am. 

Semi – Final 1

Bodikela High School  vs Lehlasedi  High School

Semi – Final 2

Johannesburg Secondary School vs Robinvale Secondary School


Arefadimeng  3 vs Robinvale 3


 ARE:  Thabo Mofokeng, Zamile Ntsume (2)

ROB:  Ashton Fortuin (3)

Masibonisane 2  vs Bodikela 0

GOALS:  Siyabonga Ntombela (2)

Johannesburg 5  SS vs Steinkopf 0


Thula Thabethe (4), Sizwe Thwala

Bodikela 0 vs Robinvale 2


Vuyolomzi Mfiki, Ashton Fortuin

Masibonisane  1 vs Arefadimeng 1


MAS:  Phiwayinkosi Lukhele

ARE:  Phakamani Koni

Lehlasedi 2 vs Steinkopf  0

GOALS: Taetso Nyalungu, Mohau Mogane

Masibonisane 1 vs Robinvale 1


MAS:  Thabani Mnguni

ROB:  Timothy Arendse

Arefadimeng 0 vs Bodikela  6


Tokelo Mofokeng (2) Teboho Mokoena (4)

Johannesburg 0 vs Lehlasedi 1

Thursday, July 12, 2012


The Coca-Cola SA Rugby youth weeks that take place at this time each year are all about the cream of South Africa’s school rugby players showing their stuff on the rugby field, but it goes a lot further than that in a number of ways.

One of the more important side-activities taking place at each of the four weeks – the Coca-Cola under-13 Craven Week, the under-16 Grant Khomo Week, the National Academy week and the under-18 Craven Week – is the evaluation and coaching of SA Rugby’s  referee contenders.

SA Rugby’s manager of referees, Andre Watson has been at the under-18 week in Port Elizabeth all week and he says the opportunities offered by these tournaments are ideal for them to have an intensive look at the next generation of provincial panel referees.

“We don’t use the Craven Week as a proving ground for inexperienced newcomers,” Watson stresses. “All of these referees are capable of refereeing at this level, for us it’s about their further development and about identifying which of them are ready to take the next step up.”

The process is managed by veteran refereeing administrator, Gabby Pappas, and it’s quite an operation.

“We have referee evaluators, coaches and mentors here and every decision the referees on the field make, or don’t make, is scrutinised,” Watson says. “We use a sophisticated software package called Fair Play that allows our evaluators to note, with the click of a mouse, every action of a referee that needs to be looked at later.

“Each incident is recorded and the referee receives a package of all of those to do a self-evaluation and they are then discussed with the evaluators and remedial action is taken, if necessary.

The seriousness of the process is illustrated by the involvement, among others, of Watson himself and former Test referee Tappe Henning. South Africa’s latest addition to the international panel, Jaco Pyper is also there, providing peer support to the referees, on a one-to-one basis.

“We believe that exercises like this are what have made South African referees among the best in the game,” Watson says. “We are bringing through as many quality referees each year as our colleagues are producing quality new players,” he says. “The Coca-Cola Youth Week play a massive part in that process.

“All Coca-Cola Youth Weeks, of which there are four, are aimed at identifying and nurturing talent within South Africa,” said Coca-Cola SA Marketing Asset Manager, Craig Van Niekerk.  “Making it possible to develop all aspects of the game through the various Coca-Cola Rugby Youth Weeks is amazing and we are proud to be the sponsor to make it possible.”


The Golden Lions will play in the main game of the Coca-Cola Craven Week for the second year in a row when they face the Blue Bulls in the final game of the 2012 week at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday (kickoff 1.40pm).

The Lions were beaten by Free State in last year’s final game in Kimberley.

The Bulls beat the Pumas 36-10 in their second game on Thursday to become one of just three sides, along with the Lions and the hosts, Eastern Province, to win two out of two going into the final day of the week.

There is no doubt that the two sides deserve the honour of playing in the unofficial final. The Lions beat Border on day one, and then ended the hopes of the highly-fancied KwaZulu-Natal side on day three.

The Blue Bulls were matched up against pre-tournament favourites, Western Province in their first outing, and beat them quite easily, 47-27.

They then coasted home 36-10 against the Pumas in Thursday’s late game, with most of their reserves on the field.

It’s going to be a massive forward battle on Saturday, and a thrilling encounter.

Eastern Province, as the hosts, and as reward for the two wins out of two, will play KwaZulu-Natal in the main curtain-raiser.

The Bulls scored six tries against the Pumas, via Arend Bannink (two), George Erasmus, Marquit September and Ryno Eksten. Eksteen was successful with a penalty and four conversions.

Willard Kotzenburg scored a try for the Pumas and Brendan Thomson kicked a penalty and a conversion.

In other action on the fourth day Western Province beat SWD 39-33 in a thriller.

The game was very close throughout, but Province drew clear in the last quarter, only for SWD to come right back at them, and WP were hanging on for the last minute or two.

There were 11 tries in the game – six from Province and five from SWD.

The Western Province tries came from Grant Hermanus, Jason Worral, Morne Nortje, Petrus Bothma, Ramone Samuels and Wesley Adonis. Worrall also kicked a penalty and three conversions.

Duhan Van der Merwe and Dewald Human scored two five pointers each for SWD and Leighton Eksteen got one try. Warrick Galant converted three of the tries and Human one.

“All Coca-Cola Youth Weeks, of which there are four, are aimed at identifying and nurturing talent within South Africa,” said Coca-Cola SA Marketing Asset Manager, Craig Van Niekerk.  “Seeing players progress through the various Coca-Cola Rugby Youth Weeks is amazing and we are proud to be the sponsor to make this transition possible.

Thursday’s Results

Griquas Country 38 Border Country 5, Limpopo 68 Zimbabwe 21, Griffons 33 EP Country 28, Western Province 39 SWD 33, Blue Bulls 36 SWD 10.

Saturday’s Fixtures

A Field – 9.10am SWD v Boland, 10.40am Western Province v Pumas, 12.10pm Eastern Province v KwaZulu-Natal, 1.40pm Golden Lions v Blue Bulls.

B Field – 9.10am Griquas v Griffons, 10.40am Border v Limpopo, 12.10pm Valke v Free State.

C Field – 9.10am Eastern Prvince Country v Leopards, 10.40am Namibia v Zimbabwe, 12.10pm Griquas v Border Country.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


The Blue Bulls demolished Western Province 47-27 on the second day of the 2012 Coca-Cola Craven Week in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday and look on track for a spot in Saturday’s final game of the week.

The late game on Tuesday was always going to be the showpiece of the first round of fixtures and a close encounter was expected.

That’s exactly what it was, for the first half anyway, and the sides changed ends with Province 27-26 ahead after the sides has swopped tries and penalties in an extremely close but entertaining opening period.

It was all different after the break, however, and the Bulls forwards took control up front, unleashing their dangerous backs who ran straight and timed their passes to perfection, creating all sorts of problems for the Province defence.

The upshot was three further second half tries by the Bulls to none by Province and the Cape outfit looked well-beaten in the end.

It was a team performance by the victors, but one or two individuals bear mentioning. Scrumhalf Justin Phillips was a constant sniping threat, while flanker Thabo Mabuza was difficult to stop once he got going.

Bulls flyhalf, Ryno Eksteen missed a few goalable shot at the posts, but he got his backline going so effectively in the second half that it made no difference in the end.

WP flyhalf and captain, Handre Pollard, showed that he is a class player, he took a knock in the first half, however, and struggled after the break when his forwards were well beaten by the rampant Blue Bulls pack.

The Bulls scored tries through Pierre Schoeman, Rohan Van Rensburg, Markus Kleinbooi (two), Dayan Van der Westhuizen and Jaco Hayward (two). Ryno Eksteen kicked six conversions.

For Province Rikus Bothma, Jason Worrall and Chad Solomon scored tries. Pollard kicked two penalties and three conversions.

In earlier action SWD produced their customary display of exciting running rugby in beating Limpopo 46-18. They scored eight tries in the process and are going to be threat to Western Province when the two sides meet on Thursday.

In Wednesday’s games, the Golden Lions face KwaZulu-Natal in the final fixture of the day. The winners of that encounter could well go through to Saturday’s main game.


Zimbabwe 31 Border Country 9, Eastern Province Country 28 Griquas Country 27, SWD 46 Limpopo 18, Pumas 48 Griquas 24, Blue Bulls 47 Western Province 27.

Wednesday’s Fixtures

9.30am Griquas v Namibia, 11am Valke v Leopards, 12.30pm Free State v Border, 2pm Eastern Province v Boland, 3.30pm KwaZulu-Natal v Golden Lions.

The Coca-Cola Craven Week organising committee have matched Western Province against SWD and the Blue Bulls v the Pumas in what will be two intriguing fixtures on Thursday.

Thursday’s Fixtures

9.30am Griquas Country v Border Country, 11am Limpopo v Zimbabwe, 12.30pm Eastern Province Country v Griffons, 2pm Western Province v SWD, 3.30pm Blue Bulls v Pumas.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Choosing a venue for the Coca-Cola Craven Week often involves a trade-off between giving the players the experience of playing on the most famous fields in the country and the risk of appearing in a close to empty concrete bowl.

There's something depressing about an empty stadium, with the shouts of a handful of spectators echoing about the place. So, in some years, the SA Schools Rugby authorities have chosen to hold the week at school venues. Hoerskool Nelspruit, Paul Roos Gimnasium, Grey College and Affies have all hosted very successful Coca-Cola Craven Weeks in the past.

This year the week is at the fabulous Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth, and it has been nothing short of fantastic. The crowds haven't been huge, although there were a good few thousand in when the hosts, Eastern Province played their game on Monday. Somehow the design of a modern arena like this one has taken away that empty atmosphere, although the high quality rugby that has been seen on the first two days has certainly contributed to that

And on Tuesday the organisers had the great idea of bussing in school kids from the local township areas to support the Eastern Province Country District team. There must have been 2 000 of them and they added some welcome  colour and singing and, in the somewhat forgotten - these days - spirit of Craven Week, they loudly cheered good attacking rugby, irrespective of which side was producing it.

All part of the wonderful experience of being at the Coca-Cola Craven Week for those who are fortunate enough to be there.

Monday, July 9, 2012


The hosts, Eastern Province, announced their intention to play in the one of the late games on the final day of the 2012 Coca-Cola Craven Week in Port Elizabeth on Saturday clear when they produced the best performance of the opening day on Monday.

They beat the Valke and produced a spectacle of exciting running rugby that had a good crowd at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on its feet.

It’s early days yet, but the EP side has a number of players in its ranks who can look forward to being named in the SA rugby High Performance squad that will be announced at the end of the week.

Their wingers, Selvyn Davis and Sergeal Petersen, flyhalf in Ernst Stapelberg and loose forwards Cyril-John Velleman and Aidon Davis were up there with the best on display on the first day.

Petersen scored two tries and Davis one, they are both lightning fast and are good finishers. Stapelberg controlled the game and has a deadly boot. He kicked two penalties and five conversions.

The surprise result of the day was the ease with which KwaZulu-Natal beat Free State. The word was out early on that this was not going to be the usual Free State team – Grey College is having a poor year – but a 48-24 loss to the young Sharks was unexpected.

Free State were dead and buried at 36-3 down at half time already and they got two late consolation tries which flattered them on the scoreboard.

The Golden Lions were the other big winners on day one. They turned on the power in the second half of their game against Border to extend a 16-14 halftime win to a 29-14 victory in the end.


Leopards 36 Namibia 29, Boland 16 Griquas 12, Lions 29 Border 14, KwaZulu-Natal 48 Free State 24, Eastern Province 41 Valke 7.

Tuesday’s big game is between the Blue Bulls and Western Province. WP have played in the main game of all the SA Rugby Coca-Cola Youth Weeks so far this season and win over their traditional northern rivals will put them on track for that honour at the Coca-Cola under-18 Craven Week too.

Tuesday's fixtures

9.30am Zimbabwe v Border Country, 11am Griquas Country v Eastern Province Country, 12.30pm Limpopo v SWD, 2pm Pumas v Griffons, 3.30pm Western Province v Blue Bulls.

The tournament organisers have matched KwaZulu-Natal and the Golden Lions in Wednesday’s late game, with EP facing Boland in the curtain-raiser.

Wednesday’s fixtures

9.30am Griquas v Namibia, 11am Valke v Leopards, 12.30pm Free State v Border, 2pm

Eastern Province v Boland, 3.30pm KwaZulu-Natal v Golden Lions.

Coca-Cola South Africa is pleased with the way the tournament has panned out this year.  “Coca-Cola South Africa is proud to be the brand where future stars start their quest in tackling the future,” said Craig van Niekerk, Coca-Cola South Africa, Marketing Assets Manager.  “Our Coca-Cola Grant Khomo is aimed at encouraging young rugby players to utilize this platform to improve skills as well as live an active and healthy lifestyle which is in line with our Live For A Difference strategy.”