Friday, July 31, 2015

Bloemfontein Celtic Academy players boost HTS Louis Botha in the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Regional finals

The Motheo regional finals in the under-19 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup competition take place at Bloemfontein’s HTS Louis Botha on Saturday 1st August, with the winner and runner-up going through to the Free State provincial finals happening a week later (8th August) at the same venue.

A school that is not new to the tournament is HTS Louis Botha, having finished in second position in 2013, and will be back in action again on Saturday.  Coach, Prince Sani said they are happy to have made it this far, but are focussed on the next step – the Free State provincial finals – and, beyond that, the nationals.

“Last year we didn’t even reach this level, so the boys want to prove to themselves that they have grown over the year,” he said. “Most of the players are in grade 12, so winning this tournament will be a good way to exit their final school year.”

The school is now affiliated to Bloemfontein Celtic FC, forming part of the club’s Youth Development Academy. “Now the boys have to work twice as hard because there might be possible signings for the 1st team,” Sani said.

“Already, Teboho Khasipe has signed a 3 year contract with the Celtic 1st team , although he is currently on loan to Roses United FC, and we have Tebogo Qinisile who plays for the SA u17 national side and who has been signed by the club.”

The school has done very well so far this year. There are more schools in the Bloemfontein cluster now, Sani explains, which has meant more games, and they have won all of them.

“We always welcome new schools and look forward to competing and getting our boys used to playing,” he said. “The more games we play the better for us, more games mean more exposure and better preparation.”

There have been no special preparations for the regional finals. They have been working as a team since the cluster games began and have not lost a single match in about 10 to 15 games played so far.

“The boys are proving to me and everyone that they are going to reach and win the national finals,” Sani said. “The first hurdle is the regional finals, but we are not that worried about those games. We have home ground advantage and the crowd will be rooting for us. All we need to do is not disappoint the students that will be supporting us. I can safely say that the boys are mentally and physically prepared.”

Among their opponents at the regional’s will be Grey College, who have done well in this tournament in the past. “We are neighbouring schools and have played against each other many times and I don’t remember them ever beating us,” Sani said.

The most successful school in the tournament’s history – Harmony High – have been knocked out and won’t be at the provincial finals this year, but Sani warns other schools against believing that this gives them a chance to win the title.

“They must think again because we are going to win the regional’s, provincials and nationals,” he said. “I was surprised that Harmony was knocked out so early in the tournament, but I guess it’s great that other schools also get an opportunity to participate in the provincials. We can’t have the same schools qualifying each year, last year we didn’t make it now this year Harmony didn’t make it.

There is another key reason why Sani believes all the players will be performing at their best.  “All the schools are working very hard in making sure that they also get a chance to reach the provincials, they know that the club scouts attend from provincials level and this is their chance to be discovered.”

The teams participating the Motheo regional finals are:

HTS Louis Botha-Bloemfontein Cluster
Grey College-Bloemfontein Cluster
Kgoronyane High School-Thaba Nchu Cluster
Metsimaphodi High School-Naledi Cluster

Unicom High School-Mantsopa Cluster

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sundowns Academy win through to the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Gauteng Provincial Finals

Clapham High School, comprising the Sundowns Academy players, beat their fierce Pretoria local rivals, Rosina Sedibane Sports School, in an inter regional final match to reach the provincial finals of the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup happening at the Nike Centre, Soweto on Monday, 10 August.

It was a tough encounter explains the team manager, Johannes Petje. “Rosina and Clapham have been rivals from way back.  We have played against each many times and every game is a challenge because we know each other’s weakness and strengths so we continuously have to change our game plan and approach.”

It’s great being back in the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, sponsored by Sanlam and the Motsepe Foundation, Petje said. “We are slowly but surely reclaiming our position in the tournament. Schools football is an ever-changing sport, one year you are champs and the next year you’re not. All schools lose players every year who move on, and sometime you lose your best players.

Last year Clapham were knocked out at the provincial level.  “A lot of factors attributed to that loss, one being that we didn’t have the majority of our players due to national call-ups. This year we have a plan B should call-ups be made,” said Petje.  “We have a few good players in our under-17 squad who we are training and preparing should we need them to fill in for the 1st team.”

Petje believes their absence last year might give them an edge because the other teams may underestimate them. “I advise them not to do this. We have learnt from our previous mistake and the boys are hungry to prove themselves,” he said.

The team obviously wants to do better than last year. “At the beginning of the year our main focus was to qualify for the inter districts.  Now that this has been achieved we are shifting our focus and energy onto the provincials. It’s a level we are not taking lightly, considering the fact that we were knocked out at this level last year.”

The team is working hard, and not taking anyone lightly. “All the schools are considered competition regardless of whether they are academy-affiliated or not. There is a lot at stake in this tournament and everyone wants a piece of the pie.

“Beating Rosina is a big hurdle overcome,” said Petje.  “Our biggest advantage is the fact that our team is more exposed to high levels of soccer as they get to compete in more competitive tournaments than some of the other schools.

“We have a group of focused boys and with the coaching of Mike Manzini we are sure that we will be at the nationals this year. Our task right now is getting these boys used to playing on an artificial pitch. We have arranged a few games for them to get used to that type of field. We feel we are 95% ready for the provincials.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bree Primary School youngster will be keeping the team spirits high as they prepare for Morocco

Tshegofatso Nkge will be travelling to Morocco in October with Bree Primary School to represent South Africa at the under-12 Danone Nations Cup World Finals, and according to the school Principal, Dave Kalicharan, this youngster will play a key role in the team leading up to and during the tournament.

“He is a great motivator and is always joking around and making his team mates laugh,” said Kalicharan.  “This is over and above the fact that he is a skilled centre back who one day wants to emulate his hero, Neil Tovey.”

Tshegofatso started playing soccer in the streets when he was 5 years old and was spotted by the coach of Naledi Academy, Bizza. “He saw my potential and mentored me and in 2013 he took me and 5 other players to attend trials at Bree Primary School. Three of us were successful, and I joined Bree in January 2014.”

The youngster has settled into the school well and has made many new friends and credits the success of the team to the dedication of the principal.  “It’s been great being a part of the school and I have adjusted very well. Mr Kalicharan loves soccer and makes sure that we participate in different tournaments. He is very dedicated.”

Playing in the Danone Nations Cup national finals is seen by Tshegofatso as one of the highlights of his life to date. “On that day we were filled with so many emotions; happy, excited, scared and intimidated. The final was against Nelson Mandela and from the start of the game I knew that we were going to win. They were a very strong team, but we were stronger and hungrier than they were. Winning the nationals made me realise how much I love soccer and how important it is to work hard.”

The world finals are a different ball game, Tshegofatso knows. “We will be playing against the best schools from different countries. There is a lot of pressure on us as everyone wants us to reach the same heights at the 2009 team that won the World Finals.  Our biggest advantage is the fact that our coach was at the world finals and has seen how different countries play soccer.”

Tshegofatso is looking forward to exploring Morocco. “I have never heard of the country before. I want to have fun and enjoy myself the entire time that I am there.”

On his return from Morocco the youngster is hoping to be signed by an academy that will take him a step closer to playing soccer professionally one day. “Soccer is my passion and I definitely want to make a career out of it and I know that there are plenty of scouts out there that come and see our games.”

About Danone
Danone Southern Africa is part of the Danone Group, one of the fastest-growing food companies in the world.  Danone is present in over 120 countries across all continents. With 160 plants and around 100,000 employees, the Danone Group is the number one worldwide for Fresh Dairy Products. Danone’s mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible.
One of the core values of the Danone Nations Cup tournament is to encourage young people to believe in their dreams. Through this initiative Danone offers a sporting event that reaches out to and inspires millions of children all over the world

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Gauteng giants face up in the U19 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Inter District Finals

The new school term has only just begun, but it’s straight into the action for Pretoria’s Rosina Sedibane Modiba Sports School as they face Clapham High School in a Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, sponsored by Sanlam and the Motsepe Foundation, Gauteng inter-districts clash on Thursday 23rd July, at Rosina.

Reginald Paterson, the school’s deputy principal and coach of the team, explains that his team is young and inexperienced, but up for the challenge.

“We are no longer affiliated to the SuperSport United youth academy,” he explained, “so we have to stand on our own feet now. But this team has been together for a few years now and we are optimistic about them.”

Paterson, who started coaching soccer at Rosina 11 years ago and has a level 2 coaching qualification, has been with the team since they were under-13s. The 2015 side is basically the school’s under-17 team, with a few experienced players left over from last year’s competition.

“They have adjusted well to playing at the U19 level and should they not make it this year they have another 2 years in this tournament,” Paterson said. “The team has been playing together for a long time so they are used to each other and communicate very well on the field.”

Paterson sees the adjustment to playing without the SuperSport affiliation as an advantage because it means that they will start relying on their own strengths and their own players.

“The current team we built from scratch.  Each year we hold our own trails and we get some of the best players around, but unfortunately we end up losing them to big teams. Not so long ago SuperSport signed two of our players, Katlego Mohamme and Kamohelo Mahlatsi. Of course we want them to stay with us but at the end of the day they have to better their careers in soccer, and being a part of an academy is what will get them closer to their dreams of playing professional soccer.”

Rosina Sedibane was last in the national finals in 2013 and Paterson is confident that they will be there again this year. “I have been preaching to the team how important it is to put in the hard work. Clapham has players from the Sundowns academy and they have been very successful in this tournament before. We played in the local schools league and they beat us 2-0 but that does not mean they will do this again.

"Our strengths lie in our determination to do well and make a name for ourselves.  The Supersport United academy players went over to Holy Trinity and they have been knocked out and there is no reason we should feel intimidated when facing the Sundowns academy players at Clapham.”

Monday, July 20, 2015

SARU Media Release - WP come out tops at home in Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week

DHL Western Province on Saturday took top honours in the Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week in style as they overpowered Eastern Province 95-0 in the main match at the Markötter Sports Complex at Paul Roos Gymnasium to set a new record for the highest score in the final match of the tournament.

The Cape side were in fine form from their opening match as they defeated the Blue Bulls 20-13 and registered an emphatic 65–5 victory against the Griffons on Wednesday, which earned them a place in the final match against Eastern Province, who finished last year’s tournament as the top team.
A huge battle was expected on the final day as Eastern Province beat SWD 41-31 and KwaZulu-Natal 23-22 respectively, but the hosts came out with a bang and completely overpowered the Port Elizabeth side.

Eastern Province tried hard to make their presence felt on attack but their efforts were countered by the water-tight Western Province defence.

In the other big game on Saturday, SWD defeated KwaZulu-Natal 24-19 in a nail-biting clash.
The other matches were also high-scoring affairs with the Free State defeating the Pumas 63-35, while Griquas beat Eastern Province CD 51-10, and the Golden Lions defeated the Griffons 47-29.

The Leopards, meanwhile, beat the Limpopo Blue Bulls 42-17 and Griquas CD outplayed Border CD 54-39, while Boland went down 40-12 against the Blue Bulls.

In their traditional test match played at the Craven Week annually, Namibia defeat Zimbabwe 29-7.

DHL Western Province came out firing on all cylinders from the opening minutes of the final match against Eastern Province thanks to the fantastic interplay between their forward and backs, their raw pace out wide and their fine decision-making. So psyched up were the hosts they retained possession and used their speedy backs to sneak through the gaps in Eastern Province’s defence, while they defended like demons. This forced Eastern Province to feed off the scraps for the entire half. This remarkable form earned them five tries for a significant 43-0 halftime lead.

They continued to stamp their authority in the second half and crossed the tryline twice early on to stretch their lead to 57-0, which marked a new record for the highest score in the final match of the Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week. Ironically the highest score up until this match was Western Province’s 52-3 defeat against the Free State in the 2007 tournament also at Paul Roos Gymnasium. This did not stop them from running circles around Eastern Province on attack, as everything the Cape side touched turned to gold, while the Port Elizabeth side had no reply. With momentum and form favouring the Cape side they added another seven tries to their tally to seal an unforgettable 95-0 victory. The match was also particularly memorable for centre Manuel Rass, who earned his hat-trick. 

Western Province – Tries: Jondre Williams, Ryan Muller, Damian Willemse, Leo-Roubert Kruger, Khanya Ncusane, Tyreeq February (2), Ruben de Villiers (2), Nico Leonard (2), Manuel Rass (3). Conversions: Jondre Williams (7), George Lourens (4). Penalty: Jondre Williams.

KwaZulu-Natal tried hard to stamp their authority early on against SWD and looked threatening from the outset, but they were shut out by the effective SWD defence.

The George side found space out wide and capitalised on the opportunity to take a 7-0 lead. But the deficit was reduced to 7-5 as KwaZulu-Natal used their powerful forwards to power their way to the tryline to score.

The rest of the half proved to be a hard battle as both teams tried to get close to the tryline, but were shut out by the defence.

The second half was equally hard-fought as the teams threw everything at one another on attack and supported this with a solid defensive effort.

SWD, in particular, tried to stretch the KwaZulu-Natal defence in an effort to cross the line and after being denied on a few occasions, they finally broke through the defence in the 48th minute and made the most of this momentum by scoring three tries within eight minutes.

KwaZulu-Natal, however, forced their way back into the match in the last two minutes with two tries by Bader Pretorius to take their total for the match to three. But with time running out fast they had to settle for a 24-19 defeat.

KwaZulu-Natal - Tries: James Tedder, Bader Pretorius (2). Conversions: James Tedder, Bader Pretorius.
SWD - Tries: Manie Libbok, Bertie De Bod, JP Duvenhage, Darryle Kameel. Conversions: Manie Libbok (2).

The Golden Lions were in fine form against the Griffons as they showed innovation on attack and used their try-scoring chances well to secure a 47-29 victory.

The Lions opened up the scoring in the third minute with a try by Ruan Vermaak, but the Griffons hit back minutes later with a try of their own by Fanie Vermaak. The Johannesburg side, however, dominated the rest of the half as they scored two more tries, while limiting the Griffons to a penalty for an encouraging 26-10 lead at the break.

Both teams found their rhythm on attack after the break and managed to force their way through the defence resulting in a thrilling second half.

The Lions scored first and the Griffons bounced back minutes later with two tries in three minutes. The Golden Lions retaliated with their fifth try and another shortly before fulltime to inflate their score to 47. The Griffons, however, fought until the end and managed to score one more try before the end of the match, but these efforts were not enough to undo the Lions’ strong start.

Golden Lions – Tries: Xander Kruger, Ivan Smit, Ruan Vermaak, Franco Tiedt, Michael Tambwe (2). Conversions: Xander Kruger (4), Ivan Smit.
Griffons - Tries: Fanie Vermaak, Stephanus Malherbe, Marco Labuschagne (2). Conversions: Luan James (2), Jason Olivier. Penalty: Luan James.

The Leopards came out strongly in their clash against the Limpopo Blue Bulls with their first try being scored in the third minute, while they added another in the 12th minute to take a 14-0 lead.

The Limpopo Blue Bulls tightened up their defence soon after and stepped up their attack, which allowed them to score their first try in the 16th minute. With both teams determined to win, the second quarter was tight, with neither team giving an inch, which resulted in the Leopards entering the break 14-5 ahead.

The opening 15 minutes of the second half was equally tight as the teams continued to run hard at one another, but the flood gates opened in the 45th minute as both teams made their way through the defence.

The Leopards struck first as they scored three back-to-back tries within 10 minutes, and the Limpopo Blue Bulls followed with two tries within five minutes. The Leopards, however, ran in their sixth try on the stroke of fulltime to finish the tournament on a high note with a 42-17 victory.

Leopards – Tries: Marthinus Vermeulen, Edmund Rheeder, Katleho Thabanchu, Lionel George, Ryno Visagie, Christopher Coetzee. Conversions: Johannes Pelser (5), Andre Kock.
Limpopo Blue Bulls - Tries: Wernich Kachelhoffer, Jan Coertze, Chris Jenkinson. Conversion: Wernich Kachelhoffer.

The Blue Bulls forced their way to a 16-7 halftime lead against Boland as they slotted over two penalties compliments of Eddie Fouche and two tries by Abner van Reenen and Embrose Papier respectively, while they limited Boland to a converted try by Keanan Boonzaaier.

The Bulls, however, took control of the second half and ran riot on attack, which earned them four tries in what was a fantastic display of attacking rugby. They supported this with a solid defensive effort, which left Boland scrambling to make their presence felt. Despite falling far behind on the scoreboard Boland showed their fighting spirit and managed to cross the tryline shortly before the final whistle to reduce the deficit 40-12.

Blue Bulls – Tries: Abner van Reenen, Embrose Papier, Louritz van der Schyff (2), PJ Steenkamp, Wayne van der Bank. Conversions: Eddie Fouche (2). Penalties: Eddie Fouche (2)
Boland - Tries: Keanan Boonzaaier, Rick Jordaan. Conversion: Adriaan van der Bank.

The first half between the Pumas and Free State proved to be a ding-dong battle as the teams both delivered well-balanced performances using their forwards and backs. Free State struck first in the third minute with a try by Godfrey Simelane, but the Pumas’ Mfundu Ndhlovu cancelled out the try in the sixth minute as he crossed the line.

The Bloemfontein side added two more tries before the break, which they failed to convert, while the Pumas touched down once more, and with both their conversions successful they entered the break trailing only 15-14.

The Free State continued to score tries at will early in the second half and scored back-to-back tries within four minutes to kick-start the half and then added another to stretch their lead immensely.
The Pumas, however, showed their fighting spirit to score their third try of the match in the 46th minute to reduce the deficit slightly. But the Bloemfontein struck back soon after with another three tries to take their total for the match to nine.

The Pumas, however, refused to lie down and touched down twice more, but the Free State were not done and scored another two late tries for a 63-35 victory.

Pumas – Tries: Ruben Roodt, Cyprian Nkomo, Stephan de Jager, Mfundu Ndhlovu (2). Conversions: Wessel Muller (5).
Free State - Tries: Niel Durow, Daniel William Rust, Hardus Nel, Francois Agenbag, Kanya Gela, Dian Schoonees (2), Luciano Jones (2), Godfrey Simelane (2). Conversions: Niel Durow (5).

Griquas CD came out firing against Border CD as they scored three tries in the first 14 minutes to make their presence felt early on. Border CD hit back with their first try in the 20th minute and added another in the 31st minute as well as a penalty.

These efforts, however, were cancelled out as their defence continued to let them down, which paved the way for Griquas CD to increase their try tally to five before the break to take an encouraging 35-15 lead.

The Northern Cape side continued to make their presence felt in the second half and earned the rewards with three more tries, but Border CD fought back with intent and managed to score three tries of their own, which made for a thrilling second half. Unfortunately these efforts were too little too late, and Border CD were forced to settle for a 54-39 defeat.

Griquas CD – Tries: Adri du Plessis (2), Marcel Van der Westhuizen, Reinhard Hayes, Cobus Wiese, Adriaan Burger, Stefan Hanekom, Denvill Joseph. Conversions: Adri du Plessis (7).
Border CD - Tries: Josh Armstrong, Ntando Mfengu, Ayanda Mvimbi, Migcobo Bovu, Aviwe Mancotywa (2). Conversions: Alrich Plaatjies (3). Penalty: Alrich Plaatjies.

The first half between Border and the Valke proved to be a tight tussle as both teams tried to get onto the front foot early on in the hope of finishing the tournament on a high.

The Valke scored the first try in the fourth minute, and they added another in the 26th minute, but their conversions were unsuccessful. Border, meanwhile slotted over a penalty and scored two tries, which earned them a narrow 15-10 lead at the break.

The Valke, however, battled to keep up with Border in the second half as their flyhalf left the field injured and they received a yellow card, which allowed Border to control proceedings. The team did just that and used their point-scoring chances well to add two penalties and a try to their tally for a 28-15 victory.

Border – Tries: Cole van Tonder, David Brits, Courtney Winnaar. Conversions: Joshua Alderman (2). Penalties: Joshua Alderman (3).
Valke - Tries: Dylan van der Walt, Franklin Wagner, Irvin Ali.

Griquas wasted no time stamping their authority against Eastern Province CD as they ran in an impressive four tries in the first half and slotted over a penalty to accumulate 25 points in the half. Their defence was equally effective as they limited the Eastern Cape side to only a penalty before the break.

The Kimberley side picked up where they left off when play resumed as they retained possession and put together phases, which paid off with another four tries in the half to stretch their lead significantly.

Despite trailing far behind on the scoreboard Eastern Province CD fought back and managed to score their first and only try of the match in the 56th minute, which they converted to take their score to 10. However, they were unable to add to this in the dying minutes and went down 51-10.

Eastern Province CD – Try: Xolile Mdlokovana. Conversion: Geoffrey Dakin. Penalty: Geoffrey Dakin.
Griquas - Tries: Abram Venter, Rian Kotze, Lihan Viljoen, Janco Cloete, Johan Joubert, De-An Ackermann, Jacques Beukes (2). Conversions: Cameron Huffke (4). Penalty: Abram Venter.

The first half between Namibia and Zimbabwe was tight as the teams threw everything at one another in the traditional Test. Such was the closeness of the half Namibia scored the first points in the 20th minute compliments of a try by Stefan Hattingh, while Zimbabwe crossed the tryline two minutes before half time to level the scores at 7-7.

Namibia, however, found their rhythm in the second half and used their point-scoring chances well, which allowed them to break away on the scoreboard thanks to three more tries and a penalty. They backed this up with a solid defensive effort, which denied Zimbabwe from adding to their score for a convincing 29-7 victory.

Zimbabwe – Try: Brian Muntanga. Conversion: Ben Meredith.
Namibia - Tries: Andre van der Berg, Lebeau Du Preez, Stefan Hattingh, Jay-C Olivier. Conversions: Andre van der Berg (2), Cliven Loubser. Penalty: Andre van der Berg.

Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week day-five results:
Western Province 95 - 0 Eastern Province
KwaZulu-Natal 19 - 24 SWD
Golden Lions 47 - 29 Griffons
Leopards 42 - 17 Limpopo Blue Bulls
Blue Bulls 40 - 12 Boland
Pumas 35 - 63 Free State
Griquas CD 54 - 39 Border CD
Border 28 - 15 Valke
Eastern Province CD 10 - 51 Griquas
Zimbabwe 7 - 29 Namibia

Thursday, July 16, 2015

SARU Media Release - WP to meet EP in Coca-Cola Craven Week final match

EP, Valke shine on day four at the Coca-Cola Craven Week
Eastern Province and the Valke on Thursday stayed in the running for a possible place in the final match of the Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week on Saturday as they fought their way to victories on Day Four at the Markötter Sports Complex at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch.

Eastern Province, who came out tops in last year’s tournament, registered a nail-biting 23-22 victory against KwaZulu-Natal in a gripping clash, in which two players received red cards.

The Valke, meanwhile, showed fantastic flair on attack in a strong second-half showing to outplay Griquas 34-21, which marked their second victory of the tournament.

In the other matches SWD defeated the Golden Lions 28-19, while Eastern Province CD overpowered Zimbabwe 51-20 and the Leopards pipped Griquas CD 18-17.

The teams will have Friday off to recover from the physical rugby in the last few days, with the final round of matches being played on Saturday.

The fixtures are set to be announced later on Thursday, with Eastern Province, the Valke, Western Province and Boland in the running for places in the grand finale of the tournament.

The clash between Eastern Province and KwaZulu-Natal was hard-fought as the teams threw everything at one another on attack and defence, which resulted in the clash resembling the intensity of a Test match. This despite the fact that the Durban side were dealt a big blow in the 31st minute as they were reduced to 14 men due to a red card for a dangerous tackle.

KwaZulu-Natal opened up the scoring in the 16th minute with a penalty by Bader Pretorius to take a 3-0 lead. A yellow card for the Durban side in the 23rd minute, however, paved the way for Eastern Province to score the first try of the match to push them into a 7-3 lead. KwaZulu-Natal, however, were dealt another blow as a red card for a dangerous tackle reduced them to 13 players briefly. In-form Eastern Province flyhalf Curwin Bosch pushed the team into a 10-3 lead shortly before the break thanks to well-timed drop goal.

They added their second try of the match in the 37th minute compliments of Heino Bezuidenhout, which Bosch backed up with another drop goal to stretch their lead. The Durban side, however, fought back with intent with Marco Palvie scoring a try, and Bader Pretorius adding another shortly after Eastern Province were reduced to 14 players, which reduced the deficit on the scoreboard to 17-15.

Two long-distance penalties by Bosch, however, pushed his team 23-15 ahead. Eastern Province, however, were again reduced to 14 men in the 73rd minute after a second yellow-card offence, which KwaZulu-Natal capitalised on to score a try on the stroke of fulltime. Unfortunately the conversion still left them one point short on the scoreboard at 23-22.

Eastern Province – Tries: Khewzi Mafu, Heino Bezuidenhout. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2). Penalties: Curwin Bosch (2). Drop Goal: Curwin Bosch.
KwaZulu-Natal – Tries: Bader Pretorius, Marco Palvie (2). Conversions: Bader Pretorius (2). Penalty: Bader Pretorius.

The Valke and Griquas were involved in a tense clash with both teams doing well to balance their strong forward play with running rugby among the backs. So closely matched were the teams in the first half only one point separated the teams on the scoreboard, with Griquas leading 18-17.

But the Valke’s attacking prowess handed them an edge as they outscored Griquas five tries to two to secure their second victory in the tournament.

The Valke started the clash strongly with a try in the 12th minute, but Griquas struck back with a penalty by Gert Nortje and a try. The teams each scored another try as the half progressed, while Nortje added his second penalty to push Griquas ahead by one point on the scoreboard.

The Valke, however, broke away in the second half as they scored three more tries, while limiting Griquas to a drop goal to secure a 34-21 victory.

Valke – Tries: Xander Crause, Irvin Ali, Damon Karelse, Dylan Van der Walt. Conversions: Xander Crause (3). Penalty: Xander Crause.
Griquas – Tries: Cameron Huffke (2). Conversion: Gert Nortje. Penalties: Gert Nortje (2). Drop Goal: Gert Nortje.

SWD made their presence felt early on against the Golden Lions as they retained possession and applied continuous pressure on attack in the first half. They were particularly effective at forcing their way over the advantage line, and despite having to work hard for their points, their persistence on attack earned them two tries compliments of Bradley Kiewitz and Christo Hamman for a 14-0 lead.

With the Golden Lions having to feed off the scraps, meanwhile, they spent a large part of the first half in their own half, while they battled to get close to SWD’s tryline. And when they did, they were shut out by the effective defence, which left them scoreless at the break.

SWD continued to make their presence felt in the second half, but the Golden Lions tightened up their defence and stepped up their attack. SWD tried hard to breach the defence in the opening exchanges after the break but their efforts proved unsuccessful.

The Lions, meanwhile, did well to capitalise on their point-scoring chances and finally broke through the defence in the 44th minute for their first try and then added another minutes later following a fantastic break to reduce the deficit to 14-12.

This, however, was cancelled out soon after as SWD centre Imanuel Libbok dashed to the tryline, while Nevada Jacobs scored an intercept try three minutes later to stretch their lead to 28-12. Another stunning break by the Lions allowed them to close the gap on the scoreboard to 28-19 thanks to their third try with minutes left on the clock, but this was too little too late for the Johannesburg side.

SWD – Tries: Imanuel Libbok, Nevada Jacobs, Christo Hamman, Bradley Kiewitz. Conversions: Imanuel Libbok (4).
Lions – Tries: Ivan Smit (2), Len Massyn. Conversions: Ivan Smit (2)

The first half between Zimbabwe and Eastern Province CD was exciting as the teams stretched the defence and ran hard at one another, which resulted in a try festival, with a total of 11 tries scored.
Zimbabwe dominated the opening exchanges as they found space out wide, which their speedy backs capitalised on, to score three tries in the first 13 minutes for a 15-0 lead. Eastern Province CD, however, fought back strongly and scored two tries and a penalty.

Zimbabwe, however, crossed the tryline once again before the break to take a narrow 20-15 lead. 
This was short-lived as the Eastern Cape side dominated territory and possession in the second half, which allowed them to run riot on attack.

Such was their dominance they crossed the tryline five times to take their tally for the match to seven. Zimbabwe, meanwhile, were forced to defend most of the time and were unable to add to their score, resulting in them having to settle for a 51-20 defeat.

Zimbabwe – Tries: Ernest Mudzengerere, Stuart Marriott-Dodington, Tinotenda Vheriwa, Russel Dinha.
Eastern Province CD – Tries: Joshua Nieuwoudt, Chulu Chutu, Grant Dixie (2), Gevanhier Blom (3). Conversions: Geoffrey Dakin (5). Penalties: Geoffrey Dakin (2).

The clash between Griquas CD and the Leopards was hard-fought from start to end as neither team gave an inch on attack and defence. Both sides tried to retain possession for long periods and placed pressure on the opposition’s defence, but with the players putting their bodies on the line, only four tries were scored in the match.

Griquas CD took a 10-8 lead at the break thanks to a fantastic try by Denvill Joseph, and a penalty before the break, even though the Leopards struck first with a try in the sixth minute followed by a drop goal.

The second half was equally close, but a penalty try by Griquas CD pushed them further into the lead. The Leopards, however, added their second try in the 51st minute, while flyhalf Andre Kock his second drop goal to push the team into one-point lead, which they held onto to secure the victory.

Griquas CD – Try: Denvill Joseph, Penalty Try. Conversions: Renier Fortuin, Adri du Plessis. Penalty: Renier Fortuin.
Leopards – Tries: Lionel George, Ryno Visagie. Conversion: Andre Kock. Drop Goals: Andre Kock.

Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week day-four results:
Eastern Province 23 - 22 KwaZulu-Natal
Valke 34 - 21 Griquas
SWD 28 - 19 Golden Lions
Zimbabwe 20 - 51 Eastern Province CD

Griquas CD 17 - 18 Leopards

Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week day-five Fixtures, Saturday 18 July:

Main Field:

13h15 – KwaZulu-Natal vs SWD
15h00 – Western Province vs Eastern Province

Volkskombuis Field:

10h15 – Border vs Valke
11h45 – Blue Bulls vs Boland

Meulsloot Field:

09h00 – Eastern Province CD vs Griquas

10h30 – Pumas vs Free State

12h00 – Golden Lions vs Griffons

Doornbosch Field:

09h00 – Zimbabwe vs Namibia

10h30 – Griquas CD vs Border CD

12h00 – Leopards vs Limpopo Blue Bulls

SARU Media Release - Cape sides register back-to-back wins at Coca-Cola Craven Week

Cape sides register back-to-back wins at Coca-Cola Craven Week

DHL Western Province and Cape neighbours Boland on Wednesday stamped their authority on day three of the Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week at the Markötter Sports Complex at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch to keep alive their hopes of playing in the final match of the tournament on Saturday.

Hosts Western Province were in top form against the Griffons and registered an emphatic 65-5 victory, which marked the highest score so far in the tournament, while Boland staged a strong second-half comeback against Border for a 20-15 victory.

The Blue Bulls, Free State and the Limpopo Blue Bulls, meanwhile, registered their first wins of the tournament in style as they each scored over 30 points in their respective matches against the Pumas, Namibia and Border CD.

In the main matches on Thursday the Valke will go up against Griquas, and Eastern Province, who finished as the top team last season, will line up against KwaZulu-Natal.  

Please click on links for run of play of each match

DHL Western Province were dominant from the outset against the Griffons as they stretched the opposition’s defence and took advantage of the gaps out wide to run in an impressive six tries before the break. The hosts showed great skill on attack and capitalised on their speed out wide and fine support play, while they slipped through tackles with ease. The Griffons, meanwhile, battled to make their presence felt with their limited possession and porous defence letting them down, and managed to score only one try in the first half, which left them trailing 43-5 at the break.

The Griffons tried hard to retain possession on attack and tightened up their defence in the second half, but despite this Western Province added four tries to their tally to take their total for the match to 10. The Griffons’ efforts on attack, however, were shut down by the solid defence, which resulted in the Welkom side being unable to add to their score and having to settle for a 65-5 defeat.

DHL Western Province – Tries: Joshua Vermeulen, Cornel Smit, Ernst van Rhyn, Tyreeq February, Ruben de Villiers, George Lourens, Ryan Muller, Damian Willemse, Nico Leonard (2). Conversions: Joshua Vermeulen (4), Cornel Smit (2). Penalty: Cornel Smit.
Griffons - Try: Duke Jantjies.

Boland and Border were involved in an epic clash as the teams put their bodies on the line on attack and defence for the duration of the clash. Both teams tried to hold onto the ball and put together phases on attack, and with the defence holding well, they battled to break through. Such was the closeness of the clash Border opted for two penalties in the first 15 minutes to get on the scoreboard, but both attempts proved unsuccessful. The East London side eventually scored the first points of the match two minutes before half time and backed it up with their second try a minute later to take a 12-0 lead at the break.

Boland bounced back strongly after the break with an early try, which in-form flyhalf Adriaan van der Bank converted to close the gap on the scoreboard to 12-7. The Western Cap side struck again in the 47th minute with a try by Steyn Olivier. Border, meanwhile, added a penalty by flyhalf Courtney Winnaar. The closing minutes were tense as the teams fought until the end for the victory, but a penalty and drop goal by Van der Bank ensured that Boland stayed ahead on the scoreboard and allowed them to secure back-to-back victories in the tournament.

Boland – Tries: Gilroy Philander, Steyn Olivier. Conversions: Adriaan van der Bank (2). Penalty: Adriaan van der Bank. Drop Goal: Adriaan van der Bank.
Border - Tries: Michael Botha, Tristian Coetzer. Conversion: Courtney Winnaar. Penalty: Courtney Winnaar.

The Blue Bulls delivered a solid all-round performance against the Pumas to register their first victory in the tournament with their forwards and backs combining well to push the team onto the front foot. Flyhalf and captain Eddie Fouche and scrumhalf Embrose Papier played in a vital role in sparking their attack while Fouche kept the team ahead on the scoreboard thanks to his solid goal-kicking, which earned him a personal total of 13 points in the match.

The Pumas scored the first try in the third minute and they added another in the 27th minute, but two penalties and two converted tries by the Blue Bulls forced the Pretoria side into a 20-12 halftime lead. The Pumas tried hard to retain possession and apply pressure on the Bulls after the break, but they battled to breach the solid defence and were limited to only one try in the second half. The Blue Bulls, meanwhile, managed to cross the tryline two more times in what proved to be a tight half, while Fouche added his third penalty to secure a convincing 35-17 win.

Blue Bulls – Tries: Runan Venter, Ruben van Heerden, Wayne Van der Bank (2). Conversions: Eddie Fouche (2), Runan Venter. Penalties: Eddie Fouche (3).
Pumas - Tries: Ruben Roodt, Marnus Van der Merwe, Dewald Maritz. Conversion: Wessel Muller.

The first half between the Free State and Namibia was tight as the teams both tried to put together phases on attack and force their way over the advantage line. Namibia struck first with a try in the 10th minute, but the Free State hit back four minutes later while Namibia were reduced to 14 men due to a yellow card. The Bloemfontein side found their rhythm on attack soon after and did well to snuff out the gaps in the defence, which earned them four tries in 15 minutes to take a commanding lead.

Namibia, however, fought back with intent and scored three tries to reduce the deficit thanks to their ability to retain possession and apply pressure on attack. This pushed their score into double figures. The Free State, however, struck again with a try on the stroke of fulltime to secure a 43-19 victory.

Free State – Tries: Niel Durow, Daniel William Rust, Dian Schoonees, Kian Skippers (2), Jurie Burger (2). Conversions: Christiaan Schutte (4).
Namibia – Tries: Cliven Loubser, Christiaan Ras, Armondo Van Wyk. Conversions: Cliven Loubser (2).

The Limpopo Blue Bulls started their clash against Border CD with a bang as they dominated territory and possession to take control of the first half. They wasted no time making their presence felt and scored the first try of the match in the fourth minute compliments of Stefan Engelbrecht, and added two more before the break to take an encouraging 24-0 lead at the break.

They built on this fine form in the second half and added three more tries to take their total for the match to six. Border CD, however, showed their fighting spirit and completely dominated the last 10 minutes thanks to their speedy backs, which earned them three tries to add to a penalty early in the second half for a 34-20 defeat.  

Limpopo Blue Bulls – Tries: Franco Van der Watt, Stefan Engelbrecht, Salie Vermaak, Jan Coertze, Chris Jenkinson (2). Conversions: Wernich Kachelhoffer (2).
Border CD – Tries: Josh Armstrong, Aviwe Mancotywa, Soyama Ngceke. Conversion: Alrich Plaatjies. Penalty: Alrich Plaatjies.

Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week day-three results:
DHL Western Province 65 - 5 Griffons
Boland 20 - 15 Border
Blue Bulls 35 - 17 Pumas
Free State 43 - 19 Namibia
Limpopo Blue Bulls 34 - 20 Border CD

Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week day-four results:
09h00 – Griquas CD vs Leopards
10h30 – Zimbabwe vs Eastern Province CD
12h00 – SWD vs Lions
13h30 – Valke vs Griquas

15h00 – Eastern Province vs KwaZulu-Natal

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

EP, KZN dominate day two of the Coca-Cola Craven Week

EP, KZN dominate day two of the Coca-Cola Craven Week
Eastern Province and KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday stamped their authority on the second day of the Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week at the Markötter Sports Complex at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch as they registered encouraging victories in the top match-ups of the day.

Eastern Province, who took top honours at last year’s tournament, were in fine form against SWD in a repeat of the 2014 final match and registered a 41-31 victory, while KwaZulu-Natal defeated the Golden Lions 18-16 in a nail-biting encounter.

Griquas, the Valke and Griquas CD also started off their campaigns on a high note as they secured victories against the Leopards, Eastern Province CD and Zimbabwe respectively. 

The third round of matches will be played on Wednesday, with hosts DHL Western Province taking on the Griffons and Boland going up against Border.

For a full run of play report, please click on the link provided

Eastern Province started off their clash against the SWD Eagles with a bang thanks to their ability to create point-scoring chances and to capitalise on them. The team delivered a solid display with their forwards and backs combining well, while flyhalf Curwin Bosch dictated play with distinction and backed this up with his golden boot, which allowed them to dominate proceedings throughout the match.

Eastern Province had the first say thanks to a try by Riaan van Rensburg in the third minute, and they added another in the 17th minute, while Bosch slotted over a drop goal, while SWD were only able to kick a penalty in the half. This convincing start pushed the Port Elizabeth side 15-3 ahead at the break.

The second half proved to be a try festival as the teams showed fantastic flair on attack and backed this up with fine decision-making. While Eastern Province continued to build on their solid first half with another two tries, SWD they found their rhythm on attack and the rewards followed as they scored four tries to match that of the Eastern Cape side. Two extra penalties and another two drop goals by Bosch to take his personal tally in the match to 21 points, however, proved to be the difference between the sides on the scoreboard. These heroics earned Eastern Province a 41-31 victory.  

Eastern Province – Tries: Khewzi Mafu, Mohamed Connelly, Lubabalo Dobela, Riaan van Rensburg. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (3). Penalties: Curwin Bosch (2). Drop Goals: Curwin Bosch (3).
SWD Eagles - Tries: Manie Libbok (2), Christo Hamman, Luvuyo Ndevu. Conversions: Manie Libbok (4). Penalty: Manie Libbok.

The battle between KwaZulu-Natal and the Golden Lions was epic with the teams put their bodies on the line throughout the clash. The Lions opened up the scoring in the fourth minute with a penalty by Mthi Simelane, but this was cancelled out by KwaZulu-Natal as they crossed the chalk for the first try of the match. The exchanges that followed were tight, resulting in both teams opting for penalties to get points on the board. The Lions, however, fought back and their efforts paid off with a converted try four minutes before the break, which earned them a 13-10 halftime lead.

The second half was equally intense as the teams continued to use their physicality in the hope of powering their way through the defence, but with neither side giving an inch, they opted for penalties once again, with Simelane slotting over his third three-pointer and KwaZulu-Natal’s Bader Pretorius his second.

The Sharks, however, dominated territory and this allowed them to apply immense pressure on the Lions. But the Johannesburg team absorbed the pressure well. The Durban side’s efforts eventually paid off in the final minute as Xolisa Guma crossed the tryline to secure a nail-biting 18-16 victory.

KwaZulu-Natal – Tries: Xolisa Guma, Mulalo Sadiki. Conversion: Bader Pretorius. Penalties: Bader Pretorius (2).
Golden Lions - Try: Tiaan Van der Merwe. Conversion: Mthi Simelane. Penalties: Mthi Simelane (3).

The clash between the Leopards and Griquas was a physical forward battle as the teams both used their big forwards to try to force their way onto the front foot. On occasions they looked for space out wide in an attempt to sneak through to the tryline, but with the teams closely matched on attack and defence, it proved to be an epic battle until the end as only five points separated the sides on the scoreboard for a lengthy period in the second half.

The Leopards opened up the scoring in the 12th minute with a try, but back-to-back tries by Griquas’ Janco Cloete within three minutes pushed the Kimberley side into the lead. The Leopards hit back with two tries of their own minutes later to take a 17-14 halftime lead.

Griquas tightened up their defence in the second half and stepped up their attack, which allowed them to break through the determined Leopards’ defence for another two tries, one of which was by Janco Cloete to secure his hat-trick. This earned Griquas a hard-earned 28-17 victory.

Leopards – Tries: Marthinus Vermeulen, Edmund Rheeder, Jacobus Dreyer. Conversion: Andre Kock.
Griquas - Tries: Rian Kotze, Janco Cloete (3). Conversions: Gert Nortje (4).

A strong finish by the Valke in which they scored three tries in the last 20 minutes against Eastern Province CD, earned them a morale-boosting 43-27 victory in their opening match of the tournament. 
The Valke started the clash on an encouraging note with four tries in the first half to only two by Eastern Province CD, which pushed them 26-12 ahead at halftime.

The Eastern Cape side, however, came out firing in the second half with two tries in two minutes by Geoffrey Dakin and Xolile Mdlokovana, which allowed them to reduce the deficit on the scoreboard tremendously. But the Valke cancelled this out as they powered their way to a strong finish with three tries to secure a convincing victory.

Valke – Tries: Xander Crause (2), Erich Cronje, Ntshepe Kokong, Dylan Van der Walt, Marco Niemandt, Franklin Wagner. Conversions: Xander Crause (4).
Eastern Province CD - Tries: Geoffrey Dakin, Gevanhier Blom, Xolile Mdlokovana (2). Conversions: Geoffrey Dakin (2). Penalty: Geoffrey Dakin.

Griquas CD and Zimbabwe were involved in a tight tussle from the outset as both teams tried hard to breach the defence but battled to force their way through. With the Griquas CD defence holding well in the middle of the field, Zimbabwe opted to spread the ball wide and this paid off as they scored the first try of the match compliments of Ben Meredith, which proved to be the only points of the half.
The second half was equally tight as Griquas CD used their forwards in an attempt to gain ascendancy, with flank and captain Cobus Wiese leading by example, while Zimbabwe’s backs made their presence felt.

These strengths earned them each a try in the third quarter, but mistakes at crucial times by Griquas CD denied them from crossing the line a few more times. Griquas CD, however, staged a dramatic comeback in the dying minutes as they crossed the tryline twice to snatch a 17-12 victory.

Griquas CD – Tries: Dolf Zandberg, Wynand Terblanche, Dian Dry. Conversion: Adri du Plessis.
Zimbabwe - Tries: Ben Meredith, Tarisai Mapfumo. Conversion: Ben Meredith.

Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week day-two results:
Eastern Province 41 - 31 SWD Eagles
KwaZulu-Natal 18 - 16 Golden Lions
Leopards 17 - 28 Griquas
Valke 43 - 27 Eastern Province CD
Griquas CD 17 - 12 Zimbabwe

Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week day-three fixtures:
09h00 – Limpopo Blue Bulls vs Border CD
10h30 – Free State vs Namibia
12h00 – Blue Bulls vs Pumas
13h30 – Boland vs Border

15h00 – DHL Western Province vs Griffons