Bulls, WP upset at Craven Week

2008-07-07 00:00

Pretoria — The SWD Eagles and the Pumas scored upsets on the opening day of the 2008 Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week yesterday, beating the Blue Bulls and Western Province respectively.

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.

A man-of-the-match performance by flyhalf Gary van Aswegen gave the Pumas their surprise win over Western Province. WP, who failed to score in the second half, opened the scoring in the fourth 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 10th 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 Aswegen landed a 40-metre penalty and reduced the deficit to four points. With the Pumas on the attack, Adams intercepted to race almost 50 metres for a try, to move the score to 17-6 in favour of WP.

After narrowly missing a 60-metre penalty attempt, Van Aswegen made amends, 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 until Van Aswegen 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 for victory.

Results: Blue Bulls 21 SWD 26, Western Province 17 Pumas 19, Limpopo 21 Boland 32, Namibia 36 Border CD 11, Griquas CD 10 Eastern Province CD 28

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