Juniors put skill before brute force

2012-07-03 00:00

THE 2012 U13 Craven Week took place last week in Bloemfontein with games played mainly at Grey College.

This tournament is unique in world rugby as no other country has a national competition in this age group.

While it is understood that some boys have growth spurts earlier than others, the emphasis at the week — where each province plays four matches — is on skills rather than brute force.

Many of the better players are still small, but will likely develop into better rugby players than the bigger boys.

KwaZulu-Natal was unfortunate to have been put against the Falcons in their first game and here it was brute force that probably won the match.

Many of the primary schools from which the KZN team were selected usually play rugby in boots and at the junior Craven Week the rugby is played barefoot. The local boys played a union whose players are accustomed to playing without boots.

The Falcons scored two tries to win 18-3. KZN points were scored with a penalty by fullback Jacobus Truter (Pelham).

On the second day KZN were set to play Free State who had lost their first match against South Western Districts.

This was a better game and KZN scored four tries to two by Free State.

The two DPHS loose forwards, Nicholas Kershaw and Sibahle Kuhlane, and Willem Viljoen (Westville SP), also a loose forward, scored the tries. Kuhlane scored a brace

Truter converted three of the tries for KZN to win 26-12.

On Thursday KZN played against Griquas and in a tough encounter went down 5-11. The KZN try was scored by Truter. On Friday, the final day, KZN lost 5-20 against Eastern Province. Hooker Dylan Richardson (Kloof) scored the try.

The Bulls U13 won the final match 19-8 against Western Province, who then lost their first game. The only other team to go through unbeaten were Griquas who beat the Falcons 16-10.

While KZN won only one of their four matches, they were not disgraced and were unfortunate in having to play two of the four strongest teams.

The U18 LSEN (learners with special education needs) Craven Week was also held last week at the University of Johannesburg. KZN again won only one game and that was their second of three games against the Griffons, which they won 17-12. They lost the first match narrowly 23-26 against SWD and the last match 12-27 against Border.

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