Bulls, Lions join Pumas as northern teams fumble at Craven Week

2014-07-16 00:00

THE teams at the 2014 U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week in Middelburg have all played one game now, and already the teams from the northern part of the country have probably all fallen out of contention for a spot in Saturday’s unofficial final.

In recent years, that honour has always gone to two unbeaten teams, and when the Blue Bulls and the Golden Lions went down to Eastern Province and the Free State on day two, they joined the Pumas, who lost to Western Province on day one, in the ranks of the also-rans.

The game of the day on day two was Eastern Province’s 26-25 win over the Blue Bulls. The Bulls led for most of the game and looked to have the win in the game when some heroics by EP fullback Curwin Bosch turned the tables on them.

First Bosch sold an audacious dummy and scored under the posts to put his side in touch, and then, in the final minute, converted Athi Mayinje’s try from the corner to snatch the victory.

Bosch also kicked four penalties and converted his own try, for a personal tally of 21 points.

Blue Bulls flyhalf Tinus de Beer contributed 20 points via six penalties and the conversion of their lone try, scored by Ettiene Matthys.

In the final game of the day, Free State beat a disappointing Golden Lions side 33-20. The Lions made numerous handling errors and were penalised heavily at the breakdown, never really giving themselves a chance of victory.

Victor Maruping, Shirwin Cupido and Alexander Jonker scored the Free State tries, with Lourens Steenkamp adding four penalties and three conversions.

For the Lions, Gavin Delport and Armandt Grobler scored tries. Ralton October kicked a penalty and Wikus van Biljon added a penalty and two conversions.

Earlier, Griquas scored a massive, 96-0 win over Border Country districts, the second biggest victory margin in Craven Week history. The Valke beat Boland 30-26 in an exciting encounter and the Leopards beat Namibia 53-13.

Western Province face SWD in today’s big game, while the hosts, the Pumas take on KwaZulu-Natal.

Yesterday’s results:

Griquas 96 Border Country 0, Leopards 53 Namibia 13, Valke 30 Boland 26, Eastern Province 26 Blue Bulls 25, Free State 33 Golden Lions 20.

Today’s fixtures:

Zimbabwe v Griquas Country, Limpopo Blue Bulls v Border, Griffons v Eastern Province Country, Pumas v KwaZulu-Natal, SWD v Western Province.

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