Great day for KZN sides after convincing victories over Pumas

2011-06-17 00:00

YOUTH Day was a good one for the four KZN rugby sides that will be representing their province at three rugby weeks starting at the end of this month.

They all had convincing victories over their Puma counterparts at Glenwood yesterday morning.

The Under-18 Craven Week team showed some neat touches, but there were many mistakes in their first real outing. They have been practising together every week since the trials, but this game will have given the coaches some idea of how certain players react under pressure.

The Pumas had a pack with four players bigger than any of those in the KZN lineup. The Baby Sharks thus struggled in the lineouts, and when the Pumas kept it tight amongst their forwards, KZN came under pressure. However, when KZN won good ball their backs looked threatening. Their defense was largely sound.

At half-time KZN led 26-14, scoring three tries to two. A handling mistake in the Pumas’ back line led to hooker Jacques Taylor (Glenwood) turning possession over and he made metres up the touch line; an inside pass to wing Lwazi Sithole (M College) enabled him to score in the corner.

Five minutes later fullback Mbembe Payi (DHS) kicked ahead and a favourable bounce into his hands saw him scoring under the posts.This time wing Siyabonga Tom (Glenwood) was successful with the conversion.

The home side went 19-0 up a few minutes later. Taylor finished off a good line movement in the corner and Tom kicked superbly from just inside the touch line to add the extra points.

The Pumas, who were always threatening with some storming runs, scored their first try when fullback Gina Mpumelelo (Ligbron) scored in the corner and scrumhalf Neil Bekker (HTS Middelburg) well converted.

Tyler Fisher (Westville) scored the KZN side’s third try, again converted by Tom.

In the second half it was another two tries by KZN to one by the Pumas for the final 40-21 win.

KZN scored in the fifth minute when the ball came out quickly from a scrum and flyhalf Robert du Preez dummied and scored under the posts. Tom converted for a 33-14 lead.

The Pumas struck back when replacement centre Tyrone Pienaar (Standerton) scored, converted by Hamish Herd (Nelspruit). Fisher scored his second try, converted by Brendon Cope (DHS) for the win.

The Academy B had the biggest win at 42-3. The Academy A had a number of players who stood out, and won 36-10. The Under-16 Grant Khomo side beat the Pumas 27-7.

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