KZN win may put them in the running for Craven Week final

2010-06-30 00:00

THE KZN U18 rugby team put themselves in the reckoning to play in Saturday’s coveted final match at Craven Week when they beat the North West Leopards 33-12 in front of a 2 500-strong North West Stadium crowd in Welkom yesterday.

While NW were disappointing, KZN under captain and number eight Guy Alexander were impressive, with fullback Mbembe Payi, centres Andrew Holland and Patrick Howard, 18-point flyhalf Duncan Campbell and a workmanlike pack all deserving the accolades.

Campbell, a late call-up from the KZN Academy team after star U18 pivot Fred Zeilinga was injured for Glenwood against Maritzburg College on Goldstones, looked every inch the part as his big, accurate boot landed long-range penalties and he set up the forwards from accurate touchfinders.

Pacy KZN left-winger Emil Schwarz had opportunities, but was closed down by desperate NW defence. NW just couldn’t get it right, their heavier forwards penalised time and again for transgressing at the breakdown, their backs punching passes that could have led to tries.

However, there was sloppy play that cost KZN one gilt-edged try as well as lapses in concentration resulting in the Leopards’ two touchdowns.

NW’s second try was exceptionally poor on KZN’s part.

Lumbering Leopards loosehead Koos Strauss took a quick tap as KZN went walkabout, culminating in massive tighthead Louwrens Strydom barrelling over.

In the KZN pack, flanker Jason Klaasen, lock Wade Elliott and his second-row partner and man of the match Francois Jansen van Vuuren had their moments, while diminutive ball-fetcher Meyrick Walker certainly caught the eye, and scored the try of the match.

Indeed, the match could be summed up by Walker’s touchdown 15 minutes from time.

The Leopards pack transgressed, again. Campbell found touch on the 22 and the lineout led to Alexander timing his pass perfectly for Walker to run the perfect line.

At the time of going to press, KZN head coach Tony Richter was not available for comment.

In other matches, the Valke edged Griquas in a 50-point thriller, while Free State were too strong for Border.



KZN (16) 33 Tries: Mbembe Payi, Meyrick Walker, Patrick Howard. Conversions: Duncan Campbell (3). Penalties: Campbell (4).

Leopards (7) 12 Tries: Petrus Bornman, Louwrens Strydom. Conversion: Divan Visser.



Zimbabwe 15 Griquas CD 23; Valke 24 Griquas 26; SWD 18 Pumas 26; KZN 33 Leopards 12; Free State 35 Border 13.



EP CD vs Namibia (10.10 am); Border CD vs Limpopo (11.30 am); Lions vs Blue Bulls (12.50 pm); WP vs EP (2.10 pm); Boland vs Griffons (3.30 pm).


TV: Live on SuperSport.

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