Blue Bulls set up unofficial final against Province

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Josh Van Vreden of Border PHOTO: CARL FOURIE / GALLO

It was high drama in the final match of the day between Western Province XV and the Blue Bulls as the Pretoria side’s fullback Geraldo Flusk scored a late try and converted it for a 36-34 lead with seconds to play, and they then managed to hold on for the win. The match was physical from the outset as both sides tried to use their forwards to gain ascendancy and backed it up with some determined play from their backs.

The match was physical from the outset as both sides tried to use their forwards to gain ascendancy and backed it up with some determined play from their backs.

The team from the Western Cape powered their way to a 29-10 halftime lead in a confident showing, but the Blue Bulls fought back with intent after play resumed and their tenacity paid off, with a conversion proving to be the difference in the end. Both sides scored five tries, but the Assupol Blue Bulls kicked four conversions to three by Western Province XV’s three, to add to a penalty goal by each side.

The Griffons delivered a classy performance against the Blue Bulls XV for a substantial 50-22 victory, which featured a Duncan Amsterdam (centre) hat-trick. The Griffons forwards and backs complimented each other well, while they did well to round off their try-scoring opportunities for a total of seven tries. Juan-roscoe Ruiters (winger) also made his presence felt with two tries.

The EP Elephants put their hard-running backs and forwards to good use against Griquas, which paved the way for their comprehensive 43-12 victory. The boys from the Northern Cape often found themselves scrambling on defence, especially in the first half, as the Eastern Cape outfit snuffed out the gaps in the defence and worked their way through those. This earned them an encouraging 31-5 halftime lead, which they built on after the break to score seven tries – two of which were by hooker Christopher Poole.

The Limpopo Blue Bulls were in sublime form against the Golden Lions XV as they ran hard on attack and broke through the defence at will for a 46-24 victory. The Limpopo outfit backed up this fine attacking form with brute physicality, which saw them force their way over the advantage line throughout the game. A total of six players scored their eight tries, but fullback Brandon Cronje was the stand-out player with his hat-trick. Golden Lions XV winger Sifiso Dlamini scored twice for his side, but the Johannesburg side’s defence cost them dearly.

A penalty goal in front of the goal posts in the final minute, meanwhile, saw Border edge Golden Lions 39-36 in an epic clash. Border started strongly but the Gauteng side fought back and the result was a ding-dong clash in which one team scored followed by the other for most of the match. The teams were so well balanced they entered the break tied at 17-17 and went into the final minute of the game level at 36-36 before replacement flyhalf Warrick Day kicked the winning points. Golden Lions winger Tj Maguranyanga and centre Ngia Selengbe, and Border winger Indiphile Tyeda all earned braces in the match.

U18 SA Rugby Craven Week Day Four results (Thursday, 4 July):

Limpopo Blue Bulls 46-24 Golden Lions XV

EP Elephants 43-12 Griquas

Griffons 50-22 Blue Bulls XV

Golden Lions 36-39 Border

Blue Bulls 36-34 Western Province XV

U18 SA Rugby Craven Week Day Five fixtures (Saturday, 6 July – Grey College):

08h00 –Sharks v Griffons (A Field)

08h00 Griquas v Golden Lions XV (B Field)

09h30 – Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs (A Field)

09h30 – Leopards v Limpopo Blue Bulls (B Field)

11h00 – Border v Boland (A Field)

11h00 –Valke v Blue Bulls XV (B Field)

12h30 – SWD Eagles v DHL Western Province XV (A Field)

12h30 – EP Elephants v Pumas (B Field)

14h00 –Western Province v  Blue Bulls (A Field) – SA RUGBY