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Xerox Griquas let it slip against Border despite holding half-time lead

Picture:Danie van der Lith

DHL Western Province kept alive their hopes of taking top honours in the Under-13 Coca-Cola Craven Week for the sixth year in a row as they beat the Itec Blue Bulls 17-8 to join their Western Cape counterparts, Boland, as the only unbeaten teams going into Friday’s final round at Hoërskool Diamantveld.

The match between Western Province and the Blue Bulls was a battle of attrition as both teams used their big forwards in attempt to force their way onto the front foot, and the scoreboard reflected that early on as the Bulls took a 5-3 lead before the Cape side powered their way to a 17-8 victory.

Boland’s raw pace and ability to navigate their way through and around the defence earned them a comprehensive 33-8 victory against SWD, which stretched their winning run to three matches. SWD fought hard to make their presence felt throughout the clash, but they managed to break through the defence only once. Boland, in turn, touched down five times with Jovawn Visagie and Boytjie Diedericks each scoring twice.

The Pumas were in sublime form against Border Country Districts as they delivered a balanced showing to run in an impressive eight tries for a rewarding 48-0 victory.

A strong first half by Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions paved the way for their 32-15 victory against their Gauteng neighbours, the ITS Valke, with six of their players crossing the tryline in the match.

The Leopards found their rhythm in the second half against the Thepa Trading Griffons to earn a 24-5 victory thanks to their four tries to one. The first half was tightly-contested as both teams tried to use their physicality to gain ascendancy, and the only points scored was a converted try by the Leopards. But the momentum shifted in favour of the Potchefstroom outfit as the match progressed.

Border used their pace out wide and superior finishing skills to capitalise on their solid attacking play as they secured a 22-5 victory against hosts, Xerox Griquas, after holding a narrow 7-5 half-time lead. The home team fought hard, but they were unable to breach the defence in the second half, forcing them to settle for a single try for their efforts.

Forever Resorts Limpopo and the Free State were involved in a hard-fought clash in which the teams were level at 10-10 at the break before Limpopo nudged ahead, scoring four tries to three for a narrow 20-17 victory.

The clash between Eastern Province and the Sharks was equally tight as both teams ran hard on attack and showed commitment on defence, but the Eastern Cape side edged through for an 18-17 win.

In the international, a late try by Namibia earned them a 10-8 victory in a competitive clash against Zimbabwe after the teams were level on 5-5 at the break. Both sides made good breaks on attack, but their efforts were countered by the determined defence, which resulted in only three tries being scored in the match.

The Under-13 and Under-16 Coca-Cola Youth Weeks will conclude today in a jam-packed day of action featuring 18 clashes, with the top teams battling it out for the honours in the final matches of their respective tournaments.

Yesterday’s Results

Under-13 Coca-Cola Craven Week day three

Free State 17-20 Limpopo

Pumas 48-0 Border CD

Xerox Griquas 5-22 Border

Leopards 24-5 Griffons

Eastern Province 18-17 Sharks

Golden Lions 32-15 Valke

SWD 8-33 Boland

Western Province 17-8 Blue Bulls

Namibia 10-8 Zimbabwe

Today’s Fixtures

Under-16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week final round

(9.30am): Border vs Eastern Province (A Field); Namibia vs Zimbabwe (B Field); Sharks vs Griquas (C Field); Border CD vs Limpopo (D Field)

(11.45am): DHL Western Province v SWD (A Field); Valke vs Boland (B Field); Golden Lions vs Pumas (C Field);Griffons vs Leopards (D Field)

(2pm): Free State vs Blue Bulls (A Field)

Under-13 Coca-Cola Craven Week final round

(8.30am): SWD vs Eastern Province (A Field); Valke vs Limpopo (B Field); Griffons vs Old Mutual Zimbabwe (C Field); Namibia vs Border CD (D Field)

(10.45am) Blue Bulls vs Golden Lions (A Field); Sharks vs Border (B Field); Xerox Griquas vs Leopards (C Field); Pumas vs Free State (D Field)

(1pm): Western Province vs Boland (A Field)