Middelburg, 16 July, 2014.
South Western Districts probably booked their place in the unofficial final of the Coca-Cola Craven Week by beating Western Province 38-23 in the late game of the third day of the tournament at HTS Middelburg on Wednesday.
It was something of a surprise result, and it put paid to Western Province’s chances of making a clean sweep of Coca-Cola Youth Week main games for the second year in a row, but SWD were convincing winners in the end and they are certainly worthy contenders for the only accolade that the week has to offer.
The Young Eagles played with fierce determination throughout the game. Their defence did not allow the dangerous Province backline to ever get going, and they dominated the loose phases and kickoffs.
The game was closely contested at first and they fortunes turned SWD’s way when their winger Shadward Fillies scored a long range try after his side regained possession form a kickoff, and minutes later, he snaffled an interception and went over under the posts to make the game safe.
SWD centre John Thomas Jackson also scored two tries, and did the goal-kicking, and was named man of the match for his contribution.
The other SWD tries were scored by Niven Langdown and Le Roux Baard.
Western Province have a huge forward pack and they dominated the set pieces, but their backs could never really get going and they were unable to breach determines SWD defence.
They scored tries through Mervano da Silva and Aidyn Cupido. Johndre Williams kicked two penalties and Aidyn Cupido one. Replacement Tiaan Swanepoel slotted a conversion.
There was more heartache for the hosts. After losing by a single point to the hosts on day one, they allowed KwaZulu-Natal to get too far ahead early on in their second encounter and despite finishing strongly, they were beaten 38-27 and face the prospects of a minor fixture, on their own field, on the final day.
Jakobus Coetzee and Morne Joubert scored two tries each and Curtis Jonas one for KZN. Curtis also kicked four conversions.
For the Pumas Mafundo Ndlovu, Barend Smit, Diyabonga Masuka and Chrisjan Steynberg (two) scored tries. Steynberg added one conversion.
In earlier games. Border beat the Limpopo Blue Bulls 78-17, Griquas Country beat Zimbabwe 26-20 and the Griffons were 33-15 winners over Eastern Province Country.
On day four Eastern Province and Free State meet in the main game of the day today. The winner of that encounter will be unbeaten and will in all likelihood meet SWD in Saturday’s concluding fixture.
Griquas Country 26 Zimbabwe 20, Border 78 Limpopo 17, Griffons 33 Eastern Province Country 15, KwaZulu-Natal 38 Pumas 27, SWD 38 Western Province 21.
Namibia v Border Country, Boland v Griquas, Valke v Leopards, Blue Bulls v Golden Lions, Eastern Province v Free State.