South Africa

U19: Blue Bulls seal semifinal spot

Mon, 16 Sep 2013 20:25
Wp-u19-v-bulls-u19
Leopards snatch last-minute win
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The Blue Bulls this past weekend took a big step forward in their hopes of finishing the round-robin stages of the Under-19 provincial championship as the top team as they stretched their lead on the log to 11 points and booked their semifinal berth with four matches remaining.

With a convincing lead on the table, the side will in all likelihood need only a bonus point victory to guarantee their home semifinal, as some of the top teams will face each other in the next few weeks.

Further down on the log, the Sharks and Golden Lions look set to battle it out for the other home semifinal, but with five teams still in the running for the other three semifinal spots, the competition is expected to come down to the wire.

In the weekend’s matches, the Blue Bulls produced a dominant performance against Western Province for a 46-16 victory in Pretoria, Free State pipped the Golden Lions 35-34 in Bloemfontein and the Leopards defeated Border 19-16 in East London.

Blue Bulls 46-16 Western Province

The Blue Bulls started their clash against Western Province with a bang as they earned a brace of five tries in the first half, which dealt a big blow to the visitors’ hopes of a victory. So dominant was their performance, Western Province’s only points in the first half were compliments of two penalties and a drop-goal by Christopher Smith.

But despite trailing 9-32 at the break, the Cape side did not give up and tightened up their defence, which limited the home side to only two more tries. They also stepped up their attack and earned the rewards with a try in the 60th minute. But unfortunately the damage inflicted by the Blue Bulls in the first half dashed their hopes of a victory.

Scorers:

For the Blue Bulls:
Tries:
Massyn, Kriel 2, Van der Westhuizen, May, Smith, Janse van Rensburg
Cons: Smith 4
Pen: Smith

For Western Province:
Try:
Van Rensburg
Con: Smith
Pens: Smith 2
DG: Smith

Free State 35-34 Golden Lions

In Bloemfontein, Free State and the Golden Lions were neck-on-neck in the first half despite a solid start by the home side which earned them 15-0 lead by the 20th minute. Both teams scored two tries and kicked a penalty to finish the first half level at 15-15.

Neither team gave an inch in the second half, as they both ran in three tries and remained in the contest until the end. So close was the match, the extra point earned by Free State’s two penalties and two conversions, compared to the Lions’ three conversions and one penalty handed the home team a narrow one-point victory.

Scorers:

For Free State:
Tries:
Gissing, Van der Westhuizen, Oosthuizen, Lee, Janse van Rensburg
Cons: Jordaan 2
Pens: Lee, Jordaan

For the Golden Lions:
Tries:
Herbst, Nel, Venter, Marx 2
Cons: Hewit 3
Pen: Hewit

Border 16-19 Leopards

A strong start by the Leopards set them up for their 19-16 victory against Border. The visitors started the clash with a bang as they crossed the try-line twice in the first 11 minutes to take a 14-0 lead. But Border managed to contain them shortly after, while flyhalf Werner Barnard earned his team’s first points four minutes before half-time compliments of a penalty.

Barnard kept the scoreboard ticking in the second half with two more penalties and a converted try to take a 16-14 lead. But a late try by Leopards flank Estehan Visagie on the stroke of full-time allowed them to snatch the victory.

Scorers:

For Border:
Try:
Barnard
Con: Barnard
Pens: Barnard 3

For the Leopards:
Tries:
September, Visagie, Rudolph
Cons: Boddington 2

Under-19 provincial championship log (under headings played, won, lost, drew, points for, points against, points difference, tries for, tries against, loss bonus, tries bonus, points):

Division A
Blue Bulls:  8 – 8 – 0 – 0 – 344 – 111 – 233 – 49 – 12 – 0 – 6 – 38
Sharks: 8 – 6 – 2 – 0 – 234 – 154 – 80 – 28 – 19 – 0 – 3 – 27
Golden  Lions: 8 – 5 – 3 – 0 – 186 – 158 – 28 – 24 – 20 – 2 – 4 – 26
Leopards: 9 – 4 – 5 – 0 – 223 – 286 - -63 – 33 – 36 – 2 – 5 – 23
Western Province: 9 – 3 – 5 – 1 – 252 – 223 – 29 – 33 – 30 – 3 – 3 – 20
Free State: 9 – 3 – 5 – 1 – 197 – 278 –81 – 26 – 39 – 0 – 4 – 18
Border: 9 – 0 – 9 – 0 – 103 – 329 –226 – 12 – 49 – 1 – 0 – 1  

Top points scorers:
91 - Jean-Luc du Plessis (four tries, 13 conversions, 14 penalties, one drop-goal)
88 - Christopher Smith (one try, 22 conversions, 12 penalties, one drop-goal)
86 - Kobus Marais (three tries, 28 conversions, five penalties)

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