U21: North v South Final
U21: North v South FinalSHARE
Western Province and the Blue Bulls this past weekend reaffirmed their status as the top teams in the Under-21 provincial championship by booking their places in the Final in Cape Town on Saturday.
Both teams secured home semifinals after impressive seasons, and made the most of this advantage to book their Final berths.
Western Province pipped the determined Golden Lions 44-41 in an epic semifinal at Newlands on Saturday, which went into extra time, while the Blue Bulls produced a fine performance to beat the Sharks 36-13 at Loftus Versfeld.
The teams will meet in the Final at Newlands on Saturday in what will serve as the main curtain raiser to the Currie Cup Final.
In the first Under-21 promotion-relegation clash in East London, Border pipped the EP Kings 23-21 thanks to a penalty goal in extra time.
Blue Bulls 36-13 Sharks
In Pretoria, four penalty goals by Blue Bulls flyhalf Handré Pollard and try by fullback Jacques Rossouw in the 24th minute pushed the hosts onto the front foot in their semifinal against the Sharks.
Sharks flyhalf Duncan Campbell slotted two penalty goals to put his team on the scoreboard. But a late first-half try by replacement loose forward Dylan Nel reduced the gap between the teams to only four points (17-13 to the hosts) and set the scene for an exciting second half.
The home team, however, dominated proceedings after the break and backed up their solid attack with a fine defensive effort, which left the Sharks scoreless in the second half.
Springbok centre Jan Serfontein opened up the scoring for the visitors one minute into the half as he scored the team’s second try, which bolstered their confidence and the score.
Unfortunately for the visitors they continued to concede penalties, which allowed Pollard to increase his tally of penalty kicks to seven, while captain Wiaan Liebenberg sealed the victory with his team’s third try in the 65th minute.
For the Blue Bulls:
Tries: Rossouw, Serfontein, Liebenberg
Pens: Pollard 7
For the Sharks:
Pens: Campbell 2
Yellow card: Stephanus du Toit Genis (Blue Bulls, 76)
Blue Bulls: 15 Jacques Rossouw, 14 Kefentse Mahlo, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Travis Ismaiel, 10 Handrè Pollard, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Clyde Davids, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg (captain), 5 Irne Herbst, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Hencus van Wyk, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Justin Forwood.
Replacements: 16 Ruan Steenkamp, 17 Stephanus du Toit Genis, 18 Dennis Visser, 19 Nardus van der Walt, 20 Carlo Engelbrecht, 21 Tony Jantjies, 22 Dries Swanepoel.
Sharks: 15 Sean Robinson, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Garath Meikle, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Alcino Izaacs, 10 Duncan Campbell, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Guy Alexander, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Wade Elliot, 4 Wiehan Hay, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Franco Marais (captain), 1 Allan Dell.
Replacements: 16 Gregory Bauer, 17 Marne Coetzee, 18 David Fisher, 19 Dylan Nel, 20 Hanco Venter, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Michael Bernardt.
Referee: Lesego Legoete
Assistant referees: Tiaan Jonker, Sieg van Staden
Western Province 44-41 Golden Lions
In Cape Town, Western Province and the Golden Lions pushed themselves to the limit for a place in the Final, with the match being forced into 20 minutes of extra time after the teams finished the regular 80 minutes level at 34-34.
After a good start, the Lions edged their way into a 20-19 lead at the break, but second-half tries by Western Province flyhalf Tim Swiel and replacement loose forward Eital Bredenkamp, as well as a penalty goal by Swiel handed the Cape side an encouraging 34-20 lead with 19 minutes to go.
The Golden Lions, however, staged a strong fight back, with Mark Pretorius and Ruaan Lerm crossing the try-line late in the match. Marais Schmidt converted both tries to force the match into extra time.
WP’s Bredenkamp made a breakthrough in the 90th minute, as he touched down for his second try after a tight opening spell, and Swiel added his second penalty of the match to increase their score to 44 points.
The Golden Lions, however, had the last say with Peter-John Walters scoring the team’s fifth try on the stroke of full-time, but ultimately Swiel’s extra-time penalty goal proved to be the difference on the scoreboard.
This earned the hosts a home Final against the Blue Bulls.
For Western Province:
Tries: Barry, Williams, Bredenkamp 2, Willemse, Swiel
Cons: Swiel 4
Pens: Swiel 2
For the Golden Lions:
Tries: Engledoe, Pretorius, Walters 2, Lerm
Cons: Schmidt 5
Pens: Schmidt 2
Western Province: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Craig Barry, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Pat Howard, 11 Devon Williams, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Josh Katzen (captain), 6 Justin Benn, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Entienne Swanepoel, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Justin Ackerman.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Deacon Chowles, 18 Carel du Preez, 19 Eital Bredenkamp, 20 Jean Nel, 21 JP Lewis,22 Janco Gunter.
Golden Lions: 15 Marais Schmidt, 14 Peter-John Walters, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Damian Engledoe, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ruan Janse van Rensburg, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Fabian Booysen, 6 Stephan de Wit, 5 Lourens Erasmus, 4 Ruan Venter, 3 Nico du Plessis 2 Mark Pretorius (captain), 1 Devon Martinus.
Replacements: 16 Rikus van Niekerk, 17 Henri Boshoff, 18 Jean-Pierre du Preez, 19 Albertus Smith, 20 Matt Torrance, 21 Ashlon Davids, 22 Hanco Deale.
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha, Marc van Zyl
TMO: Shaun Veldsman