In a day where large victories was scored in most of the matches, everybody was looking forward to the final match of the day. And boy what a spectacle was served.
Western Province was in no way disgraced, maybe a but surprised. Boland came out and passion was seen all over. From the first intercept try by their no 1, Thomas Bezuidenhout till the last second of the match. A full match report will be available later.
In the U16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week the Bidvest Golden Lions and KwaZulu-Natal built on the fine form that earned them places in the final match of the tournament in Oudtshoorn last season, with the Lions defeating the Konica Minolta Free State 50-15, while KwaZulu-Natal beat the Pumas 51-7.
Boland, meanwhile, got the better of their Western Cape neighbours, DHL Western Province, in the final match of the day, as they held their nerve in a nail-biting closing match for a 20-12 victory.
A few other teams also made their presence felt on the opening day with big wins, with the Blue Bulls defeating their sister union, the Limpopo Blue Bulls, 62-15, while the Leopards beat Border 38-11, Zimbabwe defeated Border 41-0 and SWD worked their way to a 20-0 win against Namibia.
The opening day was also rewarding for Griquas, the Western Province XV and Boland XV.
The Bidvest Golden Lions chipped away at their Bloemfontein counterparts in the first half of their clash and managed to build up an encouraging 21-10 lead at the break.
They continued to apply pressure in the second half as their forwards and backs combined well, while their slick passing and effective support play, earned them a total of eight tries. The Konica Minolta Free State, meanwhile, were only able to touch down twice with one successful conversion, while they added a penalty for their 15 points.
KwaZulu-Natal also used the first half to lay a solid foundation in their clash against the Pumas, and built up a 10-0 halftime lead. But they found their rhythm in the second half and earned the rewards as they scored seven tries for their 51 points.
The Blue Bulls, meanwhile, registered the biggest victory of the day as they cruised to 62-15 victory against the Limpopo Blue Bulls, with the team running in an impressive 10 tries to only two by the opposition. Such was the team’s dominance, they marched to a 33-3 halftime lead, and they continued to pile on the pressure after the break, while they did well to capitalise on their chances.
The final match of the day between DHL Western Province and Boland was exhilarating as both teams gave everything on attack and defence to gain an advantage on the scoreboard. Boland took a narrow 8-5 lead in the first half as prop Thomas Bezuidenhout intercepted and raced 50m to score the first try of the match. The hosts, however, crossed the tryline shortly before the break, while Boland added a penalty to take the lead.
The second half was equally tense as the teams both created chances on attack, but they were denied by the tenacious defence at crucial times. Both teams, however, added a second try, but Boland held a narrow 13-12 lead with minutes to go in the clash.
A try in the dying seconds by Boland after spreading the ball wide from a scrum, combined with a solid defensive effort, which forced Western Province into making errors at vital times, however, earned them a fine 20-12 victory.
Under-16 Grant Khomo Week results of Day One:
Monday, July 4
KwaZulu-Natal 51 - 7 Pumas
Golden Lions 50 - 15 Free State
Griquas 13-10 Eastern Province
Blue Bulls 62 - 15 Limpopo Blue Bulls
SWD 20 - 0 Namibia
Leopards 38-11 Border
Zimbabwe 41-0 Border CD
Boland 34-24 Falcons
Western Province XV 13 - 12 Griffons
Boland 20-12 Western Province