WP Come Out Tops Fourth Successive Time In U13 Craven Week

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DHL Western Province defeated the Sharks 12-5 to win the final match of the U13 Coca-Cola Craven Week for the fourth year in a row, while the Itec Blue Bulls pipped the Sharks 23-20 in the Under-16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week, and Border secured a 15-10 victory against Western Province in the National Girls Under-18 Week.

The closing match of the U13 Coca-Cola Craven Week between DHL Western Province and the Sharks at Paarl Gymnasium was hard-fought as both teams did their best to try to work their way onto the front foot. The hosts dominated possession in the first half, and these efforts paid off with a well-worked try by wing Jade Filanie, who found space out wide to beat the defence. The Sharks, however, hit back five minutes later as a well-timed pass to Londani Mpungose allowed him to score in the corner, which left the teams tied on 5-5 going into the break.

Western Province struck again shortly after half time with a strong run up-field and a handy kick-through was gathered by Reece Montsumi, who scored to push them 12-5 ahead. The Sharks fought back with intent on attack and took the ball through phases, but the effective defence shut them out. With the clocking winding down, the Cape side once again took control of the match as they ran hard at the Sharks, but they were unable to add to their score as the their impatience on attack came at the cost of errors and turnovers at crucial times.

In the other top match-ups in the U13 Coca-Cola Craven Week, a strong start by the Itec Blue Bulls against the TW Profile Services Valke set them up for a 38-20 victory, while SWD fought back in the second half to defeat the Bidvest Golden Lions 23-14 and the Pumas registered a narrow 14-7 victory against the Leopards.

Namibia, meanwhile, defeated Old Mutual Zimbabwe 18-14 in what proved to be a tight international match, while Konica Minolta Free State produced a strong second-half showing to beat the Griffons 31-26, and Griquas recorded a 14-3 victory against Border.

In the remaining matches Eastern Province scored an impressive eight tries to outplay Border CD 48-0, while the Forever Resorts Limpopo Blue Bulls and Boland played to a 7-7 draw in a match in which all the points were scored in the first half.

U13 Coca-Cola Craven Week final round results (Friday, 8 July):

Namibia 18 - 14 Zimbabawe
Valke 20 - 38 Bulls
WP 12 - 5 Sharks
Free State 31 - 26 Griffons
SWD 23 - 14 Lions
Griquas 14 - 3 Border
EP 48 - 0 Border CD
Leopards 7 - 14 Pumas
Limpopo Blue Bulls 7 - 7 Boland