In the U13 Coca-Cola Craven Week, hosts, DHL Western Province, who completed the 2015 edition of the tournament as the top team, started their campaign on a winning note as they defeated the Pumas 28-19 in a tightly-fought clash.
The home team raced to a 21-5 halftime lead with three tries in nine minutes, but the Pumas hit back shortly before halftime. The Mpumalanga side continued their strong fightback in the second half with two more tries, but a late try by Western Province sealed the 28-19 win.
The Griffons, Griquas, KwaZulu-Natal, Leopards and Forever Resorts Limpopo Blue Bulls also registered morale-boosting victories to kick off the tournament on a positive note.
The Griffons recorded the highest score of the day in the U13 tournament with a comprehensive 45-0 victory against Border CD thanks to an impressive seven tries, while the Limpopo side registered a 34-0 win against Border, and Griquas beat African neighbours, Zimbabwe 25-3.
The Leopards, meanwhile, registered a hard-fought 14-5 victory against Boland, who featured in the final match last season, while KwaZulu-Natal pipped Namibia 22-19.
In the only draw of the day, Free State and Bidvest Golden Lions played to a 22-22 draw. The Lions started the clash strongly and built up a 15-5 lead at the break, but a strong fightback by the Free State allowed them to secure a draw.
Under-13 Craven Week results of Day One:
Monday, July 4
Valke 19-7 Eastern Province
Valke 19 (14) - Tries: Diego Cupido, Njaqbulo Khulu, Ruan Slabbert. Conversions: Reynier Overweg (2).Eastern Province 7 (0) - Try: Liyabona Matabielie. Conversion: Divan Moss.
Limpopo Blue Bulls 34 - 0 Border
Limpopo Blue Bulls 34 (19) - Tries: Doneal Sebe, Roedolf Schoeman, Morne Pistorius, Jan du Plessis, Reatlegile Modiba. Conversions: Van Reenen Kruger (3). Penalty: Kruger. Border 0.
Kwazulu-Natal 22-19 Namibia
KwaZulu-Natal 22 (10) - Tries: Emile Manuel, Nicholas Hatton, Nkanyiso Mlotshwa. Conversions: Daniel Kriek (2). Penalty: Kriek. Namibia 19 (7) - Tries: Owen Hawanga, Patrick Haccou, Jurenzo Julius. Conversions: William Klazen (2).
Griquas 25 - 3 Zimbabwe
Griqualand West 25 (17) - Tries: Tiaan Pretorius, Reagan Izaks, Henro Nel, Carlo Louw. Conversion: Louw. Penalty: Louw. Zimbabwe 3 (0) - Penalty: Alexander Whitfield.
Free State 22-22 Golden Lions
Golden Lions 22 (15) - Tries: William Mbatha, Waldo van den Berg, Tian Muller, Kurt de Swardt. Conversion: Henre van Zyl. Free State 22 (5) - Tries: Lefa Mathinya, Kristof du Randt, Jurie Geldenhuys, Corne Volschenk. Conversion: Jean Smith.
Griffons 45-0 Border CD
Griffons 45 (0) - Tries: Tladi Phenyane (2), Wian Muller, Meshack Motsumi, Lerato Manyana, Dylan Zwahlen, David Liebenberg. Conversions: Liebenberg (4), Dendre Aucamp. Border Country Districts 0.
Blue Bulls 14-12 SWD
Blue Bulls 14 (8) - Try: Charl Ehlers. Penalties: Riaan Geber (2), Quewin Nortje. South Western Districts 12 (0) - Tries: Aubrey Adams, Dewanley van Rensburg. Conversion: Van Rensburg.
Leopards 14-5 Boland
Leopards 14 (7) - Tries: Christopher Albertus, Lesedi Moloto. Conversions: Carl Kleynhans (2). Boland 5 (0) - Try: Philip Kleynhans
Western Province 28 - 19 Pumas
Western Province 28 (21) - Tries: Keagan Smith (2), Jade Filanie, Hakeem Kunene. Conversions: Reece Montsumi (4). Pumas 19 (5) - Tries: Hanru Jansen, Joshua Johnston, Pieter Voges. Conversions: Christo Nel (2)