The grand finale of the U16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo was equally tight. The Sharks dominated territory and possession early on and showed patience on attack, and this paid off as they scored the first points compliments of a try by Celimpilo Gumede. But the Blue Bulls levelled the scores at 7-7 three minutes later as Jurich Claasens touched down for them. With neither team giving an inch on defence both sides opted for penalty goals to inflate their scores as the half progressed, with the Blue Bulls slotting over two penalties to only one by the Sharks for a 13-10 halftime lead.
The Blue Bulls added their third penalty after the break and then added their second try after a series of phases to stretch their score to 23 points. The Sharks, however, showed composure on attack by taking a penalty before fighting back with a try in the corner minutes before full time to reduce the deficit on the scoreboard to 23-20. In a thrilling end to the match the Sharks opted for a penalty goal on the stroke of full time, but the attempt fell short, which sealed the three-point win for the Pretoria side.
In the U16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week, hosts, DHL Western Province, finished off their campaign on a high note with an emphatic 45-8 victory against Eastern Province after a competitive first half in which they led 14-8, while the DHL Western Province XV finished the competition unbeaten as they defeated Griquas 25-19.
The Bidvest Golden Lions, meanwhile, forced their way back against SWD after the George side scored two tries in the first four minutes, with the Lions taking a narrow 19-18 lead at the break. The Johannesburg side came out firing after play resumed and scored their first of another three tries five minutes into the half, while SWD were able to force their way over the chalk once more and had to settle for a 34-35 defeat.
The Pumas also finished the tournament with a solid 35-14 victory against the Leopards after finding their rhythm after the break, while the Boland XV went down 26-16 against the Free State and the Limpopo Blue Bulls beat the Valke 33-17.
In the international match, Zimbabwe toppled Namibia 15-5, and the Griffons thumped Border CD 57-0 in their clash.
U16 Cola-Cola Grant Khomo Week final round results (Friday, 8 July):
|Boland XV||16||-||26||Free State|