Day of big scores in the U18 Youth Weeks

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A number of big scores were registered on day two of the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week at St Stithians College in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

There were, however, a few close encounters, with SWD defeating Eastern Province 27-22 in the flagship tournament.

The Sharks registered an impressive 53-33 victory against the Blue Bulls, while Namibia overpowered the Valke 52-36, the Leopards outplayed Old Mutual Zimbabwe 72-17 and GWK Griquas defeated Eastern Province CD 42-20 in the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week.

Outside of the results, it was notable day in the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week as female referee Aimee Barrett-Theron became the first woman to take charge of a match in the tournament.

Aimee Barrett officiating during day 2 of the 2017 U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week at St Stithians College. Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

SWD held off a strong challenge from Eastern Province for a 27-22 victory, with their prop Dian Bleuler scoring a brace for his team. The team’s packs were closely matched, but the talented SWD backline handed them the edge to outscore the Port Elizabeth team four tries to three after taking a 19-10 lead at the break.

Clyde Lewis of SWD with possession against Eastern Province during day 2 of the 2017 U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week at St Stithians College. Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

GWK Griquas’ ability to maintain their structure on attack throughout their clash against Eastern Province CD and their constant pressure paid off as they secured a 40-20 victory. The Kimberley side built up an encouraging 25-8 halftime lead and they picked up where they left off after the break to run in a total of six tries, while they defended with intent to keep the Eastern Cape side down to three.

The Sharks, meanwhile, used their solid foundation up-front to dominate the first half against the Blue Bulls, which paved the way for their six tries and an encouraging 38-7 halftime lead. The Blue Bulls fought back strongly in the second half and closed the gap to 38-28 as the Sharks reduced to 14 men for a dangerous charge into a ruck. The coastal side, however, stuck to their game plan to retain possession and earned the rewards as they added two more tries to their tally and a penalty goal, which ensured that the Pretoria side’s four second-half tries were insufficient to push them into the lead. The match was particularly special for Sharks scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba who scored a try, a penalty goal and five conversions.

Namibia staged a strong comeback against the Valke in the opening match of the day from 19-0 down to register a rewarding 52-36 victory in their first match of the tournament. The Namibian forwards laid a solid foundation for the team as they dominated the scrums, while the side did well to spot the gaps in the defence and take advantage of them, with centre Gerswin Mouton earning a hat-trick. The Valke, in turn, started the match strongly and scored three back-to-back tries, but the Namibians tightened up their defence and limited them to only two more for the match.

The Leopards delivered a solid all round performance against Old Mutual Zimbabwe, which saw them run riot on attack for a 72-17 win. The first half was competitive as the Potchefstroom side took a 20-7 lead, but they broke loose in the second half and ran circles around the defence to finish the match with 11 Tries. Fullback Bertru Jones three tries, while flyhalf Hanru Van Rooyen scored two tries, seven conversions and a penalty goal. Despite this, Old Mutual Zimbabwe refused to give up and forced their way over the tryline twice late in the match.

U18 Craven Week results

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