KwaZulu-Natal bounced back from their narrow defeat against the Golden Lions with a convincing 45-25 victory against SWD at the Under-16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week at the Tshwane University of Technology on Tuesday.
The Blue Bulls, Western Province and the Griffons were among five teams that remained unbeaten in a second round characterised by tight encounters.
Zimbabwe and the Blue Bulls XV also registered back-to-back victories, but they will face tough competition for places in the final match of the tournament, which is often referred to as the unofficial final.
Hosts the Blue Bulls registered an encouraging 23-10 victory against the Free State, while Western Province staged a strong second-half comeback against the Golden Lions for a 24-11 victory and the Griffons pipped Boland 24-23.
Zimbabwe also made their presence felt by edging Griquas CD 11-10, while the Blue Bulls XV beat Namibia 19-14.
The players will have Wednesday off to recover from the opening two rounds, with the final day’s play being hosted on Thursday.
KwaZulu-Natal 45 (14) SWD 25 (15)
The first half was thrilling as both teams showed their talent, which resulted in five tries being scored – three of which were by SWD.
But the Durban side found their rhythm in the second half and crossed the tryline five times in 15 minutes, two of which were by flyhalf Francke Botha to secure his hat-trick.
SWD, however, refused to give up and earned a consolation try for their efforts in the dying minutes in an attempt to salvage some pride.
KwaZulu-Natal – Tries: Andrew Reintges, Bongani Tonny Mahlangu (2), Craig Ronald Glover, Francke Botha (3). Conversions: Francke Botha (4), Lwazi Moletshe.
SWD – Tries: Lance Lamprecht, Nicolas Van Eeden (2), Xavier Swartbooi. Conversion: Darren Adonis. Penalty: Darren Adonis.
Border CD 0 (0) Leopards 46 (24)
The Leopards made up for their opening defeat in the competition by delivering a solid all-round performance against Border CD for a morale-boosting 46-0 victory. Such was the effectiveness of their performance they denied Border CD from scoring a single point, while scoring eight tries in a fine team effort.
Leopards – Tries: Adrian Jacobs, Chevane Oosthuizen, Dane Booysen, Gerhard Fourie, Izak Jonker, Kagiso Marumo, Willem-Pierre Swanepoel, Penalty Try. Conversions: Gerhard Fourie (3).
Pumas 26 (5) Eastern Province 28 (14)
The clash between the Pumas and Eastern Province was a tense affair as both teams tried hard to get on the front foot. The Port Elizabeth side, however, had the upper hand in the first half as they scored two converted tries within five minutes to only one by the Pumas to take a 14-5 lead at the break. The Pumas, however, hit back in the second half with three tries, while Eastern Province added two to their total. This earned Sibabalwe Mzanywa his hat-trick. The difference on the scoreboard, however, was an extra conversion by Eastern Province flyhalf Malan Olivier.
Pumas – Tries: Du Preez Van der Merwe, Johannes Christoffel Pretorius, Ryno Pieterse, Waldo Conradie. Conversions: Du Preez Van der Merwe (3).
Eastern Province – Tries: Sibabalwe Mzanywa (3), Sihle Njezula. Conversions: Malan Olivier (4).
Blue Bulls XV 19 (7) Namibia 14 (14)
The Blue Bulls XV staged a dramatic second half comeback against Namibia for their second victory in the tournament. Namibia had the first say with a try by back Jay-C Olivier and the Blue Bulls XV retaliated. But Namibia crossed the tryline again shortly before half time to take a 14-7 lead. The visitors, however, were unable to build on this in the second half as the Blue Bulls XV tightened up their defence and stepped up their attack, which allowed them to increase their try tally to three and secure the victory.
Blue Bulls XV – Tries: Carl Koch, Danie Rousseau, Emidio Cuna. Conversions: Tristan Janse van Vuuren.
Namibia – Tries: Christo Pienaar, Jay-C Olivier. Conversions: Delron Brandt (2).
Griquas CD 10 (0) Zimbabwe 11 (8)
Zimbabwe again showed that their development structures were improving as they secured their second victory in as many matches, this time against Border CD. The visitors, however, had to work hard for the win as Griquas CD forced their way back into the match in the second half after trailing 8-0 at the break with an early try in the second half. But two penalties by Zimbabwean centre Benjamin Daryl Meredith to only one penalty and a conversion by Griquas CD to add to their try, allowed them to edge the Kimberley side.
Griquas CD – Try: Wian Diergaardt. Conversion: Kylan Griqua. Penalty: Kylan Griqua.
Zimbabwe – Try: Adriaan Wynand Kok. Penalties: Benjamin Daryl Meredith (2).
Boland 23 (11) Griffons 24 (10)
The clash between the Griffons and Boland was epic as the teams battled it out until the last minute for the victory after finding themselves neck-on-neck for most of the game. Boland managed to sneak into an 11-10 lead at the break, thanks to two penalties and a try to two unconverted tries by the Griffons. Boland built on this in the second half with two tries in three minutes, one of which was converted. But the Griffons fought back strongly with two converted tries to take a one-point lead with seven minutes to go, which they managed to hold onto to seal the victory.
Boland – Tries: Charl Schoeman, Chrisham Lucas, Wilbur Opperman. Conversion: Keenan Lyle Williams. Penalties: Keenan Lyle Williams (2).
Griffons – Tries: David Eyssen, Dylan Stiemmie, Gift Dlamini, Richman Mzwanele Gora. Conversions: Dylan Stiemmie (2).
Blue Bulls 23 (12) Free State 10 (3)
The Blue Bulls built on their strong showing in their opening match by registering their second win in the series against the Free State. The hosts applied good pressure on attack and supported this with a solid defensive effort, which allowed them to shut the Bloemfontein side out despite their strong scrummaging and determined attempts to force their way over the tryline and. In total the Blue Bulls scored three tries to only one by the visitors, while flyhalf Ruan de Swardt added a conversion, penalty and drop goal to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Blue Bulls – Tries: Louis Van der Schyff (2), Themba Mandlati. Conversion: Ruan De Swardt. Penalty: Ruan De Swardt. Drop Goal: Ruan De Swardt.
Free State – Try: Dian Schoonees. Conversion: Rethabile Mzamo. Penalty: Rethabile Mzamo.
Limpopo Blue Bulls 23 (8) Griquas 14 (9)
The Limpopo Blue Bulls also came back from behind for their 23-14 victory against Griquas, after trailing 9-8 at the break. After kicking three first-half penalties, Griquas could only add one try in the second half, while the Limpopo Blue Bulls stepped up their game and added two tries and a penalty to force their way into the lead.
Limpopo Blue Bulls – Tries: Gavin Nel (2), Reuben Ragolane. Conversion: Andre Klopper. Penalties: Andre Klopper, Nyiko Makamu.
Griquas – Try: Bernard Jansen. Penalties: Sergio Kasper (3).
Western Province 24 (0) vs Golden Lions 11 (11)
Western Province had to work hard for their victory against the Golden Lions after trailing 11-0 at the break as the Lions retained possession in the opposition’s half and kicked the ball into space behind Western Province from their own half. They supported this with a solid defensive effort, which left the Cape side scoreless in the first half. But Province fought back with intent in the second half and managed to find the gaps in the Lions defence. Flank and captain Athi Magwala scored two of their three tries, while fullback Gianni Lombard added to the score with three conversions and a penalty.
Western Province – Tries: Athi Magwala (2), Benjamin Momberg. Conversions: Gianni Lombard (3). Penalty: Gianni Lombard.
Golden Lions – Try: Cameron Burke. Penalties: Wandisile Simelane (2).
Valke 13 (10) Border 9 (6)
Valke and Border were involved in a titanic battle, with Valke centre Marthinus Johannes Holtzhausen scoring the only try of the match. Holtzhausen was the star for his team as he scored all 13 of their points with two penalties and conversion to add to the try. Border, meanwhile, had to settle for three penalties for their efforts.
Valke – Try: Marthinus Johannes Holtzhausen. Conversion: Marthinus Johannes Holtzhausen. Tries: Marthinus Johannes Holtzhausen (2).
Border – Penalties: Jerome Bossr (3).