Day Two Grant Khomo Week Results

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WP, Blue Bulls win thrilling contests in Grant Khomo Week

DHL Western Province scored a vital second half try late in the game to keep their unbeaten record intact against the Sharks on the second day of the U16 Grant Khomo Week at Grey High School in Gqeberha on Wednesday.

 Playing the final match on the Kolisi Field, WP took the honours 19-13, but it was no easy path to victory as the Sharks were in the contest right until the end.

 Earlier the Blue Bulls also scored their second win by making intelligent use of the conditions in the second half to down a plucky Sanlam Boland side 37-28.

 Hosts Eastern Province, meanwhile, suffered further disappointment on the Pollock Oval when they lost 19-12 to the Lions in a match which was in the balance throughout. Eventually though, in the closing stages, the Lions dominated territorially to make sure they were able to keep their dangerous opponents at bay.

WP made the running in the first half against the Sharks, scoring tries by Tevez Cupido and Johan Basson, with conversions from Ethan van Biljon as they led 14-10 at the break. But the Sharks gave strong evidence that they were a team to be taken seriously with tries by Nicolas Salamousas and Nathan Aneke, making sure there was everything to play for in the second half.

They had a strong breeze at their backs after the break, but could not make any real headway against the WP defence and only had a penalty to show for their efforts. In a match which hung on the finer details, it was eventually WP who seized their opportunity through a try by Liam de Villiers after a lineout in the Sharks 22-metre area to give them a bit of breathing space.

The Bulls-Boland clash was an encounter full of vigorous play by both sides as any mistakes were instantly seized upon to put points on the board. Playing with a stiff westerly breeze, the Bolanders produced a great-hearted first half effort to lead 21-19 at the break.

 They produced some thrilling rugby in this period, but found each time that they were not able to deny the Bulls, who also crossed for three tries to enjoy a degree of parity.

 The match turned decisively in the Bulls’ favour in a purple patch early in the second half. They turned a lineout close to the Boland line into five points when hooker Charl Els scored from a driving haul and then fullback Drewyn Baron raced over for his second try after a defensive lapse.

 Suddenly, the Bulls had turned a two-point deficit into a 10-point lead and they were able to manage the game from then on, despite Boland never giving up and scoring a fourth try. Dylan Stumke added two penalties to create further scoreboard pressure and the Bulls players  stood up to the defensive requirements needed to stay in front.

 In one of the matches of the tournament so far, South Western Districts fashioned a try after the hooter had gone to edge the DHL WP XV 34-31 after an epic battle.

 It was an agonising outcome for the WP team, who were shaded by two points, also in the dying moments, by the Bulls on Monday. This gripping encounter underwent a tumultuous finish after WP XV led 28-22 with 15 minutes remaining.

 First, SWD regained the lead after a bullocking run by Zay-Winn Januarie for a converted try to put them one point ahead. Then WP XV had a chance to regain the lead with a penalty from 40 metres out, on a slight angle. This one slid past the right upright but just three minutes later they received another chance, much simpler, which was duly slotted by Caleb Bell to make it 31-29.

 As time began to run out, SWD received a lifeline when a kick by WP XV went dead in the in-goal area, giving the Southern Cape side an attacking scrum.

 They then showed commendable composure to recycle the ball through numerous phases as WP XV tackled their hearts out, only for a gap to eventually open on the right flank, allowing De Andre Meintjies to race through for the winning try.

Wednesday’s results were: 

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Picture: Supplied Grant Khomo Week