Day Three Grant Khomo Week Report

grant khomo week

WP outgun Bulls in thrilling Grant Khomo Week showdown

 DHL Western Province scored twice in that crucial period before and after the break to defeat the Blue Bulls 31-22 in the feature match on the final day of the U16 Grant Khomo Rugby Week at Grey High School on Friday.

 It was a thrilling finish to an outstanding week of schoolboy rugby on the Kolisi Field and Pollock Oval, with WP never able to relax for a moment, despite holding a handy cushion for much of the second half.

 In other fixtures which were symptomatic of the competitiveness of these rising stars, the Sharks edged past South Western Districts by one point (20-19), while hosts Eastern Province kicked a last-gasp penalty to defeat the DHL WP XV 36-33.

 While it was a memorable finish by head coach Ashley Carolus’s men, you have to spare some sympathy for the WP players, who were both skilful and courageous. They lost all three of their matches by three points or less.

 The grand finale on the Kolisi Field was a showcase for the running skills of Bulls wing Yuvrah George, who ran in a hat-trick of tries, but still ended up on the losing side. Although slightly built, his quicksilver feet make him one of the most dangerous players given an inch of space and when he was in the clear, he outgunned the WP defence.

 Like Wednesday, the match was played with a westerly wind blowing down the field and although the sides battled to exit their territory, it did not have that much influence on the proceedings.

 With the wind at their backs, WP, after tries by prop Sian van Heerden and centre Johan Basson, actually trailed 15-12 just before halftime, but then they managed to create some pressure in the Bulls 22m area and forced their way over for a third try under the poles to lead 19-15 at the break. Meanwhile, George kept the Bulls in touch, the first coming when the WP defenders gave him just too much space after a kick ahead and he sprinted down the left touchline for their opening try.

 He followed that when he took the final pass after centre Kealan Cloete had put in a big run, shrugging off several WP defenders. But then came a crucial period early in the second half when WP took control to cross for two tries in the space of seven minutes. These came from hooker Kwazi Gobingca, who scored from a maul, and wing Tevez Cupido, who was put in the clear after they created space on the right flank.

 That put them 31-15 in front, but they were made to sweat in the last quarter when two yellow cards badly affected their defensive systems. It allowed the Bulls to send over George for his third try and the conversion by Dylan Stumke reduced the lead to nine points.

 At this stage the Bulls enjoyed the ascendancy, but they missed two lineouts in the final five minutes after kicking for touch following penalties and, with time running out on the clock, WP upped their defensive structure to eventually gain a memorable victory. 

 Friday’s results were:

 Namibia bt Zimbabwe 31-10

Valke bt Border Country Districts 60-15

Griquas bt Limpopo 50-12

Leopards bt Pumas 20-13

Free State XV bt Griffons 31-20

EP bt WP XV 36-33

Lions bt Border 66-24

Free State bt Sanlam Boland 33-15

Sharks bt South Western Districts 20-19

DHL WP bt Blue Bulls 31-22