U18 Craven Week: Day One Review

Craven Week 2022

The return of the flagship school’s tournament, U18 Craven Week, to the SA rugby calendar was celebrated with a flurry of tackles, sidesteps, counter-attacks and ultimately tries at Rondebosch in Cape Town on Monday. Four matches were played to celebrate the resumption of the tournament in 2022 after a two-year hiatus.

No fewer than 30 tries were scored, with the two teams from the host federation, Western Province, in particular in sparkling form. The DHL Western Province team, which played the final match of the day, scored five tries in a pulsating win over Border, while the DHL Western Province XV earlier thrilled the crowd with ten tries in a 65-7 win over Fin Global Boland.

Earlier, Sharks High Schools beat Valke 33-5, and in the opening game of the tournament, Griquas and Eastern Province played a thrilling opening match, which the team from Kimberley won 39-22.

The opening game saw eight fine tries as the two teams attacked from all angles. This led to a highly entertaining game with several fluid moves, especially from the Griquas who kept attacking through their willing back line. The team from EP returned the compliment but lacked the finishing touch that the Northern Cape team showed at the start of the game. Griquas scored four more tries than EP and led 27-3 at the break, but then the team from EP came back strongly.

In an all-out attempt to play catch up rugby, they managed to scored three late tries thanks to Griquas being reduced to 14 men after a red card offense. However, Griquas clung on to the end and sealed the match with a try in the final seconds.

The Sharks v Valke match was a typical match between two well drilled teams. However, the Sharks seemed to be more disciplined and they were able to exert their dominance on the match early. Flyhalf Deano Boesak was pinpoint accurate with the boot slotting four penalties that ultimately would be the difference between the two teams.

The DHL Western Province XV were sublime against Boland as they scored at will. The skill and speed that WP displayed was top-class and Boland were never in the match. It was 34-0 at half time as Boland attempted to attack every time they got the ball which create more problems for them. Yet Western Province continued to play an enterprising brand of rugby which saw fullback Jandre Genis netting 25 points from the win.

The Final match of the day saw DHL Western Province taking an early lead in their match against Border with two quick tries. Zachary Porten, the Western Province prop, was powerful in the scrums and in the loose. Jameel de Jongh scored a third try which was answered by Border’s flanker Tiaan Jacobs which gave some respectability to the half time score of 22-11.

Sadly, for Border, despite a brave attempt, could not keep Province out as the tries continued to rain in. Luke Graham dove over early in the second half and then scored another after a Border clearance was charged down.


Day One’s scoring summary:

DHL Western Province XV 65 (34), FinGlobal Boland 7 (0)

WP XV – Tries: Matthew Beckett (2), Danio Botha, Hugo-Ben Horn (2), Aiden Muller, Angelo Daniels (2), Jandre Genis (2). Conversions: Genis (6). Penalty goal: Genis.

Boland – Try: Matt Romao.

Sharks 33 (12), Valke 5 (5)

Sharks – Tries: Simphiwe Ngobese, Wandile Mlaba, Lili Bester. Conversions: AJ Knoetze (3). Penalty goals: Deano Boesak (4).

Valke  – Try: Siyabonga Twala

Griquas 39 (27), EP 22 (3)

Griquas – Tries: Damian McClean, JP Senekal, Melvin Diedericks, Elridge Jack, Ruben Pienaar. Conversions: Wynand Botha (4). Penalty goals: Botha (2)

EP – Tries: Burrie van Heerden, Joshua Swart, Max du Pisani. Conversions: Logan Muller (2). Penalty goal: Muller.

DHL Western Province 34 (22), Border 18 (11)

WP – Tries: Luca Bakkes, Zachary Porten, Jameel de Jongh, Luke Graham (2). Conversions: Thurlon Williams (3). Penalty goal: Williams.

Border – Tries:  Tiaan Jacobs, Lindani Dweba, Michael Maseti. Conversion: Lesego Bota. Penalty goals: Bota (2).


Photo: Boshoff Photography