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Brilliance from Boland sees Lions stumble on first day in Gqeberha

By Franco Oberholzer , in Rugby | Featured Rugby | News , at 2024-06-17 Tags: ,

GQEBERHA, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 17: Olwethu Kosani of the Sharks during the match between Free State and the Sharks on day one of the u16 Grant Khomo Week at Grey High School on June 17, 2024, in Gqeberha, South Africa. Photo: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

Monday, 17 June 2024, will be a day that the Boland u16 Grant Khomo side and its coaches will remember for a long time.

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The side from the Western Cape caused the first upset of this year’s tournament, stunning the Golden Lions with a memorable 21-16 victory in the second match of the first day on Grey High School‘s Kolisi Field, in Gqeberha.

Their five-point victory was set up by an exciting and dominant first half. Early on, the Bolanders hit their straps, especially their speedsters at the back.

Darren Makeza, the Bolanders’ fleet-footed left wing, broke through early to score the first try of the contest. He, along with the fullback, Anwill Josh, made life difficult for the Gauteng side, keeping them guessing when he joined the attack.

With Boland running rampant, the Lions were continually turned and forced to scramble on defence.

Lock Nieken Lubbe capitalised on this, storming up the field to cross the whitewash for his side’s second try. While Boland looked energetic and enterprising, the Lions appeared flat-footed, and they struggled to create continuity.

They found a way back into the game, however, when their burly outside centre Juandré Ehlers took advantage of some lazy midfield defence to go over for his side’s only try.

Anthony Viljoen kept the side from up north within touching distance with a near-perfect kicking performance, which included slotting three penalties and converting Ehlers’ five-pointer.

In a proper arm wrestle, two tries in the space of five minutes, shortly before the final whistle, saw the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks down Free State.

Leading by 10 points at the break (17-7), the Free Staters kicked off the second half as firm favourites to bag a win, but a determined performance from no. 8 Nhlandhla Ndlovu and the Sharks’ pack swung the momentum in favour of the KwaZulu-Natalians.

Inside centre Olwethu Kosani’s five-pointer proved to be the deciding score as the KZN boys secured a 26-20 victory.

The Free Staters were, mostly, excellent, but they struggled to round off their good work. Flyhalf, O’Ryan Kleyn was fantastic. Not only did he kick well at goal, but he impressed on the attack and his scramble defence was superb, saving his side on numerous occasions.

A man-of-the-match performance by Hoërskool Nelspruit and Pumas’ eighth-man, Vian Louw, helped the side from Mpumalanga capture their first victory of the tournament as they powered their way to a handsome 39-14 win over Griquas. Louw contributed a try and also slotted two conversions to contribute nine points to his team’s total.

Pumas’ outside centre Nhlakanipho Mahlangu was, without a doubt, another contender for the man of the match award. He kept the Griquas midfield busy with his bullocking runs and twice broke through for tries.


Boland 21 (15) – Tries: Anwill Josh, Nieken Lubbe. Conversions: Joshua Arnoldus (2). Penalties: Jano van Deventer (2), Arnoldus. Golden Lions 16 (3) – Try: Juandré Ehlers. Conversion: Anthony Viljoen. Penalties: Viljoen (3).

KwaZulu-Natal 26 (7) – Tries: Milisuthando George, Lwazi Mbede, Nathan Aneke, Olwethu Kosani. Conversions: Johannes van der Walt (2), Cilermo Carolus. Free State 20 (17) – Tries: Jonathan Drysdale, Ruan Roux. Conversions: O’Ryan Kleyn (2). Penalties: Kleyn (2).

Pumas 39 (20) – Tries: Nhlakanipho Mahlangu (2), Jeandré Cornelius, Ewan van der Merwe, Vian Louw. Conversions: Andile Mphahlaza (2), Vian Louw (2). Penalties: Mphahlaza (2). Griqualand West 14 (0) – Tries: JG van Heerden, Anethemba Gubula. Conversions: Ezlin Swartz (2).

Other results

Free State XV 29 (5) – Tries: Samson Lackay, Kia Kabu, Johan Dormehl, Keaton Pottas. Conversions: Sean Brown (3). Penalty: Brown. Border Country Districts 7 (7) – Try: Esam Tokwe. Conversion: Indiphinde Ngoma.

Griffons 17 (7) – Tries: Omphile Maphira, Kathelo Xaba. Conversions: JC Pretorius (2). Penalty: Pretorius. Valke 15 (7) – Brandon Matthews, Almero Gerritson. Conversion: Vaughn Steynvaart. Penalty: Steynvaart.

Border 26 (12) – Tries: Ncutu Kepe (2), Likhanyile Mampunye, Pindokuhle Mdalana, Liyema Tsoko. Conversions: Tsoko (3). Zimbabwe 20 (8) – Tries: Sean Mahere, Lee Chigumba, Rukudzo Mayida. Conversion: Mayida. Penalty: Mayida.

Franco Oberholzer
error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.