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Compass points west as clinical WP downs EP on Kolisi Field

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

GQEBERHA, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 17: Yuvrah George of the Blue Bulls during the match between Blue Bulls and Western Province XV on day 1 of the u16 Grant Khomo Week at Grey High School on 17 June 2024, in Gqeberha, South Africa. Photo: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images.

Both the Western Province and Eastern Province sides will be nursing some sore bodies after their first taste of u16 Grant Khomo Week action.

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Eastern Province certainly made their next two opponents sit up and take notice after the hosts, despite suffering a 24-38 defeat to Western Province on Monday, impressed in the main match of day one.

In the first half, especially, the home side flexed their muscles and made a statement that they were here to compete.

Their outside centre, Erin Nelson, showed why he wears the no. 13 jersey. His ability to attack the smallest of gaps had the side from the Western Cape grasping for air twice as he broke through to cross the whitewash for a well-deserved double.

Up front, there was none better than the hardworking lock, Joshua van Zyl. He put his body on the line time and time again, racking up a huge tackle count.

WP hit their straps in the second half, however, and demonstrated the importance of being clinical in the opposition’s 22-metre area. Tiaan Basson, Province’s outside centre, turned the tables to put Nelson under loads of pressure with his intimidating runs in the midfield.

Displaying better continuity, Western Province turned the screws tighter. Their tighthead prop, Lehan Barnard hammered the EP defence, which finally gave way, allowing him to score a try he’ll, no doubt, be talking about for quite a while.

Their workhorse at eighth-man Hendrik Goosen and twinkle-toed utility back Tevez Cupido added tries to break open a very tight contest and see the visitors to a comfortable victory.

Western Province’s second stringers came close to causing a major upset of the unofficial defending champions, the Blue Bulls. Led by their powerful prop Qiraan Hermanus, they made life tough for the light blues from up north.

Hermanus lit the fire among the big men up front with his burly carries. Juan Visagie, their no. 8, followed suit. Their hard work was rewarded with tries.

It was, however, the light blues’ left wing, Yavrah George, who stole the show. George, looking like a young Kurt-Lee Arendse, danced his way through WP’s defence on two occasions.

Complementing George’s remarkable performance, Vihan Pretorius, the Blue Bulls’ replacement flyhalf, kept the scoreboard ticking, slotting three penalties and a conversion, which ultimately proved enough for the northern powerhouse.

A double from South Western Districts‘ Adrian Smith helped the Eagles bag an important 26-6 victory over Namibia.

If there was a theme on the day, it was of the no. 8s scoring tries and Jacobus de Villiers joined the rest of the men who play at the back of the scum, finding his way onto the scoresheet, too.

The Leopards wasted no time in making their voices heard. The side from the North West Province ran in six tries to bag the biggest victory of the day, thumping the Limpopo Blue Bulls 40-7.

The foundation for their victory was laid by their pack, which allowed their dangerous backline to give the ball some air and expose loads of space at the back.

Tighthead prop, Christo Minnie, stole the show with his energetic play, even bulldozing over for one of his side’s six tries. His flyhalf, who hails from Hoërskool Wesvalia, Wian du Preez, was in good form off the kicking tee, nailing five conversions.


Western Province 38 (14) – Tries: Tylo Hess, Lehan Barnard, Ethan van Biljon, Hendrik Goosen, Tevez Cupido. Conversions: Travis Pheiffer (4). Penalty: Pheiffer. Eastern Province 24 (15) – Tries: Erin Nelson (2), Lucretia Magua. Conversions: William Stevens (2). Penalty: Leighton Lawrence. Drop goal: Lawrence.

Blue Bulls 26 (20) – Tries: Yarah George (2), Wandile Mbatha. Conversion: Vihan Pretorius. Penalties: Pretorius (3). Western Province XV 24 (10) – Tries: Qiraan Hermanus, Juan Visagie, Ithandile Nkohla, Achmat Behardien. Conversions: Behardien (2).

South Western Districts 26 (11) -Adrian Smith (2), Jacobus de Villiers. Conversion: Mark-Hein Fourie. Penalties: Caleb Williams (2), Fourie. Namibia 6 (6) – Penalties: Sergio Pamplin (2).

Leopards 40 (26) – Tries: Christo Minnie, Thakamakhoa Kananelo, Jayden Steyn, Thabang Tsebiso, Tydiane Williams, Junior Longman. Conversions: Wian du Preez (5). Limpopo Blue Bulls 7 (7) – Try: Barnabas Nyamakupe. Conversion: Juan Randall.

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