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Lions, Valke, and Griquas run rampant on final day of Grant Khomo Week

By Franco Oberholzer , in Rugby | Featured Rugby | News , at 2024-06-21 Tags: ,

GQEBERHA, SOUTH AFRICA – 17 JUNE: Lions during the match between Lions and Boland 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.

The Golden Lions, Valke and Griquas all put on master classes in running rugby, with each putting up 50 or more points, in their third and final matches of the Grant Khomo Week in Gqeberha on Friday.

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The Golden Lions kicked off the final day’s action on Kolisi Field with a thumping 66-24 victory over Border.

Their impressive outside centre, Juandré Ehlers, once again showed his immense power with the ball in hand.

He tormented the Border defenders with his powerful runs in the midfield, and twice broke through to make the dive for five.

The platform for the victory was laid by the Lions’ pack. Their rampaging driving mauls and dominance at the set pieces proved too much to handle for Border. Hooker Jeandre van der Merwe and Armand van Eck, in the number eight jumper, led the onslaught, with both going over for two tries each.

The Lions’ backline appeared to click for the first time in the week. They enjoyed good quality ball and acres of space, thanks to the dominance of their forwards.

Jaydon Viljoen, at flyhalf, sharply exploited any chinks in Border’s defences. His ability to spot an opportunity in the blink of an eye meant that Ehlers and the rest of the outside backs could smile for the cameras as they dived over the line.

The Valke were equally impressive against Border Country Districts. Valke captain Luca du Plooy led by example from the back of the scrum. He and his men brushed aside the Border boys to claim a 60-15 victory on Poyt Field. The no. 8, along with lock Matthew van Deventer, caused the Border CD defenders headaches, and they dotted down twice each.

They, however, weren’t the only ones to shine. Thanks to the dominance of their pack, fullback Duwayne Zeekoei and right-wing Mongezi Mthizi also signed off the week on a high note. Both showed immaculate footwork and loads of pace to also equally divide four tries between them. This meant that eight of the Valke’s 10 tries were scored by just four players.

Inside centre Vaughn Steynvaart, who had a good tournament with the boot, was also a try scorer on this occasion.

Flyhalf Zian Ueckerman rounded off a complete team performance with a contribution of 13 points, which included slotting four conversions and also scoring his side’s tenth and last try.

Griquas gave the Limpopo Blue Bulls a bloody nose as they, too – led by a double from utility back, Rivaldo Ruiter – put a half-century on the board in a big 50-12 victory.

One can’t help but wonder what was said at half-time by the Griquas’ coaching staff, but it must’ve been something truly inspirational. They trailed 7-12 at the break, but in the second stanza the side from the Northern Cape put the pedal to the metal and scored 43 unanswered points.

Just like in many other matches, the game opened up when Griquas let the ball do the work. Pinpoint execution and excellent finishing by the Griquas’ outside backs proved too be too much for the men from Limpopo.


Lions 66 (33) – Tries: Juandré Ehlers (2), Jeandre van der Merwe, Armand van Eck, Paballo Mocketsane, Joel Akilo, Jaydon Viljoen, Phano Letsie, Mako Mandizha, Luyanda Mbadamana. Conversions: Jaydon Viljoen (8). Border 24 (10) – Tries: Zearan Booysen, Snage Kraai, Yamkela Molose, Ahlumile Gqwetya. Conversions: Liyema Tsoko (2).

Valke 60 (33) – Tries: Luca du Plooy (2), Matthew van Deventer (2), Duwayne Zeekoei (2), Mongezi Mthizi (2), Vaughn Steynvaart, Zian Ueckermann. Conversions: Ueckermann (4). Border Country Districts 15 (3) – Tries: Ahlume

Griquas 50 (7) – Tries: Rivaldo Ruiter (2), Gadrin Assegaai, Tiaan Serfontein, Jeandre Kuhn, Duran Makoni, Heinrich Swart, Ezlin Swartz. Conversions: Duran Makoni (6). Limpopo Blue Bulls 12 (12) – Tries: Ziahn Lombaard (2). Conversion: Juan Randall.

Other results

Namibia 31 (19) – Tries: Jaydrian Jansen (2), Louis de Wet, Pedri Lacante, Lian Kittler. Conversions: Lacante (3). Zimbabwe 10 (3) – Try: Sebastiaan du Toit. Conversion: Zivai Makunike. Penalty: Makunike.

Leopards 20 (10) – Tries: Wian du Preez (2), De Wet Grobler (2). Pumas 13 (3) – Tries: Kamogelo Monkwe, Zian Hughes. Penalty: Andile Mphanhlaza.

Free State XV 31 (12) – Tries: Jannes Krause (2), Juan Swart (2), Siyabonga Bulwane. Conversions: Neo Lephailo (2). Ayden Cloete. Griffons 20 (10) – Tries: Caleb Butler, Katleho Xaba, Johannes van Niekerk. Conversion: Johannes Pretorius. Penalty: Pretorius.

Franco Oberholzer