Four sides – Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions, Blue Bulls, DHL Western Province and Border– kept their winning streaks intact at Jeppe High School in Johannesburg on Wednesday, as Day Two of the SA Rugby Under-16 Girls Week concluded.
The standard of play again provided the spectators with excitement and drama, even more so as the hosts just managed to scrape through with a 12-10 win in their match against the Pumas.
Day Two did not deliver any blow-out results, but with 611 points and 104 tries being scored, the crowd were treated to a number of very competitive matches.
Such a match was between the Free State Cheetahs and Griffons. The clash between the two Free State teams proved to be a real battle for provincial bragging rights. The Griffons will claim that thanks to a try by flyhalf Lusa Vanga, which confirmed the 10-7 win over the Cheetahs.
The Griffons got the only try of the first half thanks to lock Maki Disenyane and held a five-point lead at the break. Free State scored a try and a penalty in the second half, but it was all in vain as the second try by the Griffons gave them the edge at the final whistle.
Boland responded well after a heavy defeat against the Blue Bulls on Monday, to outplay the Leopards 32-22 in a match that yielded 10 tries. Two Boland players, Jayme Julies (prop) and Cassia Julius (wing) scored three tries apiece. The Leopards held a 10-5 lead at the break, but could not quite keep up with the pace of the game played by the Cape side.
The Blue Bulls keep their winning streak intact with a solid 22-7 win over Border Country Districts. It was a dominant performance by the Blue Bulls pack that laid the foundation and no 8, Marema Mpja, used this platform to score three tries of her own. The Pretoria side were 10-0 up at half-time and kept that dominance in the second half, where both teams managed a try apiece.
The SWD Eagles got their first win in Johannesburg with a 24-5 defeat of the Sharks. The Southern Cape side scored four tries in the second half of their match to outlast the KZN team. The Sharks were up 5-0 at the break following a try by prop Sinothile Bhengu, but the outside backs of SWD proved deadly in the second half. SWD made things hard on themselves though, with three yellow cards due to various infringements.
Griquas delivered a surprise of sorts by outplaying Valke 20-7 after leading 15-0 at the break. The Valke had a good win over Free State on Monday (29-10), but found the other heartland team much more demanding. Lively no 8 Mikyla Bennett scored a brace for the Kimberley side to earn them a first win at the tournament.
A much-anticipated clash between Pumas and Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions delivered all the drama expected. Both teams scored at will on Monday, but this time around, defence ruled the day as the home side edged their easterly counterparts 12-10. Both sides scored two tries, with flanker Katlego Legodi's effort the only points of the first half. Legodi secured her brace in the second half, with Anele Xaba's conversion the deciding factor as the Pumas could not convert their five pointers scored by prop Lindi Mazibuko and flyhalf Nontokozo Nkosi.
Border stayed on the winning track by outplaying Limpopo Blue Bulls 29-7. They had a strong first half and scored four tries to jump into a 24-7 lead. They scored the only try of the second half, as the Limpopo side tightened their defences. Impressive Limpopo lock, Vaina Ubisi, scored her team’s only try to add to the brace she scored on Monday.
The DHL Western Province side is an entertaining one, but also not scared to do some defending. They did that pretty well against EP Elephants in their 22-6 win, restricting their Eastern Cape opponents to only two first half penalties. Once DHL WP, who were up 12-6 at the break found their stride, they scored two unanswered tries in the second half to keep their unbeaten record at the tournament.
SA Rugby Girls Under-16 day two results
Boland 32-22 Leopards
Griffons 10-7 Free State Cheetahs
Blue Bulls 22-7 Border Country Districts
Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions 12-10 Pumas
Griquas 20-7 Valke
SWD Eagles 24-5 Sharks
DHL Western Province 22-6 EP Elephants
Border 29-7 Limpopo Blue Bulls
The Under-16s have a rest day tomorrow, with a full set of matches in the Under-18 Girls Week being played at Jeppe Boys High.
The SA Rugby Under-18 Girls Week fixtures are:
Thursday, 19 June
10h00: Pumas v Griffons
10h00: Border Country Districts v Leopards
11h15: Boland v Free State
11h15: Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions v Griquas
12h30: Border v Sharks
12h30 EP Elephants v Limpopo Blue Bulls
13h45: Old Mutual Zimbabwe v Blue Bulls
15h00: DHL Western Province v SWD Eagles