Day one of the Craven and Academy Week definately belonged to the loose forwards and captains. Free State captain and eightman George Cronje was everything that was expected from him and then some more. Not too far behind him was Valke captain Franco Enslin who scored a hat trick of tries in the Valke's win of 42-24 over the Leopards.
Free State lock Tian Jonker also impressed while hooker Andre-Hugo Venter did more than his part in the Free State's win over the Sharks. Juandré Odendaal showed exactly why he is so highly rated at seven for the Valke.
In the backline, Ashchaldo Kiewiet from SWD deserved his player of the day award. Kade Wolhuter was pure class at fullback, however, I do not think we saw the best at flyhalf or fullback today. At centre, the fight for selection is going to be titanic with Bocks (WP) and Botha (FS) my pairing of the day. Ruben Oosthuizen of the Leopards also caught the eye at fullback scoring two great tries while Hendrikse for the Sharks at ten definitely the pick of the day at flyhalf.
Franco Knoetze at twelve for the Free State also caught the eye with his five tries while winger Blood of the Western Province made people taking notice of him.