Lions find the Craven Week spark

Lions find the Craven Week spark

The Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions and Blue Bulls took top honours in the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week and Coca-Cola Academy Weeks in an exciting finish to the SA Rugby Youth Weeks series at St Stithians College in Johannesburg.

Craven Lions
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi Gallo Images

The Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions defeated the Sharks 45-18 in a thrilling final match in the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, while the Blue Bulls outplayed DHL Western Province 49-37 in the main match in the Coca-Cola Academy Week.

In stark contrast to the opening four days play in the tournaments, the other matches proved to be close, which kept fans gripped throughout the day.

The Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions got the final match of the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week off to a strong start as winger Tino Swanepoel navigated his way to the tryline in the ninth minute. 

But the Sharks hit back soon after with scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba slotting over a penalty goal, which they backed up with two tries in two minutes by Conan Le Fleur and Cham Zondeki respectively. 

The teams exchanged penalty goals soon after through centre Kennedy Mpeku and Nohamba, which pushed the Sharks 18-11 ahead going into half time.

The hosts bounced back with intent in the second half with flanker Franco Schutte crashing over the tryline two minutes after play resumed and the successful conversion saw them level the scores.

Both sides had opportunities in the following minutes, which they were unable to capitalise on. A subsequent penalty goal by Mpeku and back-to-back tries in two minutes by winger David Cary and flanker Mark Snyman, however, earned them a 17-point cushion with 12 minutes left on the clock. 

This fuelled their motivation as Mpeku inflicted further damage with a penalty, while flanker PJ Jacobs forced his way over the tryline on the stroke of fulltime for a rewarding 45-18 victory. 

Lions Sharks Craven
Photo: Gallo Images
Sharks Lions Craven
Photo: Gallo Images

In the Coca-Cola Academy Week the Blue Bulls overcame a hard-fought first half against DHL Western Province for a 49-37 victory and the honours as the top team in the competition.

Blue Bulls centre Edmund Ludik played a key role in the team’s performance with his try, four conversions and two penalty goals. The Pretoria side scored seven tries to the Capetonians’ five in a fantastic North-South derby. The victory saw the Blue Bulls finish the tournament unbeaten.

Full Results:

U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week day five results (Saturday, 22 July):

Eastern Province CD 70 Border CD 0

Limpopo Blue Bulls 34 GWK Giquas 57

Namibia 45 Zimbabwe 21

Valke 43 GWK Griquas CD 41

Eastern Province 29 Leopards 26

SWD 49 Pumas 36

Boland 12 Griffons 42

Border 40 Blue Bulls 45

Free State 54 Western Province 33

Sharks 18 Golden Lions 45

Coca-Cola Academy Week day five results (Saturday, 22 July):

Border CD 30 Griquas CD 59

Pumas 21 Eastern Province CD 27

Zimbabwe 24 Namibia 27

Sharks CD 26 Griffons 26

Boland 19 Golden Lions 26

SA LSEN 10 Griquas 22

Pumas CD 36 Valke 40

Sharks 29 Free State 38

E Province 34 Leopards 35

Limpopo Blue Bulls 31 Valke Platteland 38

Border 34 Griffons 27

SWD 14 Golden Lions 45

Blue Bulls 49 Western Province 37

Show's Stories