The Golden Lions is one step closer to a spot in the final of the SA Rugby u19 Championship after defeating the Leopards by 36-26 in their second match in this year's competition. The Lions also booked their place with this victory in the "semi-final" of the newly structured national u19-competition.
The Golden Lions will face the Blue Bulls on Friday to decide who will face the top team from the southern region in the national u19 final. The hosts SA Schools' hooker, Morné Brandon, scored a hat-trick of tries as the Lions managed to oust the Leopards.
The Golden Lions already managed to built-up a healthy 26-0 lead at the break for half-time. The Lions smashed the Pumas by 111-5 in their opening match of the competition on Monday.
The Blue Bulls booked their meeting with the Lions thanks to a more than comfortable 55-17 victory over the Free State. Scrumhalf, Bernard van der Linde, and winger Siyasamkela Tyulu both scored a brace of tries as the Bulls took the match away from the visitors from Bloemfontein in the second half.
The Bulls enjoyed a narrow 19-17 lead at half-time. The Free State made use of this year's SA Schools' hooker, André-Hugo Venter, whom is the son of former Springbok flanker André Venter. Another former Springbok player, Franco Smith's, son by the same name played a pivotal role from the inside centre position.
Smith jr. is one of nine players in the Free State squad who helped the Griffons u20-side to be crowned national u20-champions earlier this year by defeating Eastern Province by 37-29 in the final in Potchefstroom. The other eight players are Jhaques Thyssen (prop), Schalk Bezuidenhout (lock), Pierre-Raymond Uys (lock), Max Williamson (scrumhalf), Jan Strydom (flyhalf), Roux Duvenhage (prop), Jaco Snyman (scrumhalf) and Martin Austen (wing).
This is a sad situation to think that there is not enough players in each of these once proud provinces to not have their own players representing the union in the respective national competitions.
The Valke proved too strong for the Pumas in the first half of their encounter as they ran out victors by 57-24. They already had an unassailable lead of 33-0 by half-time.
PHOTO: Frans Lombard/Actionpix
Golden Lions 36 (26) - Tries: Morné Brandon (3), Ekchard Boshoff, Habana Mkwanazi, Muzi Manyike. Conversions: Regardt Roets (3). Leopards 26 (0) - Tries: Jandré de Beer, Keenan Twigg, Henru Kotze, Sarel Joubert. Conversions: Zindedine Robinson (3).
Blue Bulls 55 (19) - Tries: Bernard van der Linde (2), Siyasamkela Tyulu (2), Werner Gouws, Keenan Opperman, Dawid Kellerman, Kabelo Mokoena, Eddie Swart. Conversions: Lionel April (5). Free State 17 (17) - Tries: André-Hugo Venter, Max Williamson. Conversions: Franco Smith (2). Penalty: Smith.
Valke 57 (33) - Tries: Sushi Mpofu (2), Zander van der Merwe (2), SJ Oberholzer, Thabo Ndimande, Ethan Wentzel, Juan Jansen, Henrique de Sousa. Conversions: PJ de Beer (3), Wentzel (3). Pumas 24 (0) - Tries: Tshepo Mosumo (2), Lance Smit, Armand Cloete. Doelskoppe: Smit (2).