It would take an exceptional effort from the other teams at the Saru u17 Interprovincial Sevens tournament to dethrone the defending champions. Western Province. The annual tournament is hosted at the Fanie du Toit Stadium in Potchefstroom.
Western Province will face Free State in the first quarterfinal of the tournament tomorrow morning. Before Free State’s last match of the opening day against the Golden Lions it seemed that they were the main contenders to dethrone Western Province.
Western Province eased past the SA LSEN (42-5), Blue Bulls (31-5) and the Pumas (17-5) in their three pool matches. Gideon van Wyk, Javier Farmer and Tiaan Swanepoel were key players for the team from the Western Cape.
Free State impressed in their first two matches by beating Griqualand West (46-0) and the Leopards (38-12). The team from Bloemfontein’s Paschal Ekeji, Ian Small-Smith and Jacobus Cloete could feel happy with their performances on the day.
The Golden Lions however kept their best performance for this vital match and defeated the Free State convincingly by 47-17 to finish on top of Pool D. The Golden Lions struggled earlier against Griqualand West and only managed to secure a 27-24 victory thanks to a late try by Jaydian Petrus.
The Lions will face the Blue Bulls in their quarterfinal. The Lions’ Henco van Wyk and Christiaan Bezuidenhout impressed with their performances in Potchefstroom.
Eastern Province also impressed with their performances, but also struggled against the Limpopo Blue Bulls (33-29). South Western Districts finished second in Pool D and will face the unbeaten Griffons in the quarterfinals.
The Griffons only played two matches against Boland (22-14) and the Valke (22-19) on the opening day. Border withdrew from the tournament a day before. The withdrawal of Border is frowned upon as it withholds the players from a valuable opportunity.
Both Neil Powell (Blitzbok coach) and Marius Schoeman (SA Sevens Academy manager) attended the tournament.
Pool A: Western Province 42, SA LSEN 5; Blue Bulls 29, Pumas 12; Western Province 17, Pumas 5; Blue Bulls 31, SA LSEN 12; Pumas 24, SA LSEN 10; Western Province 31, Blue Bulls 5.
Pool B: Sharks 33, Limpopo Blue Bulls 12; Eastern Province 35, South Western Districts 12; Eastern Province 17, Sharks 14; South Western Districts 47, Limpopo Blue Bulls 12; South Western Districts 17, Sharks 14; Eastern Province 33, Limpopo Blue Bulle 29.
Pool C: Griffons 22, Valke 19; Valke 26, Boland 22; Griffons 22, Boland 14.
Pool D: Golden Lions 43, Leopards 7; Free State 46, Griqualand West 0; Golden Lions 27, Griqualand West 24; Free State 38, Leopards 12; Golden Lions 47, Free State 17; Griqualand West 21, Leopards 15.