The EP Kings and Vodacom Blue Bulls Under-19 teams will host this weekend’s Absa Under-19 Provincial Championship A-Division semifinals. The Kings will host the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, who won 41-30 against the Cell C Sharks in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The EP Kings bounced back in emphatic fashion on Friday from a first competition defeat last weekend and outclassed DHL Western Province 23-6 at DHL Newlands on Friday. With this win, the Kings secured their top spot for this weekend’s semifinals.
The Bulls are 6 points behind the Kings who have ammased 50 points in the competition after winning 11 of their 12 matches and gaining 6 bonus points.
Two tries inside the opening 25 minutes saw the EP Kings lead by 20-3, before both sides exchanged penalties ahead of the break to make it 23-6.
Both teams had their chances in the second half, despite there being no change on the scoreboard. A win for WP would have seen them finish at least second on the log and thereby host a semifinal (a bonus point win would have secured first place). The Kings proved why they are so highly rated this year and their defence left WP without a try, a feat in its own right.
- DHL WP 6 (6). Penalties: Tiaan Swanepoel (2).
- EP Kings 23 (23). Tries: Junior Pokomela, Stephanus Nieuwoudt. Conversions: Michael Brink (2). Penalties: Michael Brink (3).
The DHL WP’s defeat at home cost them second spot and they will now have to travel to Pretoria, where they will face the Vodacom Blue Bulls (who had a bye) at Loftus Versfeld.
The Xerox Golden Lions earned a bonus point in their tight 24-18 win over the Leopards, but still came up short on the log. They finished one point short of the Cheetahs for a fifth place finish. The Leopards finished sixth and the Sharks props up the log.
On Thursday, the Down Touch Griffons defeated the Steval Pumas 24-21 in the Absa Under-19 B-Division final in Potchefstroom after leading 17-16 at halftime. Run of play commentary of this match is available here.
The results of the last round of A-Division matches are:
Xerox Golden Lions 24 (24), Leopards 18 (13)
The home side were trailing 10-0 after 22 minutes of play, but four tries in the next ten minutes secured a bonus point and created the buffer needed to outplay a determined Leopards side in Johannesburg on Saturday. The second half was a tight affair with the Potchefstroom side scoring the only try. This win just left the Lions short of a play-off place as they finished fifth, one point behind the Free State.
- Xerox Golden Lions 24 (24). Tries: Barend Smit, Jo-Hanco de Villiers, Paul de Beer, Stean Pienaar. Conversions: Hendrik Mulder (2).
- Leopards 18 (13). Tries: Edward Haas (2), Ruan Groenewald. Penalty: Barend Janse van Rensburg.
Toyota Free State 41 (12), Cell C Sharks 30 (20).
The Sharks finished a disappointing season with a defeat in Bloemfontein, but it was not due to a lack of trying. They held a solid 20-12 lead at the break, but could not contain the home side in the second half.
The Cheetahs dotted down four times and the Sharks once in the second stanza and that determined the final result. A red card to flanker Bernard Haring in the second half also did not help matters for the Sharks.
- Toyota Free State 41 (12). Tries: Alex Jonker (2), Charl Pretorius, Llewellyn Hein, Niell Stannard, Ruan Wasserman, Victor Maruping. Conversions: Ruan Wasserman (3).
- Cell C Sharks 30 (20). Tries: Bradley Roberts, Jaya Juries, Tristan Blewett (2). Conversions: Tristan Tedder (2), Penalties: Tristan Tedder (2).
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/ep-kings-on-top/54635/2015/10