Eastern Province will meet SWD in the grand finale of the Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week on Saturday following dominant performances in their opening two matches at HTS Middelburg, which left them undefeated in the competition.
This will mark the first time in 14 years that one of the current franchise unions will not feature in the final match of an Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week tournament. The last time this occurred was in the 2000 season in which the Pumas and Boland battled it out in the final match.
In their match against Free State Eastern Province piled on 19 points in the first half and Free State replied with 5 points in the second half leaving EP winners at 19-5.
Both teams delivered a high-tempo battle to end the day’s play in style, but it was Eastern Province who had the first say as they applied early pressure on attack and managed to cross the tryline first compliments of a clever chip kick, which fullback Keanu Vers gathered to score. Free State tried hard to bounce back with a few encouraging attacking phases, but this was short-lived as Eastern Province penetrated the defence, which they finished off with a classy off-load to Athi Mayinje who touched down the second try. Wing Darren Lottering scored their third try minutes later after the Port Elizabeth side took advantage of a turnover from the Free State to build up a convincing 19-0 lead at the break.
Free State gave everything to force their way back into the match in the second half, but Eastern Province put their bodies on the line on defence and the pressure proved too much for the Bloemfontein side as they made errors at vital times. Free State’s efforts, however, paid off seven minutes before the final whistle as they finally breached the Eastern Province defence for their first and only points of the match.
Eastern Province 19 (19) Free State 5 (0)
- Eastern Province – Tries: Athi Mayinje, Darren Lottering, Keanu Vers. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2).
- Free State – Try: Julian Jordaan.
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2014/07/undefeated-ep-through-to-finals/