The 50th Anniversary of the Coca-Cola Craven Week will be brought to a close on Saturday when Western Province and the Golden Lions meet in the final game of the tournament, the main game of the last day, which has become known as the unofficial title game of the event.
There is, of course, no official champion of Craven Week. It is purely a festival of rugby, but everyone knows that, in most years, the two top sides are given the honour of playing in that last game. And the winner of that encounter has the bragging rights until the following year.
This year the two teams who will be featured are among those who have made most appearances in the week’s showpiece fixture. Western Province, in fact, have played in the main game more times than any other team, by quite a long way.
They have made 22 final game appearances down the years, followed by Free State with 17. The Golden Lions are next on the list with 12 appearances, followed by the Blue Bulls with 9.
This is Western Province’s sixth appearance in the last 10 years, and the Lions’ fifth. WP last had the honour in 2010, while this is the Golden Lions’ third consecutive final.
As far as main game victories are concerned, Western Province head the list with 11, followed by Free State on 8 and the Blue Bulls on 6.
Coca-Cola Craven Week main game results since 2000
2000: Pumas vs Boland, 19-18
2001: South Western Districts vs Blue Bulls, 26-20
2002: Western Province vs Free State, 31-16
2003: Western Province vs Free State, 22-17
2004: Free State vs Western Province, 17-16
2005: Golden Lions vs Eastern Province, 38-15
2006: Blue Bulls vs Golden Lions, 35-20
2007: Free State vs Western Province, 52-3
2008: South Western Districts vs Free State, 31-25
2009: Western Province vs Free State, 19-17
2010: Free State vs Western Province, 42-21
2011: Free State vs Golden Lions 28-17
2012: Golden Lions v Blue Bulls 47-0
2013: Golden Lions v Western Province
C Field – 9:15am Border CD v Griquas, 10.45pm Griquas Country v Leopards
B Field – 9:15am Limpopo Blue Bulls v EP Country, 10:45am Griffons v Boland, 12:15am E Province v Valke.
A Field- 9:15am Zimbabwe v Namibia, 10:45am Border v KwaZulu-Natal, 12:15am Blue Bulls v SWD, 1.45pm Free State v Pumas, 3.15pm Golden Lions v Western Province.
Heinrich Buhr of Western Province during day 1 of the U18 Craven Week
Rugby enthusiasts are fanatical in their support for their national, regional and local teams. They travel longs distances to attend matches, view broadcasts on television and also the re-broadcasts later in the week! They follow the discussions on television, radio, newspapers and the many rugby websites. They wish to know more and are hungry for information!