Eastern Province will make history on Saturday when they face the Blue Bulls in the ABSA Under 19 Competition, as the young men from Port Elizabeth will play their first final at Emirates Airline Park, after beating the Cheetahs 31 – 15 in their semifinal last week Friday.
The second semifinal in Cape Town was a much closer affair as the Blue Bulls held on to a single point to beat Western Province 30 – 29, despite a last minute penalty kick from Province.
The Bulls are very familiar with Saturday’s proceedings as they have played in the last five finals, but unfortunately for the Pretorian side they have only managed to win the 2013 tournament when they beat the Lions 35 – 23.
Eastern Province boast with an impressive eleven wins from twelve matches as they finished top of the log, a position they held from Round 3, six points clear of the second placed Blue Bulls on 44 log points. The Bulls are also the only team who could manage to beat Eastern Province in Round 13, 49 – 26.
The coaching staff opted to stick with their winning formula as they only made one change to their matchday squad as scrumhalf Sibusiso Ngeokovane replaces Davron Cameron on the bench.
Flyhalf Michael Brink finished top points scorer for Eastern Province after the round-robins on 105 points which includes 1 try, 20 conversions and 20 penalties. Scrumhalf James Hall finished second on 44 points with 1 try, 9 conversions and 7 penalties. Eighthman Junior Pokomela is the top try scorer with 8 tries and left wing Athi Mayinje and flanker Stephanus Nieuwoudt share 6 tries each.
Kick-off is at 9:30 and the match will be televised live on SuperSport 2.
15 Keanu Vers 14 Mabhutana Peter 13 Yamkela Nyalambisa 12 Jeremy Ward (capt) 11 Athi Mayinje 10 Michael Brink 9 James Hall 8 Junior Pokomela 7 Hayden Tharatt 6 SF Nieuwoudt 5 Lusanda Badiyana 4 Robert Lyons 3 Nicolaas Oosthuizen 2 Thango Balekile 1 Greg Jackson
16 Masikane Mazwi 17 Xandre Vos 18 Matthew Howes 19 Wihan Coetzer 20 Xholisa Matshoba 21 Sibusiso Ngeokovane 22 Garrick Mattheus 23 Dominik Uytenbogaardt
15 Kurt Webster 14 Coneree Poole 13 JT Jackson 12 Franco Naude 11 Divan Rossouw 10 Tinus de Beer (capt) 9 Stephan Enslin 8 Denzel Hill 7 JD Fourie 6 Arnold Gerber 5 Eli Snyman 4 Sam Mitchell 3 Jaco Holtzhausen 2 Alandre van Rooyen 1 Gavin van der Berg
16 Janqgo Henning 17 Madot Mabokela 18 Rohan Goosen 19 Hendre Stassen 20 Luigy van Jaarsveld 21 Dale Hendricks 22 Ruan de Beer 23 Tshepiso Mahasha