Day 1 of the Coca-Cola U16 Grant Khomo Week produces a humdinger

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Johannesburg 02 July 2012 ­- Western Province slotted an injury-time penalty to snatch victory over the Golden Lions in the final game of the opening game at the Coca-Cola under-16 Grant Khomo rugby week at the University of Johannesburg on Monday.

The win has given Western Province the inside lane for a place in the unofficial final of the week – Thursday’s final fixture.

It was tight for most of the game before the Lions managed to draw clear thanks to an opportunistic try by Devon Henson with 10 minutes to go, but Province struck back immediately with a try of their own, to close the gap to one point.

The hosts looked as if they might hold out, but Provinces’ Tiaan Swanepoel kept his head to kick the penalty from inside his own half to secure the win.

Swanepoel kicked two earlier penalties for Province and scored a try of his own. Their other try was by Edwill Van der Merwe.

The Lions try was scored by Devon Henson. Forrest Roos supplied the conversion and added three penalties and a drop goal.

The win secured Western Province a spot in Tuesday’s late game against the first day’s most impressive side, the Blue Bulls. The Lions were rewarded for their valiant efforts with a match against Free State, so they are alsostill in the running for a place in Thursday’s final game of the week.

The Bulls beat the Griffons 17-5, but the scoreline does not accurately reflect their dominance. They have a big, skillfull side, with plenty of pace in the backs and it’s going to take a good side to stop them.

They scored tries through Samuel Mitchell, Tristan Nel and Wildon Marsh. Nel added a conversion.

The Griffons’ try was scored by Gerrie Muller.

As is the case with all of SA Rugby’s Youth weeks, the Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week is a festival, with no overall winner, so appearing in the week’s concluding fixture is the only real prize up for grabs.

Tuesday’s two late games are sizing up as elimination games for that honour.

Among the other winners on day one were Free State, who were made to work hard for their 29-7 win over the Valke, and Eastern Province, who beat SWD 24-18 in a cracking game between two quality sides.

“All Coca-Cola Youth Weeks, of which there are four, are aimed at identifying and nurturing talent within South Africa,” said Coca-Cola SA Marketing Asset Manager, Craig Van Niekerk. “Seeing players progress through the various Coca-Cola Rugby Youth Weeks is amazing and we are proud to be the sponsor to make this transition possible.”

Day 1 Results (2 July 2012)

Griquas Country 25 Border Country 22
KwaZulu-Natal 22 Pumas 19
Leopards 20 Namibia 0
Blue Bulls17 Griffons 5
Boland 23 Border 15
Eastern Province 24 SWD 18
Zimbabwe 21 Lions XV 18
Limpopo 54 Griquas 10
Western Province 21 Golden Lions 19

Day 2 Fixtures (3 July 2012)

A field
10:30 Border 24 vs Limpopo Blue Bulls 19
11:45 Boland 23 vs Pumas 22
13:00 Eastern Province 5 vs Kwazulu-Natal 0
14:15 Free State Cheetahs 17 vs Golden Lions 15
15:30 Western Province 36 vs Blue Bulls 5

B field
10:30 Border CD 6 vs Griquas 35
11:45 Golden Lions XV 23 vs Namibia 3
13:00 Zimbabwe 18 vs Griquas CD 14
14:15 Griffons vs Falcons / Valke
15:30 SWD Eagles 16 vs NW Leopards 18

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