WP boys skin Chee­tahs for a place in show­piece

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

WEST­ERN PROV­INCE’S Un­der-19 and U21 teams will play in pro­vin­cial fi­nals next week­end af­ter se­cur­ing vic­to­ries over their Free State coun­ter­parts at City Park yes­ter­day.

The U19s com­fort­ably won 30-20, be­fore the U21s clinched a hard-fought 26-23 vic­tory.

The U21s are the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons and are through to their fifth con­sec­u­tive fi­nal, with their op­po­si­tion and venue to be de­ter­mined to­day, same ap­plies to the U19s.

Prov­ince used a nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage to score two tries af­ter the boys from Bloem­fontein had a player yel­low-carded in each half.

It was tight early on with both sides can­celling each other out with two penal­ties apiece. A counter-at­tack from the vis­i­tors from deep in­side their half reaped re­wards when right wing Carl-Jan Coet­zee dot­ted down un­der the posts. Fly­half Hein­rich Bitzi added the ex­tras.

WP were quick to draw level through Sibahle Maxwane’s touch­down af­ter scrumhalf Justin Phillips’ clever line-break from an at­tack­ing ruck.

Full­back Grant Her­manus made no mis­take with the touch­line con­ver­sion into a slight cross­wind.

The vis­i­tors were re­duced to 14 when flank Daniel Maartens was pinged for re­peated in­fringe­ments at the break­down.

An­other strong run from Phillips and one from Jac­ques Ver­meulen saw the ball worked wide and hooker Percy Mn­gadi was on hand to dive over from close range for an 18-13 lead.

Free State scored 10-unan­swered points with Maartens mak­ing up for his trans­gres­sion by get­ting a five-pointer, con­verted by Bitzi who then nailed a third penalty to put his side 23-18 ahead at the break.

WP scored eight unan­swered points af­ter the restart. Her­manus struck a penalty and con­verted Jaco Coet­zee’s try. Prov­ince’s U19s had it much eas­ier. The vis­i­tors held their own for the first quar­ter and were first to put points on the board via a penalty from fly­half Justin Tay­lor.

WP hit back with try-scor­ing ma­chine Juarno Au­gus­tus get­ting a brace be­fore half­time, tak­ing his sea­son tally to 11 (half­time 12-3). Scrumhalf Jon­dre Wil­liams then made it 15-3 with a penalty, but Free State re­sponded with a try as cen­tre Kurt Ey­bers col­lected a chip kick to make it 15-8.

Prov­ince’s fi­nal two tries were scored by cen­tres David Brits and Cor­nel Smit.

The vis­i­tors man­aged a late con­so­la­tion try from left wing Mar­nus Boshoff, but it was not enough to avoid de­feat. – Mike de Bruyn

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