A superb all-around performance by DHL Western Province saw them overpower the Assupol Blue Bulls 56-31 in the final match of the U18 SA Rugby Craven Week at Grey College in Bloemfontein.
The victory marked the Capetonians’ third win in the tournament, earning them the status as the only unbeaten side, while it also ensured that they finish the tournament as the top side for the second year in a row.
The win also wrapped up a rewarding day for the union, as the DHL WP side in action in the SA Rugby Academy also won their final match.
This capped a thrilling week of Craven Week rugby in which 268 tries and 1787 points were scored in 27 matches over five days of play.
DHL Western Province produced a scintillating second-half performance, which saw them run circles around the Assupol Blue Bulls, to register a pleasing 56-31 victory.
The first half proved to be a tight tussle with the teams scoring one after the other, and it reflected on the scoreboard with the Capetonians leading 21-19 at the break. But they broke loose in a fine display of their skills in the second half, which allowed them to outscore the Pretoria side by eight tries to four.
DHL WP fullback Tharquinn Manuel and Connor Evans (lock) each scored twice, while Kade Wolhuter (flyhalf) had a good day with the boot, kicking eight conversions.
The DHL Western Province XV staged a dramatic comeback from 27-21 down to force their way to a 45-30 victory against SWD, with Stephan du Toit (center) contributing a hat-trick and Dalvon Bradley Blood (winger) two tries.
The defeat for the George side marked their first of the tournament. It was thrilling first half as the teams racked up a combined total of 48 points, and they both continued to give everything as the match progressed. But the Capetonians made better use of their chances, which paid off.
U18 SA Rugby Craven Week Day Five results (Saturday, 6 July – Grey College):
Cell C Sharks 53-13 Thepa Trading Griffons
New Vaal Griquas 31-38 Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions XV
Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions 49-26 Bizhub Free State Cheetahs
Leopards 43-15 Unitrans Limpopo Blue Bulls
Border 43-26 Boland
NWU Valke 26-63 Assupol Blue Bulls XV
SWD Eagles 30-45 DHL Western Province XV
EP Elephants 38-28 Phakisa Pumas
DHL Western Province 56-31 Assupol Blue Bulls