Currie Cup weekend wrap

The Lions will host the Sharks, in the Currie Cup final next Saturday after the Sharks staged a strong second-half comeback to beat the Cheetahs 20-13 and the Lions beat Western Province 29-20.

In the Absa U21 and U19 A-Divisions, the Blue Bulls comfortably won their semi-finals and will face the Lions U19s and Sharks U21s on Saturday, also at Coca-Cola Park as curtain raisers to the Currie Cup final.

Sharks 20 (3) Cheetahs 13 (13)

It took a strong second half performance by the defending champions to win their semi-final, but in the end the Sharks simply made more of their opportunities.

The visitors started like a house on fire and lead 13-0 after 24 minutes.

In turn, the Sharks missed two relatively easy penalties in the first 20 minutes and it was only four minutes before the break that they got on the board, thanks to a penalty goal by Pat Lambie.

It was a different Sharks team that took to the field in the second half, playing with much more intent and starving the Cheetahs of ball.

The visitors also seemingly lost their attacking edge, such a vital cog in their make up this year, mainly because of too many unforced errors. These proved costly in the 40 minutes of rugby during which the Cheetahs saw very little of the ball.

With Beat Mtawarira and Odwa Ndungane crossing for tries in the first 15 minutes after the break, both converted by Lambie, who looked good when he replaced Frederic Michalak at flyhalf, The Sharks took the game by the scruff of the neck and made sure they qualified for their second successive final.

In the end, The Sharks enjoyed 67% possession and had 58% territorial advantange. The Cheetahs had to make more than double the amount of tackles than their hosts and conceded 11 penalties to the Sharks’ 8.

The Sharks – Tries: Tendai Mtawarira, Odwa Ndungane. Conversions: Pat Lambie (2). Penalties: Lambie (2).
Cheetahs – Try: Hennie Daniller. Conversion: Johan Goosen. Penalties: Goosen (2).

Golden Lions 29 (19) Western Province 20 (12)

The Lions showed why they finished top of the log with a composed display to secure their first home final in nine years. They were in complete control of this match from start to finish and outscored the visitors by two tries to one.

Until the 33rd minute it was basically the Jantjies and Catrakilis Show as the two young pivots kicked the one penalty goal after the other, with the Lions having the better of this kicking duel and leading 12-9.

Then Jaco Taute crossed for the first try of the match after a good piece of attacking play by the Lions. The Lions got their second try after eight minutes of play in the second half when left wing Michael Killian intercepted a pass from Nic Groom and outsprinted the cover defence to cross in the left corner. Jantjies converted from the sideline for the home team to take a handy 26-12 lead.

They never relinquished their grip on the game, and with Joshua Strauss, Michael Rhodes, Derick Minnie, Franco van der Merwe and Wikus van Heerden all over the breakdown like the proverbial tight t-shirt, WP just could not compete, as hard as Schalk Burger tried.

Golden Lions – Tries: Jaco Taute, Michael Killian. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2). Penalties: Jantjies (5).
WP – Try: Juan de Jongh. Penalties: Demetri Catrakilis (5).

Age-group rugby

Absa Under-19 A Division Semi-finals

Blue Bulls 48 (10) Free State 13 (10) – in Pretoria
Blue Bulls – Tries: Tony Jantjies, Barend Jakobus Erasmus Wessels, Christopher Bosch, Rudi van Rooyen, Wiaan Liebenberg, William Small-Smith. Conversions: Jantjies (6). Penalty: Jantjies. Drop goal: Jantjies.
Free State – Try: Siphosethu Tom. Conversion: Daniel Rudolf Marais. Penalty: Marais. Drop goal: Kay-Kay Hlongwane.

Golden Lions 32 (20) Western Province 27 (13) – in Johannesburg
Golden Lions – Tries: Paul Willemse (2), Ruaan Stephen Lerm, Vian van der Watt. Conversions: David Schmidt (3). Penalties: Schmidt (2).
Western Province – Tries: Craig Barry (2), Carlo Hector Theron. Conversions: Dillyn Yullrich Leyds (3). Penalties: Leyds (2).

Absa Under-21 A Division Semi-finals

Blue Bulls 47 (20) Golden Lions 18 (11) – in Pretoria
Blue Bulls – Tries: Arno Botha, CJ Stander, Francois Venter, Jono Ross, Lohan Jacobs, Sampie Mastriet. Conversions: Louis Fouche (3), Willie du Plessis. Penalties: Fouche (2). Drop goal: Fouche.
Golden Lions – Tries: Andries Coetzee, Anthony Alfred Volmink. Conversion: Hein Cronje. Penalties: Cronje (2).

Western Province 12 (9) Sharks 19 (10) – in Cape Town
Western Province – Penalties: Kurt Coleman (4).
Sharks – Try: Sibusiso Sithole. Conversion: Gouws Prinsloo. Penalties: Prinsloo (4).

Absa Under-19 promotion/relegation

South Western Districts 18 (10) Griffons 14 (5) – in George
SWD – Tries: Stuart Boliter, Jerome Fillies. Conversion: Chris Willemse. Penalty: Willemse. Drop goal: Willemse.
Griffons – Try: Paul Lehoko. Penalties: Franklyn Christiano Andre Booysen, Ryno Venter. Drop goal: Venter.

Absa Under-21 promotion/relegation

Valke 20 (10) Border 22 (13) – in Kempton Park
Valke – Try: Stefanus Johannes van Staden. Conversion: Morne du Plessis. Penalties: Juan Kotze, Du Plessis.
Border – Try: Louis Johannes Kruger. Conversion: Kruger. Penalties: Kruger (5).

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