Eastern Province inflicted a 37-0 defeat on the Blue Bulls at the U18 Craven Week at St Stithians in Johannesburg on Thursday, reports MARIETTE ADAMS.
With scrumhalf Chadd Adams marshalling the troops on attack and captain Bevan Prinsloo leading the way in defence, all the initiative was with EP, who played with ambition and abandon from the outset. This was reflected on the scoreboard.
By contrast, nothing seemed to be going right for the young Bulls. They were outsmarted by KwaZulu-Natal on day two and completely outmuscled by EP on day four. They could have been forgiven this set of results had they at least produced better performances, but the Bulls have been nowhere near competitive. Even when they were on the front foot and making easy metres, they ended up making costly errors.
EP were so dominant at the scrum that referee Aimee Barrett felt the need to encourage the Bulls midway through the first half, saying, ‘Give it a bit of competition, otherwise we’ll have an easy game’. It’s fair to say, the Bulls didn’t heed her plea.
Tireless leader Prinsloo got his team’s opening try in the seventh minute when he cut back on the inside and beat four defenders to score. It didn’t take them long to breach the Bulls’ defence again, as wing Juandre Sabbat and wing Ayabonga Matroos dotted down.
Matroos’ effort was especially comical, as the Bulls – off the back of a defensive scrum on the 5m line – threw a wild pass that skipped out three players. The ball didn’t go to hand and EP’s outside centre pounced by just planting his hand on the ball behind the posts for the try.
While the Bulls continued to struggle to communicate, and as such struggled for structure in the second half, Eastern Province were brimming with confidence.
Tighthead prop Le-Kleu Stokes bashed his way over the tryline and moments later Prinsloo completed his brace for a 27-point lead.
EP lock Dumisa Ngcivana was then yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle, but the Bulls failed to exploit the numerical advantage. Instead, EP’s unrelenting pressure resulted in another try by flyhalf Rodwill Baatjies, before fullback Dylan le Roux capped off the scoring with a long-range penalty.
Eastern Province – Tries: Bevan Prinsloo (2), Juandre Sabbat, Ayabonga Matroos, Le-Kleu Stokes, Rodwill Baatjies. Conversion: Dylan le Roux (2). Penalty: Le Roux.
Eastern Province – 15 Dylan le Roux, 14 Uan Tait, 13 Ayabonga Matroos, 12 Waqar Solaan, 11 Juandre Sabbat, 10 Rodwill Baatjies, 9 Chadd Adams, 8 Elandre Smit, 7 Zane Barnard, 6 Bevan Prinsloo, 5 Dumisa Ngcivana, 4 Lacken Gray, 3 Le-Kleu Stokes, 2 Viaan Volmarans, 1 Elmar Lotz.
Subs: 16 Shaun Botha, 17 Kudzwai Dube, 18 Janu Fourie, 19 Desmick Kleinbooi, 20 Hendrik du Toit, 21 Sachin Toring, 22 Dean Jordan, 23 Kholiwe Konza.
Blue Bulls – 15 Ulrich Maritz, 14 Zach Briel, 13 Marnus Potgieter, 12 Diego Appollis, 11 Mdu Nkosi, 10 Regard Roets, 9 Keagan Johannes, 8 Phillip Potgieter, 7 Jaco Labuschagne, 6 Gustav de Jager, 5 Ruben Kotze, 4 Kgalalelo Mothome, 3 Wiehan Bezuidenhout, 2 Ruben Veldsman, 1 Robin Mokoena.
Subs: 16 Janco Uys, 17 Warren Nkobane, 18 James Combrinck, 19 Orateng Kolkanya, 20 Khanya Jada, 21 Giovanne Snyman, 22 Tyrique Ferris, 23 Mpho Kubheka.
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images