Prop Dian Bleuler scored a brace to inspire South Western Districts to a 27-22 win over Eastern Province at the U18 Craven Week at St Stithians on Tuesday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
After a highly competitive start, the penultimate game of the day turned into a relatively one-sided affair as SWD easily saw off the challenge of their more esteemed opponents to cause the first major upset at Craven Week.
EP made a wonderful start with a try in the first minute, but SWD stayed remarkably composed under pressure during the early stages before steadily working their way past EP on the scoreboard.
Flyhalf Rodwill Baatjies ran a beautifully angled line to skip over for a converted try, but moments later SWD locked the scores up at 7-7. After working their way into opposition territory, Bleuler threw a dummy pass to flummox EP’s rush defence, pinned his ears back and ran in the try.
A penalty in EP’s favour broke the deadlock again, but Bleuler then completed his double after a surging run by flank Hanu Heunis.
It was one-way traffic from there. Tries by outside centre Curtley Scheepers and Heunis either side of the break turned the game in SWD’s favour.
Frustrated by their lack of possession, EP went off the rails by conceding a number of unnecessary penalties. And when fullback Darren Fortuin slotted a long-range penalty to extend SWD’s advantage, there was no way back for EP.
The match did end on a sour note as SWD finished off with 13 players having conceded two late yellow cards. This numerical advantage saw EP score twice – through talented centre Waqar Solaan and wing Juandre Sabbat – but it was inconsequential as SWD’s earlier dominance proved enough to secure the victory.
Eastern Province – Tries: Rodwill Baatjies, Waqar Solaan, Juandre Sabbat. Conversions: Dylan le Roux (2). Penalty: Le Roux.
SWD – Tries: Dian Bleuler (2), Curtley Scheepers, Hanu Heunis. Conversions: JC Nel (2). Penalty: Darryn Fortuin.
Eastern Province – 15 Dylan le Roux, 14 Dean Jordan, 13 Kholiwe Konza, 12 Waqar Solaan, 11 Juandre Sabbat, 10 Rodwill Baatjies, 9 Sachin Toring, 8 Elandre Smit, 7 Hendrik du Toit, 6 Bevan Prinsloo, 5 Zane Barnard, 4 Desmick Kleinbooi, 3 Janu Fourie, 2 Shaun Botha, 1 John Allison.
Subs: 16 Elmar Lotz, 17 Viaan Wolmarans, 18 Le-Kleu Stokes, 19 Lacken Gray, 20 Dumisa Ngcivana, 21 Chadd Adams, 22 Ayabonga Matroos, 23 Uan Tait.
SWD – 15 Darryn Fortuin, 14 TJ Taute, 13 Curtley Scheepers, 12 JC Nel, 11 Dillan Pieterse, 10 Clyde Lewis, 9 Lian du Toit, 8 Ruben Coetzee, 7 Joshua Hermanus, 6 Hanu Heunis, 5 Louis Meiring, 4 Daniel van der Bergh, 3 Robin West, 2 Keano Hendricks, 1 Dian Bleuler.
Subs: 16 SP Kleinhans, 17 Nicolai Weber, 18 Magnus Muller, 19 Braam van Huysten, 20 Sibusiso Vilani, 21 Emilio Otto, 22 James Mollentze, 23 Sylvester Hassiem.
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images