A LATE James Moore penalty was enough to clinch a hard-fought 28-27 victory for Eastern Province Country Districts in their nail-biting Coca-Cola under-18 Craven Week match against Griquas Country Districts at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium yesterday.
With time up on the stadium clock and the score at 27-25 to Griquas CD, EPCD were awarded a penalty.
Moore calmly stepped up to slot the decisive kick and then threw his arms in the air in celebration.
Griquas CD drew first blood with a ninth-minute penalty by Dolf Burden, which was followed by a 12th-minute unconverted try by Gavian Cloete.
EPCD captain Moore scored their first try in the 25th minute. Jason Vers added three points with a penalty soon after.
Griquas’ hard-hitting Jakobus Conradie crossed the tryline for a 31st-minute score, which was converted by Burden.
EPCD vice-captain and prop Dean Ferreira then dotted down a 34th- minute unconverted try to reduce the deficit to 15-11 going in to halftime.
A kick and chase resulted in a 44th- minute try by EPCD wing Reneldo Meyer after he received the ball in his own 22m area. Vers converted it.
Two minutes later, Griquas’ inside centre replied with a try of his own, which was converted by Burden.
Griquas prop Henro Visagie then forced his way over for an unconverted try.
Griquas could have scored another try straight after that but brilliant defending from fullback Tsepo Mabetsola kept them at bay.
CJ Lombard kept EPCD’s hopes of winning the game alive with a 65th- minute try, which was converted by Vers before Moore’s heroic kick clinched the game.
řIn other matches, South Western Districts ran in seven tries to beat Limpopo 46-18 in an exciting encounter after SWD went to the break with a narrow lead of 17-13.
A brilliant second-half performance by the Blue Bulls in their physical encounter against Western Province ensured a 47-27 victory for the Pretoria side in yesterday’s main game.
Western Province quickly got off the mark with two early tries and went to the break with a slim 27-26 lead, despite the Bulls’ four tries.
WP flyhalf Handre Pollard converted all the tries and kicked two penalties, while his opposite number, Ryno Eksteen, also converted three.
The Bulls ran away with the game in the second half with back-to-back tries from Jurie Linde, Jaco Hayward and Marcus Kleinbooi, which were all converted by Eksteen.
Zimbabwe humiliated a weak Border Country Districts team 31-9 in a one-sided clash. The Pumas walked all over the Griffons in a 48-24 victory.
Today’s programme: 9.30am Griquas v Namibia; 11am Falcons v Leopards; 12.30pm Free State v Border; 2pm EP v Boland; 3.30pm KZN v Lions.