South Western Districts won the unofficial title of SA Schools rugby champions by beating Free State 31-25 in the final match of the 2008 Coca-Cola Craven Week at Affies in Pretoria on Saturday.
There is not supposed to be an overall winner at the Craven Week, but the two top-rated sides are always matched in the main game of the last day and this year the Young Eagles and Free State were given the honour after two sterling performances in their earlier games. SWD beat the hosts, the Blue Bulls, on day one and followed this up with a 30-13 win over the Pumas, while
Free State overcame the Golden Lions' on day tow and then defeated KwaZulu- Natal on Thursday.
Free State came into the week as favourites as they had dominated proceedings last year and had 14 players
from all-conquering Grey College in their squad. SWD, on the other hand, were one of the less fancied unions, but
they produced some sparkling rugby and their fierce will to win won them many friends in Pretoria last week.
They were rewarded with the inclusion of three players in the SA Schools team, including the captain, eighthman
CJ Stander. The Golden Lions bounced back well from their initial defeat to beat Eastern Province comfortably and they then beat Western Province 29-21 in the best
game of the final day.
SA Schools Team
Patrick Lambie (Michaelhouse, KwaZulu-Natal), Tythan Adams (Paul Roos Gimnasium, Western Province), Wandile Mjekvu (King Edward, Golden Lions), Francois Venter (Grey College, Free State), Abednego Mamushi
(Hoerskool Middelburg, Pumas); Francois du Toit (Grey College, Free State), Chuma Faas (Grey High, Eastern Province), CJ Stander (Oakdale, SWD, captain), Petrus Uys (Monument, Golden Lions), Helmut Lehmann (Paarl
Gimnasium, Western Province), Niel Kapp (Outeniqua, SWD), Andries Ferreira (Affies, Blue Bulls), Neetlingh Gerricke (Oakdale, SWD), Shaun Malton (Glenwood, KwaZulu-Natal), - Ruan Smith (Paarl Gimnasium, Western Province), Gareth Topkin (Rondebosch, Western Province), Njabulo Mkize (Westville, KwaZulu-Natal), Mlungisi Bali (St Alban's, Blue Bulls), Siyamthanda Kolisi (Grey High, Eastern Province), Sinovuyo Nyoka (Dale, Border), Elton Jantjies (Florida, Golden Lions), Garth April
(Bergrivier, Boland); Manager: Chris October (Western Province); Coaches: Golie Gouws (Golden Lions), Vuyani Mdluni (Border).
All The Results
Monday: Boland 32 Limpopo 21, E Province Country 28 Griquas Country 10, Namibia 36 Border Country 11, Pumas 19 W Province 17, SWD 26 Blue Bulls 21; Tuesday: E Province 45 Leopards 22, Free State 44 Lions 29, KwaZulu- Natal 34 Griffons 15, Valke 40 Griquas 32, Zimbabwe 18 Border 10; Wednesday: Boland 44 Namibia 6, E Province Country 17 Limpopo
13, Griquas Country 61 Border Country 0, SWD 30 Pumas 13, W Province 34 Blue Bulls 12; Thursday: Border 17 Leopards 10, Free State 23 KwaZulu-Natal 5, Griquas 24 Zimbabwe 15, Lions 62 E Province 7, Valke 27 Griffons 19. Saturday: Blue Bulls 41 Griquas 24, Boland 53 Valke 17, Border 23 E Province Country 14, E
Province 35 Griffons 29, KwaZulu-Natal 34 Pumas 32, Zimbabwe 43 Namibia 32, Leopards 49 Border Country 0, Lions 29 W Province 2, Limpopo 41 Griquas Country 6, SWD 31 Free State 25