Craven Week highs and lows, so far

Golden Lions' Mpho Tjamela breaks through the Pumas defence.

With crowds cheering in excitement, the second day of the U18 Craven Week and Academy Week ended with a close encounter after the Pumas defeated the Golden Lions 23–22.

The Pumas scored a penalty just before full time to defeat the Lions in this gripping match. The Joburg team led 10–7 at the break, but the Pumas’ two tries and three penalties bettered the Lions’ four tries at St Stithians College, Lyme Park.

Golden Lions’ Justin Lambert in possession against the Pumas.

Lions coach, Andrew Nel said the team was disappointed.

“Early in the match we lost our captain and fly-half and that cost us,” he said. “But we are positive about the next match against the Free State on 20 July.”

The Craven Week is one of the most important events on high school rugby players’ calendars and is broadcast live on TV. It has seen more than 260 Springbok players come through its ranks, and this year the tournament returned to Johannesburg for the first time in 11 years.

Golden Lions’ Bandile Lekhuleni breaks through tackles for his team.

The week is synonymous with showcasing the best of South African up-and-coming rugby talent and is the platform for national and provincial scouts to identify the country’s future rugby heroes. This year, Springbok legend Victor Matfield was tasked to lead a panel of experts in selecting the Coca-Cola Hero of the Day.

Golden Lions’ Simao Dionisi runs towards the try line.

The South African Rugby Union said this year’s Craven Week would be noted for the fact that Aimee Barrett-Theron became the first woman referee to take charge of a match in the tournament.

The rugby week takes place from 17 to 22 July.


Rugby’s famous Craven Week to kick off at St Stithians College 

Scouting young talent at the Coca-Cola U18 Craven Week 

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Chantelle Fourie

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