Sharks u19 vs EP u19: do or die time!

The Sharks and Eastern Province under-19 teams clash in a must win round-robin match at Kings Park on Saturday, 27 September 2014 (09h30).  Along with the Golden Lions, the the three teams find themselves battling it out for the last remaining semifinal spot in this year ABSA under-19 competition. The Lions have a bye this weekend but appear to have a slightly easier finish after that, so defeat for either of the other two will probably spell the end of their hopes of making the playoffs. 

In any event, its been a very successful season for EP. Preseason on paper they looked like they would be wooden spoon contenders. Since then they have really proven to be a force to be reckoned with. They have  been competitive in most games and caused a couple of upsets along the way, so much so that if they do win on the Sharks’ home soil it won’t be considered as that much of a shock result.

It hasn’t been the greatest of campaigns for the Sharks under-19’s. The Union’s focus was on contracting forwards for this 2014 group but indications are that they haven’t really been able to stamp their authority up front during this competition, certainly not as one would have expected. The Sharks did however beat the Kings 15-7 in Uitenhage a few weeks ago in conditions made difficult by the strong wind that evening. During that game the Sharks were able to gain ascendency in the pack exchanges so will be looking for more of the same foundation this time around. Even if they secure a much needed win, the Sharks won’t be out of the woods just yet. Considering that their next two games are against the table topping Bulls followed by Western Province, the home team really needs to win at least one more if they hope to advance to the semifinals without depending on other results going their way.

Expect the Sharks vs EP to be a cracker of an under-19 game with a knock-out match feel about it.


Group A
Blue Bulls U19 9 7 37
WP U19 9 7 32
Free State U19 9 6 31
Sharks U19 9 4 22
EP Kings U19 10 4 20
Golden Lions U19 10 4 20
Leopards U19 10 1 9


1 Mzamo Majola Westville 1 David Murray St Andrews
2 Jordan Meaker Kearsney 2 JP Jamieson Kingswood/Grey HS
3 Ruan Kramer Grey College 3 James Beyl Marlow
4 Johan du Toit Swartland 4 Gerrit Huisamen Grey HS
5 Hyron Andrews Garsfontein 5 Sintu Manjezi St Andrews
6 Andre de la Rey Westville 6 CJ Velleman Grey HS
7 Jean-Luc du Preez Kearsney 7 Tyler Paul St Andrews
8 Daniel du Preez Kearsney 8 Wynand Grassmann Despatch
9 Rowan Gouws HTS Middelburg 9 Jason Baggott St Andrews
10 Innocent Radebe St Stithians 10 Garrick Mattheus Grey HS
11 Philip Marais Welkom Gim 11 Lindelwe Zungu Piet Retief
12 Marius Louw Grey College 12 Luan Nieuwoudt Nico Malan
13 Marcel Coetzee Maritzburg College 13 Jeremy Ward Grey HS
14 Sparks Ngcobo Glenwood 14 Luca Dalla-Vecchia Grey HS
15 Chris Lines Kearsney 15 Malcolm Jaer Die Brandwag
16 Andrew du Plessis Grey College 16 Dylan Domoney Selborne
17 Cameron Holenstein Michaelhouse 17 Thembelihle Yase Cambridge
18 Mthunzi Moloi Kearsney 18 Chris Whitting Michaelhouse
19 Wian Vosloo Klerksdorp 19 Elandre vd Merwe Brandwag
20 Jedwyn Harty Selborne 20 Mihlali Nchukana Dale
21 Matt Reece-Edwards Kearsney 21 James Hall Kearsney
22 Merlyn Pieterse Port Natal 22 Vincient Moss Grey HS
23 Malcolm Cele Greytown 23 Athi Mayinje Grey HS


  1. @Ludz: Will feel very odd but for the first time supporting a different team other than the Sharks at Kings Park. Welcome to rugby after school and thanks to the Kings for the opportunity.

  2. @Buffel: Congratulations to James, obviously gonna be pretty special for you watching the little man in the red and black and red and a little strange considering it will be against the Sharks. He couldn’t be in better hands though. Kempo is building something special down here. Good luck to James

  3. @Buffel: Congrats on Jame’s selection. I hope he has a long and successful career and ends up in the black and white!!

  4. @Buffel: Thanks. 9:30 on a Sat is a very strange kickoff time.

    We seem to have lost the excitement of proper curtain-raisers.

  5. @TheGoose: It is strange but brought forward because of the Test and the Sharks game at 2 . The u21’s playing at 11.30. hope it is a cool day otherwise they will suffer.@Thumper: thanks we did ask the Union but they didnt;t have a spot for him next year. In saying that the Kings have been first class and we have a very warm and fuzzy feeling that they will get the best out of him. Once again a big thank you to Robbie K and Bryce Foss of World Artists for being so professional.

  6. Congrats Buffel, great to see the boy getting an early shot to display his skills.
    Sharks missed a trick here, James has a lot to offer apart from his class as a scrumhalf.

  7. @Buffel: Well done. I saw your son play a couple of times and think he is very talented.

    Is your son also playing in the IPT ?

    If so, don’t you think it is a lot of rugby with big school exams also ongoing ?

    We had to make similar decisions some weeks back and I would like to hear your opinion on this.

  8. @valke: James has played in the IPT since a 14 year old . He feels he should finish off his junior club career at the IPT as they have done so much for him. His trials are behind him and so this will be his last bit of action till the finals are over.
    It is a big workload but he will have a good break after.

  9. Another close game for the EP Kings U19’S . A penalty in the closing stages took the Sharks 3 points clear . My first chance to watch the boys and I can say they punch way above their weight. Velleman a very special player in the ‘George Smith’ mould and leads from the front. Looking forward to the 2015 season with relish, my only challenge will be getting down there to watch the home games.
    Once again, Robbie Kempson has the boys interests at the heart and gets the best out of them.Mzwandile Stick also really close to the boys and has a special bond. Roll on 2015.

  10. @Buffel: Bra Stick, absolute gent that, pleasantly surprised when I 1st saw him coach the boys, very good coach, his knowledge and skill level are out the top drawer. He’s got a strong character and when he speaks, he’s inspirational, very good at motivating the boys. James will thrive under his guidance.

    Cyril-John is a leader and a half, apart from being a hard work, exemplary young man and phenomenal player. He’s a top bloke, 1 of the nicest lads you could ever meet.

  11. @TheGoose: I’ve seen this episode before. Just last year the Sharks got Inny Radebe to come down from Saints and play a game for the Sharks u19s. It was bad enough that he had to follow in the footsteps of the brilliant JL du Plessis. The experience was good to have under the belt but Innocent looked like a very avg player as all he did was shape and pop pass on the inside in accordance with a risk free game plan which kicked in once he got onto the park.

    In the same way the odds were heavily stacked against James Hall doing well in this Sharks-EP game. He plays in a vital link position and understanding the players around him and codes is crucial. If he had performed well it would have been a minor miracle.

    I thought Matt R-E initially did very well when he came on. He delivered a series of quick pop passes that lifted the tempo and had the Sharks getting some serious go-forward. However not even he could change the course of this error riddled game.

  12. The Doop twins along with the workrate king Ruan Kramer won the day for the Sharks. Innocent tried hard too and landed important kicks.

    Those who like myself got to see CJ Velleman in action – WOW! what a player. I kind of expected CJ to be a major threat at the breakdowns where he is a turnover specialist who needs dedicated attention from the first arriving ruck cleaner but nothing prepared me for how unbelievable good CJ is on attack as well. There was a moment in the second half where the a few big Sharks forwards looked to have wrapped him up and made the ball unplayable , with the only possible outcome being a scrum to the Sharks. But somehow CJ using his amazing upperbody strength and sheer determination and I still dont know how he did it but he forced his way out of that situation, got a few extra metres and in so doing laid the platform for Tyler Paul’s try.

    A couple of years ago I was blown away by another small player in Justin Geduld, who’s elusive tackle evading runs for WP u19 were a sight for sore eyes. CJ is a small player as well but but he is a specialist of note and amongst some big and high profile forwards like the Doop Twins, Rikus Bothma, Jacques Vermeulen and Hanro Liebenberg, I hope there is a place for him in the SA u20 team next year if he continues to play the way he has been this season.

  13. @TheGoose: He had 20 minutes and as soon as he came on so did Mat . Playing against 7 of his school mates, he had a nervous start but settled and did the basics well. Nothing flash but got the backs away nicely and put in some solid tackles. Next year the Kings are going to be a force to be reckoned with. A couple of College ,Kearsney, Michaelhouse boys to join the rest is a recipe for success. Jeremy Ward-very good and with the rest from the Craven week side of 2014 will make it very interesting. The NMMU ‘YOUNG GUNS’will be a formidable side.

  14. @Buffel: They’ve got a great squad coming in next year, even better than this year squad. I just hope they can get the same drive and hunger as Cyril-John’s group and obviously a leader of CJ’s calibre. Great squad

  15. Sharks u 19 wen Bulle 52-7. Hoe de don$&/ gebeur dit. Leopards klop Lion u19 vir tweede keer hierdie seisoen .Ook Leopards se enigste twee wenne.Kom Wp doen net julle ding more teen Cheetahs

  16. The Sharks u19’s were just unstoppable today. Great performance allround. Giving the Bulls 52 points in any way, shape or form is always a bonus! :mrgreen:

  17. @Rian: @Beet: Aghhhhhh for fnuks sakes guys please give us the lows and high of the Sharks/Blue Bulls U/19 game! Who was the stand out players? What happened that the Sharks could bring about this turn around after their lose against the Bulls at Loftus? With such a win the Sharks must have dominated the forward play? The Sharks must definitely be the favourites going into the semi’s? Looking at the Bulls U/19 team going into the match. Must have been close to our best u/19 team. Just surprised to see Galant at 13 and not at 15.

  18. @Woltrui: In short, a great team effort,
    my man of the match Marius the centre, the Doops outsanding in defence and attack. Radebe the general on the day, also a late change and a great difference to the entire pack Schramm at no. 8 and he is back an excellent break to split the centres and create the 4th try. Bulls shell shocked and the Sharks gave a glimpse of how good they actually are.

  19. @Ruggersake: I couldn’t agree more. Marius Louw was brilliant on Friday closely followed by Daniel du Preez. In the first half Marcel Coetzee was outstanding. Inny Radebe also super and hats off to whole team for the effort.

    Schramm wasn’t as influential as expected but judging by the redness in his face my guess is he’s not 100% fit yet. His break that led to the try was very good but he did seem to hold onto the ball for too long with plenty of support on the inside. Fortunately a good support run by Andrew du Plessis on the outside coupled with a good offload by AS saw the just rewards come out of it.

    The Bulls just did not get going. No spark at all. Playing against CJ Velleman really helped the Sharks as they were very alert at the breakdown, an area where the Bulls should have been better. Of the Bulls Duhan vd Merwe stood out with his Savea like potential. He had a very really good runs and unfortunately on the best one of the lot just when things looked very interesting and the prospect of a super individualist try loomed, he bizarrely lost control of the ball with no one that close to him and knocked on.

    Klofies schoolboy Thinus de Beer (still u18) played fullback for most of the game and did really well out of position.

  20. Got to see this game, and what a spectacle of rugby it was! Fantastic team performance by the Sharks boys – but time to keep feet on the ground, the Bulls will be hurting by this and come back fighting in the semi finals.

    @Beet: Coetzee and Louw combined nicely on the day – Louw won the physical battle against his opposite and looked like a man possessed all day – great display of rugby – twins were dynamite, very physical and always offering themselves as ball carriers.

    Schramm to me, was excellant – I understand your feelings, as he could be fitter. However, I felt he had a very important influence on the game staright up off a lineout – he drew and went through 2 Bull defenders and then off-loaded brilliantly to Louw. This go forward ball would prove to be a constant throughout the game. His lineout ability was also crucial. I think he was involved in 3 turnover’s on ball going to RG. Schramm proved one thing on the day to me, he has all the talent and rugby playing ability in the world, he just needs to buckle down and focus now.

    For the Bulls, not much to write home about – except for Van Der Merve who tried hard and made two lovely breaks – would not compare him to Savea though – Duhan has no legs :mrgreen:

    Bulls will be a different kettle of fish come the semi final, but the Sharks may just have peeked at the right time


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