The SA Rugby Under-17 Interprovincial Sevens got off to a thrilling start at Tafel Lager Park in Kimberley on Friday with Free State, Western Province and the Sharks stamping their authority as they advanced through the opening day unbeaten.
An impressive 153 tries and 969 points were scored in the 21 matches played throughout the day, with the action set to continue on Saturday as the tournament reaches the business end.
While the teams in Pool A, B and C played three matches each in the pool rounds on Friday, the Sharks, Lions and Eastern Province only played two as Namibia were forced to withdraw due to exam commitments.
Free State, who took top honours last season, started off the day strongly with an encouraging 31-14 victory against SWD, and they built on this with a convincing 31-7 victory against Border and an emphatic 41-5 win against the Valke in their final pool match.
Western Province also delivered an impressive showing as they thumped the Pumas 38-14 and built on this with a rewarding 40-12 win against Griquas and a morale-boosting 33-19 victory against the Blue Bulls.
The Sharks, meanwhile, outplayed Eastern Province 26-5 and beat the Golden Lions 27-19 to top their pool.
In the Cup quarter-finals on Saturday, Free State will go up against the Golden Lions, while SWD takes on the Sharks, Western Province will do battle with the Griffons, and the Blue Bulls take on Boland.
Border and Eastern Province, the Pumas and Limpopo Blue Bulls, and Griquas and the Leopards, meanwhile, will battle it out in the Bowl quarter-finals, with the Valke automatically progressing to the bowl semi-final due to Namibia’s absence.
SA Rugby U17 Interprovincial Sevens day one results (Friday, 29 September):
Blue Bulls 31-28 Griquas
Free State 31-14 SWD
Western Province 38-14 Pumas
Valke 26-12 Border
Sharks 26-5 Eastern Province
Boland 59-5 Limpopo Blue Bulls
Griffons 21-26 Leopards
Free State 31-7 Border
Blue Bulls 38-14 Pumas
Valke 14-24 SWD
Western Province 40-12 Griquas
Boland 26-17 Leopards
Golden Lions 26-12 Eastern Province
Griffons 42-21 Limpopo Blue Bulls
Free State 41-5 Valke
Border 7-19 SWD
Blue Bulls 19-33 Western Province
Pumas 26-19 Griquas
Boland 14-35 Griffons
Leopards 31-15 Limpopo Blue Bulls
Sharks 27-19 Golden Lions
SA Rugby U17 Interprovincial Sevens day two fixtures (Saturday, 30 September):
08h15 – Free State v Golden Lions (Cup quarter-final)
08h40 – Border v Eastern Province (Bowl quarter-final)
08h40 – SWD v Sharks (Cup quarter-final)
09h05 – Pumas v Limpopo Blue Bulls (Bowl quarter-final)
09h05 – Western Province v Griffons (Cup quarter-final)
09h30 – Griquas v Leopards (Bowl quarter-final)
09h30 – Blue Bulls v Boland (Cup quarter-final)