On Saturday, 19 October the Eastern Province Kings under-19’s gained promotion to the Absa under-19 Currie Cup A-division for 2014, achieved via a 27-20 victory over Border. However they then had to watch their EP under-21 team go down 23-21 to Border in the other junior rugby promotion-relegation match. This means that a few of those EP under-19 winners will still be playing B-division rugby in 2014 as under-21’s. It also meant that at the end of the day the Border under-19 team had more cause to celebrate than their counterparts.
It’s perhaps food for thought for SARU. There are merits to promotion-relegation games but in age-group rugby where the composition of teams change so drastically from one season to the next, it perhaps makes more sense to play these sudden death games prior to the start of the current year’s season rather than at the end of the preceding year’s one. This also might not be an ideal situation but it would at least ensure that players expected to represent the teams play for the spoils.
Fortunately it’s not all bad news for the EP Kings under-19 juniors. In fact much of their success is good news for the struggling union. Their 23-player under-19 side for the final contained no fewer than 12 schoolboys of whom 10 are still eligible for under-19 selection next year and of which 9 have pledged their futures to the EPRU.
EP Kings under-19 team:
|#||Name||School||Age Group||u19 RU in 2014|
|1||David Murray||St Andrews||u18||EP u19|
|2||Jean Pierre Jamieson||Grey HS||u18||EP u19|
|3||Matthew Moore (c.)||Brandwag||u19|
|4||Stephan Ebersohn||Grey HS||u18||Bulls u19|
|5||Gerrit Huisamen||Grey HS||u18||EP u19|
|6||John Henry Schmitt||Oudtshoorn||u19|
|7||Tyler Paul||St Andrews||u18||EP u19|
|9||Jason Baggott||St Andrews||u18||EP u19|
|10||Alex Banfield||Grey HS||u19|
|11||Sherwin Slater||Andrew Rabie||u19|
|12||Luan Nieuwoudt||Nico Malan||u18||EP u19|
|13||Selvyn Davids||Nico Malan||u19|
|14||Sergeal Petersen||Grey HS||u19|
|18||Bathandwa Cafu||Grey HS||u18||EP u19|
|19||Dewald Meyer||Otto du Plessis||u19|
|20||Francois Nel||Daniel Pienaar||u19|
|22||Ethan Fortuin||St Andrews||u18||EP u19|
|23||Mvelo Khumalo||Kingswood||u18||EP u19|