The South African schools' side left their best until last beating England 42-22 after only leading 17-12 at the break. The slow poison of the SA forwards work well and was used properly by their backs. The French team finished the tournament unbeaten after their victory against Wales with 52-7. One has to ask the question if this series is worth having in the future as only South Africa and Wales seemed intent on competing on the same level. England brought a predominantly u/17 team which got hammered every game while the French brought out a development u/20 team and dominated all the other teams. This series failed as a spectacle and maybe SARU must insist that countries who compete adhere to the age group and bring their best. Oh, yes and maybe this tournament must be hosted in Gauteng once in a while.
It is playoff time in New Zealand with all the survivors of their leagues looking at the national title.
Westlake and Takapuna shared the spoils in the North Harbour Final with 18 each with Westlake moving on and will play against Kaitaia College with the winner to play St Peter's College to move on to the Top 4.
Mount Albert Grammar and Dargaville HS will play each other with the winner to play Takapuna Grammer to also move into the Top 4 of the COED competition.
Wesley College will play Hamilton Boys, who had an easy win against St Paul's Collegiate (38-5) yesterday, while New Plymouth BHS and Rotorua BHS will play each other after Rotorua BHS win against Tauranga BC (32-3)
Hastings Boys High who have beaten Palmerston North (43-21) will play St Pat's Silverstream who won against St Pat's Town in the Wellington Final. Napier Boys High will play St Pat's Town in the other semi-final.
Christchurch Boys who avenged their earlier defeat against Rangiora with 54-22 will play against Christ College who just managed to beat St Bede's College 24-23 this past weekend.
Otago BHS won against Waitaki BHS (43-0) to proceed and play Southland BHS who have beaten John McGlashan in the other Highlander Semi
Rangiora who lost in the National Competition against Christchurch BHS proceded to the final in the COED division and will play against the winner between St Kevin's College and Gore HS.
Two competitions' semifinals were played this weekend. In the Kovsies series, Welkom Gim is seemingly unstoppable on their way to be crowned as the champions with a 61-0 win against Louis Botha while Duineveld won 39-36 against Sentraal to proceed to the finals in Bloemfontein. Diamantveld won a close game against arch-rivals Noord Kaap with 6-5. The winning drop goal in the final seconds of the game bounced twice on the crossbar before, according to the Noord Kaap supporters in was helped by the wind to cross. Diamantveld will play Goudveld who had to work extremely hard to beat Duineveld with 39-36.
And then the big one, the decider on who is the best 1stXV team of 2018 in South Africa. Paul Roos lead going into the second half 12-11 with both teams having their moments in the first half. This ding-dong battle continued for the rest of the match with a penalty goal with 5 minutes left on the clock seals a 28-26 victory for Grey College. Grey College ending as the number 1 1stXV for the first time since 2014.
The Eastern Cape's last weekend of action did not deliver any upsets with maybe the manner Quuen's pushed Dale College the whole way the biggest "surprise". Dale winning 29-26 at the end. Cambridge hosted Hudson Park and lost 20-27 while Graeme College had to work very hard in the first half before winning 41-12 at the end against Muir. Framesby ending their season with a good win against Nico Malan (27-17) while Brandwag travelled to Pearson to win (34-22) in a very physical game.
It was action all the way at the finals hosted at TUKS last weekend in the VirSeker Competition.
VirSeker Cup - A disappointment at the ease with which Monnas overwhelmed Helpmekaar? Maybe but we were treated to some brilliant rugby by the winning team. Monnas winning the Cup for the second time in a row with 57-11.
VirSeker Plate - Eldoraigne had to play 30 minutes with 14 players as the referee was dishing out yellow card quicker than Kentucky could dish out Happy Meals to prisoners. Eldoraigne raign winning 40-29 against Noorheuwel who is promoted to the Cup Division in 2019 replacing Nelspruit.
VirSeker Shield - The match of the day perhaps? Oos Moot taking revenge for their loss earlier in the season with 52-50 against Ben Vorster. Oos Moot's defence won the day for them with both teams attacking at every opportunity. Oos Moot winning 29-20 in a very exciting match.
In Division 2 Frikkie Meyer lost 14-20 against Secunda while Brandwag won Division 3 against Leeuwenhoff (29-20). Morgenzon won 37-15 against Stella to be crowned as champions for Division 4.
Not many of the big guns on display BUT Boland Landbou's performance against Oakdale is described as one of the best matches of this 2018 season. Boland Landbou not giving Oakdale any space and at the end overwhelmed the farmers from Oakdale with 56-19 leading 32-0 at halftime. Rondebosch scoring the only points in the second half to beat SACS 29-24 with Bishops losing 20-22 to Wynberg. Parel Vallei was welcome into the Premier B division by Brackenfell with a 50-0 defeat. Parel Vallei still having to do a lot of wotk to become competitive in their new division in 2019. Stellenberg was crowned as champions of the Premier B division with yet another splendid performance in beating Durbanville 36-7.