It was down to the wire for Western Province and Boland as they battled it out in the final of the Carfind Iqhawe U15 Rugby Week at the the Bill Jardine Stadium on Thursday 5 October.
The slight drizzle did not dampen spirits in the tightly fought final which ended with Western Province emerging victorious over Boland with a narrow margin of 7-5. The game was nerve racking with both sides attacking and defending forcefully.
Western Cape were crowned champions following an action packed week in which boys from the 14 rugby unions tackled one another with energy, discipline, fight and hard work that comes with the game. It was a week of tight, thrilling matches of excellent rugby.
The tournament is endorsed by SA Rugby as an official Youth Week and is hosted in partnership with the City of Johannesburg.
This year’s event unearthed some incredible raw talent. Each rugby union had selected its best players from various clubs who showed the promise of being future springboks. For the Joburg based Golden Lions, Ntaketo Pandeka was a marvel to watch.
At the end of the tournament as buses left Bill Jardine Stadium taking boys home, organisers were satisfied that Joburg had delivered on its promise to strengthen partnerships, promote social cohesion, develop sport and contribute to the economy of Johannesburg. Mike de Charmoy, Managing Director of Carfind.co.za expressed satisfaction that all had gone according to plan. “There is no doubt that Iqhawe Week is firmly on the map as one of the country’s definite rugby development showcase.”
The Under-15 rugby tournament is a joint venture between South African Rugby and the South African Rugby Legends Association which focuses on the development of young rugby players from disadvantaged communities who have been historically excluded from structured rugby training and lack grassroots level competition.
It seeks to nurture the personal growth and athleticism of youngsters by giving them skills and confidence they need to succeed both on and off the field. The tournament creates a gateway for players from lower-league and non-traditional rugby schools to take part in mainstream rugby events.