Yanga Hlalu of the Golden Lions is tackled by Sinethemba Qeshile at St Stithians College on July 17 2017 in Johannesburg. Picture: LEE WARREN/GALLO IMAGES
Yanga Hlalu of the Golden Lions is tackled by Sinethemba Qeshile at St Stithians College on July 17 2017 in Johannesburg. Picture: LEE WARREN/GALLO IMAGES

The Golden Lions were efficient in their demolition of Border, while Western Province‚ Free State and the Limpopo Blue Bulls collected expected wins on the first day of the 54th edition of Craven Week at St Stithians.

Yanga Hlalu’s hat-trick formed a huge part of the Golden Lions’ emphatic 44-8 win over Border in the main game.

The Lions struggled to get out of the blocks after Border scored first but once the Lions forwards found their range‚ their dangerous backs were let loose to telling effect.

They drilled 31 unanswered points in the second half as Hlalu‚ Kennedy Mpeku‚ David Cary‚ Stephan le Roux and Tinus Combrinck put the hosts on their way to Saturday’s showpiece game.

Western Province’s 36-10 win may look convincing but it was far from it. For most of the first half WP were under the cosh. However, their forwards — with Muller du Plessis and Gerardo Jaars in fine form — took charge and scored six tries.

• Henk Cilliers’s four tries were the platform for a powerful Free State performance as they hammered Boland 81-26 to put themselves in line for Saturday’s main game.

Boland started well but soon faded and were down 43-19 at half time. Free State ran in 11 tries with Ruhann Greyling‚ Teboho Rampai‚ Christopher Schreuder‚ Marcel Theunissen‚ Herman Agenbag‚ Ross Braude and Janco van Heynigen all going over.

• Other scores: Limpopo Blue Bulls 41 Border Country Districts 3, Griffons 27 Griquas Country Districts 28.

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