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Scramble on for Junior Champs semi-finals The scramble for semi-final spots was the main focus in the SA Rugby Junior Provincial Championships this past week in another thrilling round, with the highlight being the Vodacom Blue Bulls U21s’ massive 149-13 victory over EP. In the SA Rugby U21 Championship, the Vodacom Blue Bulls were in fine form against Eastern Province as they touched down 23 times for a 149-13 home victory, with Rickert Korff and Xolisa Guma scoring hat-tricks. Free State pipped the Xerox Golden Lions 33-31 in Bloemfontein to end the Gauteng side’s four-match unbeaten run. Both sides scored four tries, despite the hosts leading 20-3 at halftime, but three penalty goals by the hosts handed them an edge on the scoreboard. DHL Western Province also produced a solid display to defeat the Cell C Sharks 45-19 after leading 24-19 at the break, with the side out-scoring the opposition six tries to three. All three victorious sides remained in the semi-final race with two rounds to go, along with the Xerox Golden Lions, who held onto top spot on the log with one match to play. Griquas U20, meanwhile, registered their first victory of the season as they edged SWD 21-20 in George in what proved to be a tight encounter from the outset. Both sides crossed the chalk three times, but a penalty goal for the visitors proved decisive in their victory, which kept alive their semi-final hopes. It was also a good weekend for the Pumas, who ground out an important 47-40 victory against a determined Limpopo outfit in Pretoria in their penultimate round-robin match to stay in the running for a home semi-final. Japie Kleinhans and Josua Steenberg contributed four of their seven tries in solid individual performances. In the U19 Championship, the Cell C Sharks secured their 10th successive win of the season to seal the top spot on the log, while the Vodacom Blue Bulls and Xerox Golden Lions cemented their semi-final spots in their penultimate pool matches. The Cell C Sharks overturned a 19-13 halftime deficit against DHL Western Province in Cape Town to earn a narrow 39-31 victory thanks to their six tries to five by the hosts. The men from Pretoria also overcame a strong challenge from Eastern Province for a 33-31 victory in Pretoria after racing to a 21-7 halftime lead, while a brace by the Xerox Golden Lions’ Edmund Ludick and a solid kicking display steered them to a 34-24 victory against the Free State despite both sides scoring four tries. SA Rugby U21 Championship results and scorers: Vodacom Blue Bulls 149 (59) Eastern Province 13 (6) Vodacom Blue Bulls - Tries: Alulutho Tshakweni, Werner Fourie, Denver Prins, Rickert Korff (3), Thomas Meyer, Ewart Potgieter, Dylan van der Walt, Ginter Smuts (3), Irvin Ali, Erich Cronje (2), Xolisa Guma (3), Mihlali Stamper (2), Aaron Brody, Cliven Loubser, Ciaran Dayaram. Conversions: Andell Loubser (14), Marco Fuhri, Cliven Loubser. Eastern Province – Try: Penalty Try. Penalty Goals: Jeandre van Ghent (2). Free State 33 (20) Xerox Golden Lions 21 (3) Free State - Tries: Rewan Kruger, Lubabalo Dobela, Kurt Eybers, Marthinus Boshoff. Conversions: Lubabalo Dobela (2). Penalty Goals: Lubabalo Dobela (3). Xerox Golden Lions - Tries: Darrien Landsberg, Eddie Fouche, Tyrone Green, Jeanluc Cilliers. Conversions: Jeanluc Cilliers (4). Penalty Goal: Jeanluc Cilliers. DHL Western Province 45 (24) Cell C Sharks 19 (19) DHL Western Province - Tries: Daniel Jooste (2), Jondre Williams, Sihle Njezula (2), Schalk Erasmus. Conversions: Jondre Williams (4), Joshua Carlton Vermeulen (2). Penalty Goal: Jondre Williams. Cell C Sharks - Tries: Jordan Els, Courtney Winnaar (2). Conversions: James Haydn Tedder (2). SA Rugby U20 Championship results and scorers: SWD 20 (10) Griquas 21 (14) SWD - Tries: Jarrett Jaqwin Tities, Ronaldo Jansen, Braam Abrahams. Conversion: Braam Abrahams. Penalty Goal: Braam Abrahams. Griquas - Tries: Martian Nel, Tiaan Fourie, Ruan Schultz. Conversions: Chadwin November (2), Gladwin Nieuwenhuizen. Limpopo 40 (16) Pumas 47 (22) Limpopo - Tries: Jano Lourens, Jason Martins, Cha-luchiarno Deiker (2), Max Terre'blanche. Conversions: Rethabile Mzamo (3). Penalty Goals: Rethabile Mzamo (3). Pumas - Tries: Wium Barnard, Carl Pieter du Plessis, Josua Steenberg (2), De-an Ackermann, Japie Kleinhans (2). Conversions: Chrizaan Strauss, Ashwill Botha (2). Penalty Goals: Ashwill Botha (2). SA Rugby U19 Championship results and scorers: Vodacom Blue Bulls 33 (21) Eastern Province 31 (7) Vodacom Blue Bulls - Tries: Roanda Neluvhalani, Dylan Kruger, Orateng Koikanyang, Stephan van der Bank, Denzo Bruwer. Conversions: Stephan van der Bank (4). Eastern Province - Tries: Lacken Gray, Sachin Toring, Christian Frederic (2). Conversion: Dylan le Roux. Penalty Goal: Dylan le Roux. Toyota Free State 24 (12) Xerox Golden Lions 34 (24) Toyota Free State - Tries: Elrigh Louw, Andre Hanekom (2), Jacques Van Biljon. Conversions: Marc Morrison, Steffan Schoeman. Xerox Golden Lions - Tries: Yanga Hlalu, Edmund Ludick (2), David Cary. Conversions: Christian Humphries (3), Keagan Lailvaux. Penalty Goal: Christian Humphries, Keagan Lailvaux. DHL Western Province 31 (19) Cell C Sharks 39 (13) DHL Western Province - Tries: Christiaan Rossouw, Ross Taylor, Tonderai Chiwambutsa, Vusile Dlepu, Angelo Davids. Conversions: Christopher Schreuder (2), David Coetzer. Cell C Sharks - Tries: Fezokuhle Mbatha, JJ Van Der Mescht, Dylan Richardson, Asanda Sihle Kunene (2), Adriaan Staples. Conversions: Sanele Nohamba (3). Penalty Goal: Sanele Nohamba.