The KwaZulu-Natal side led 13-3 at halftime and eventually edged home thanks to scoring three tries and landing two penalty goals. Their Free State opponents replied with two tries, a conversion and a penalty goal.
Marnus Winter (hooker), Christian Els (scrumhalf) and Banie Britz (right wing) each grabbed a try for the KZN side, while flyhalf Jean Smith and replacement Ethan Hooker each succeeded with a penalty kick.
The home side had to fight very hard in resist a strong finish by the visitors, who scored their two tries through Jacobus Bezuidenhout (hooker) and Ferdinand Vergotini (No 6 flank). Flyhalf Tiaan Kriek added a conversion and penalty goal.
DHL WP hosted the strong Vodacom Bulls in Cape Town in the other match staged on Saturday, however, the Cape side struggled to keep the physical team in light blue jerseys in check and they were 14-3 behind at the break.
Junior Bok front ranker Corné Lavagna grabbed a try, while Mawanda Mdanda (prop) and Joshua Eras (reserve hooker) also went over for the visitors, while Junior Bok flyhalf Compion von Ludwig added three conversions and two penalty goals to seal a dominant display by the team from Pretoria. Junior Bok utility player Imad Khan succeeded with a penalty goal for DHL WP.
In next Saturday’s round-two action, the Vodacom Bulls host the Toyota Cheetahs, while DHL WP face Cell C Sharks in Cape Town. The four sides will play a single round of league matches to determine the 2022 winner.
SA Rugby U19 Cup first round results:
Cell C Sharks 21, Toyota Cheetahs 19
DHL Western Province 3, Vodacom Bulls 24