Vodacom Western Province scored two sensational long-range tries on their way to a 28-18 (halftime 9-10) victory over the Platinum Leopards to extend their winning streak to four matches in a Vodacom Cup match in Potchefstroom on Friday.
Province sprang into a 6-0 lead after the sin-binning of Leopards scrumhalf Theo van Wyk for a spear tackle on opposing centre Dabeon Draghoender in the opening two minutes.
Flyhalf Isma-eel Dollie kicked two penalties while the Leopards were down to 14 men and added a third shortly after Van Wyk’s return.
Leopards flyhalf Clayton Durand narrowed the gap by three points with his first penalty midway through the opening half and missed with a long-range second attempt before the first try of the match.
Leopards fullback Anvor Schooney launched an up-and-under down the left-hand touchline and when opposite number Wylie Human lost the ball, Schooney was on hand to pick up the pieces and scamper in from 30 metres.
Durand converted from in front of the posts to put his side into the lead for the first time – an advantage they held until 17 minutes into the second half.
Western Province had a succession of phases in the Leopards 22 until Dollie swung a wide pass to the left where Human showed good strength and presence of mind to ground the ball after slithering to within a metre of the line under a Leopards tackle.
Durand kicked a second penalty seven minutes after the try to close the gap to a single point before a sensational breakout try by Province.
Replacement scrumhalf Paul Delport – who produced a dazzling 15 minutes – ran a free-kick from his own 22 and found replacement centre PJ Vermeulen who flicked a reverse pass to Human. The fullback kicked ahead from halfway and the bounce sat up kindly for him to scuttle in from 20 metres.
A brilliant individual effort from half-way by Province wing Zhahier Ryland, bursting the line on halfway and then spinning away from would be tacklers to score, settled the game although there was a final consolation for Leopards centre Deon van Rensburg.
Leopards – Tries: Anvor Schooney, Deon van Rensburg. Conversion: Clayton Durand. Penalties: Durand (2).
Western Province – Tries: Wylie Human (2), Zhahier Ryland. Conversions: Isma-eel Dollie (2). Penalties: Dollie (3).Tweet