Western Province have redeemed the wobbly away leg of their Currie Cup campaign, with an emphatic 50-10 drubbing over their Cape counterparts Boland at Newlands on Saturday.
Rugby 365 reports that WP went into the break 17-3 up, but a second half try onslaught and a flawless kicking display by returning Springbok Peter Grant saw the home side secure a safe five log points to bump them up the standings.
It’s not going to become a trend for Western Province. They are not going to keep losing to the bottom side on the Currie Cup log. Griquas were bottom but they beat Western Province and ceased to be bottom. Valke were bottom but they beat Western Province and ceased to be bottom. Boland were bottom but it was third time lucky for Western Province. Not only did they win but they won by 40 points against their neighbours who have from time to time been troublesome neighbours.
It did not go all the home side’s way at a chilly, sparsely populated Newlands but a try on the stroke of half-time took them to 17-3 at the break. In the second half things went much better as they virtually strangled the Winefarmers for ball. It was only in the last five minutes that they got possession for any length of time and then they got a try. That possession was largely penalty fuelled.
Penalties remain a problem for Western Province who conceded 15 in the match, 10 of them at the tackle. The referee regularly played backhanded bowls.
Western Province changed their side just before the match. Schalk Brits switched to eighthman with Deon Fourie at hooker. Late in the match teenaged Nic Köster replaced Fourie. Brits then moved to hooker and Köster to eighthman, a first appearance in the Currie Cup for last year’s South African Schools captain. He celebrated it by brilliantly creating a late try for Ross Skeate.
Western Province did best when they had their wings in action. Both scored excellent tries. Joe Pietersen gave veteran John Daniel a terrible time.
Initially Western Province tried to burst through the Boland midfield which is notoriously porous but they did better going wide till late in the match when the Boland arms were numb with tackling, they had a few telling breaks.
Both sides were willing to run but the distribution of possession meant that Western Province did most of it.
Western Province attacked early on but twice wild passes by Brits gave Boland the break-out. The first time Gcobani Bobo saved brilliantly. The second time Peter Grant saved but was forced to concede a penalty. Justin Peach missed the straightforward kick.
There was much activity but not the promise of a try and when one did come it was astonishing. Western Province won a line-out with a wild slap. Bolla Conradie fetched it and fired a high pass to his left where right wing Wylie Human was lurking. Human reached up and caught it and simply ran, untouched, straight through Boland for 40 metres straight to the posts to score. 7-0 after 14 minutes,
Pietersen had a great 40-metre dash and then Grant goaled a penalty. 10-0 after 28 minutes.
The match stuttered along. The entertainment was off the field where Paarl Gym pupils and a touring group did numbers like Delilah, Ireland’s Call, Bread of Heaven and Cockles and Mussels.
When Western Province were penalised for the seventh time, Peach goaled. 10-3 after 34 minutes.
Western Province turned a penalty into a five-metre line-out and that into a maul. They peeled off and drove and Fourie was credited with the try. Grant converted and the siren went. 17-3.
Pietersen deserved his try early in the second half when he skated through for 40 metres, beating three defenders with a dummy, acceleration and a hand-off. It was a startling try. 24-3 after 46 minutes.
There were minor moments of anger which seemed to involve Brian Mujati and Frikkie Spies, stuff that would not have been out of place in a nursery school playground.
Boland caught the ball in a line-out but Adriaan Fondse dispossessed Spies and suddenly and with great strength Bobo burst down the middle and ran 30 metres for the bonus-point try. 31-3 after 56 minutes.
From a line-out Western Province went right. Grant ran hard at the defence and slipped a tiny pass to Dylan Des Fountain on his right and the centre was over for a try which the TMO confirmed.
The next try delighted Newlands. Boland’s won a tackle/ruck and Neil Papier threw a perfect pass. Elgar Watts’s pass also looked good but it did not reach its mark as veteran AJ Venter, resplendent in a white scrum-bonnet, intercepted and strode with a surprising turn of speed 40 metres for the try which delighted all his teammates. 45-3 after 66 minutes.
Köster broke cleanly past a defender and then burst through the next one to give a perfect pass to Skeate who ran the 18 metres to score. 50-3 as Willem de Waal, uncharacteristically, missed.
Boland had the last word – not a long or loud one but still a pleasing one. The attacked on their left, tapped a free kick at a scrum and drove at the line with Bradley Mockford and Dries van Schalkwyk hanging onto the ball – Van Schalkwyk credited with the try which Stefan Basson converted.
For Western Province:
Tries: Human, Fourie, Pietersen, Bobo, Des Fountain, Venter, Skeate
Cons: Grant 6
Tries: Van Schalkwyk