Western Province’s pack proved too strong for Griquas as they powered to a bonus-point 34-17 victory at Newlands on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
The victory will see Province temporarily rise above both the Sharks and Lions into second place on the Currie Cup table, while the Cape side is currently within four points of leaders the Vodacom Bulls. That is a situation which can quickly change, as the Sharks face the Cheetahs on Sunday, while the Lions still have to play the Pumas and Bulls.
Province have their pack to thank for Saturday’s win as they largely dominated the scrums, especially in the second half, while their maul also proved profitable, resulting in four of their five tries.
It was, nevertheless, an impressive performance, especially considering the Cape side had a disruption before the game as captain Siya Kolisi had to withdraw after coming into contact with a positive Covid-19 case. His place in the starting lineup was taken by Jaco Coetzee, with Steven Kitshoff leading the team.
However, they got off to a quick start as Bongi Mbonambi went over from a driving maul in the first 10 minutes. Swiel slotted the conversion and a penalty before Province took control of the match in controversial fashion.
From a lineout, Pretorius put Du Plessis through a gap in Griquas’ defence to score. However, upon replay it appeared that Pretorius’ pass to Du Plessis was blatantly forward, but TMO Joey Klaaste-Salmans decided there was not enough evidence to change referee AJ Jacobs’ decision to award the try.
To Griquas’ credit, they fought back well towards the end of the first half and got just reward when Burger and Klaasen combined to put Eduan Keyter over for a try. That try also appeared to come from a forward pass, but Klaaste-Salmans did not review the incident and it stood.
Griquas continued to pile on the pressure, but Jaco Coetzee won a turnover near his own tryline to see Province take a 17-7 lead into the break. De Beer slotted a penalty in the first minute of the second half to bring Griquas to within seven points of Province.
The home side hit back when, from another driving maul, Mbonambi broke off and used a strong leg drive to propel himself over the tryline, before Coetzee forced his way over for Province’s fourth try. The bonus point was all but secured when Chad Solomon came off the bench for his 50th appearance and scored a try off the back of a maul.
Griquas would have the final say as substitute Siba Qoma finished off a long period of pressure by scoring his first Currie Cup try.
Western Province – Tries: Bongi Mbonambi, (2) Dan du Plessis, Jaco Coetzee, Chad Solomon. Conversions: Tim Swiel (3). Penalties: Swiel.
Griquas – Tries: Eduan Keyter, Siba Qoma. Conversions: Tinus de Beer, Andre Swarts. Penalties: De Beer.
Western Province –15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff..
Subs: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Ernst van Rhyn, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Ruhan Nel, 23 Tristan Leyds.
Griquas – 15 James Verity-Amm, 14 Eduan Keyter, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Andre Swarts, 11 Enver Brandt, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Zak Burger (captain), 8 Johan Momsen, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Adre Smith, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Alandre van Rooyen, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel.
Subs: 16 HJ Luus, 17 Mox Mxoli, 18 Tijde Visser, 19 Ewan Coetzee, 20 Siba Qoma, 21 CJ Velleman, 22 Ashlon Davids, 23 Daniel Kasende,
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Image