Hacjivah Dayimani played a starring role to help Western Province beat his former team, the Lions, in Cape Town on Saturday.
The 48-36 result gets WP’s 2022 Currie Cup campaign as well as new coach Jerome Paarwater’s reign off to a perfect start.
Given the difference in experience in terms of personnel, this was always going to be a tricky encounter for this young Lions side, but they performed admirably despite the outcome.
After an action-packed first half which yielded six tries, WP led 29-15 at the break and already had the bonus point wrapped up by then, too.
Wing Angelo Davids played superbly well, dotting down twice while also having another try ruled out for touch-in-goal.
But it was former Lion Dayimani who should be lauded for his impact on this game. The No 8 set up both of Davids’ tries before crossing the line for a five-pointer of his own.
With the deficit growing and a man down for repeated infringements, the Lions fired back with try of their own to cut the hosts’ lead to 14.
But no sooner had the game entered its fourth quarter and Davids was in again to compete his hat-trick having chased down Tristan Leyds’ well-executed grubber kick.
As was evident with all the tries, there was little regard for defence.
Dominating territory and possession in the final stages, the Lions had the final say as they outscored WP two tries to one to finish on a high. But, ultimately, their late flourish serves as mere consolation.