Sikhumbuzo Notshe scored four tries to give Western Province a 25-10 win over Boland in their Vodacom Cup clash in Caledon on Saturday.
Notshe created all sorts of trouble for the Boland defence and within the first 10 minutes he had scored a brace. Flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis added one conversion and skewed the other, but later made up for the miss with a penalty.
Boland stayed in the contest with a converted five-pointer from Gavin Annandale and trailed 15-7 at the break.
Eric Zana’s penalty for Boland after the interval closed the gap to five and they attacked with renewed confidence thereafter, but Province were resolute in defence.
Notshe then grabbed his third and fourth tries in the final 10 minutes of the match to secure a bonus-point victory for WP.
The opening round of the South Section also saw the Sharks XV scoring seven unanswered tries to thump the Border Bulldogs 53-0, while in Port Elizabeth, Gouws Prinsloo added nine points as Griquas edged the EP Kings 27-19.
In the North Section, the Pumas crushed the Limpopo Blue Bulls 52-0 to move to the top of the standings. And in Lichtenburg, Percy Williams’ late try saw the Leopards XV defeat the Valke 36-31.
Western Province (25) – Tries: Sikhumbuszo Notshe (4). Conversion: Jean-Luc du Plessis. Penalty: Du Plessis.
Boland (10) – Try: Gavin Annandale. Conversion: Eric Zana. Penalty: Zana.
Sharks XV (53) – Tries: Sizo Maseko (2), Jaco van Tonder, Stefan Ungerer (2), Khaya Majola, Alcino Izaacs. Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (3), Lionel Cronjé (3). Penalties: Zeilinga (2).
Border Bulldogs (0)
EP Kings (19) – Tries: Jaco Grobler, Kevin Luiters, Thembelani Bholi. Conversions: Gary van Aswegen, Scott van Breda.
Griquas (27) – Tries: Abraham Griesel, Carel Greeff, Steph Roberts. Conversions: Gouws Prinsloo (3). Penalties: Prinsloo, Francois Brummer.
Pumas (52) – Tries: Francois du Toit, Hennie Skorbinski, Lambert Groenewald, Marnus Schoeman (2), Ruwellyn Isbell (2), Sinovuyo Nyoka. Conversions: JC Roos (6).
Limpopo Blue Bulls (0)
Leopards XV (36) – Tries: Jacobus Hayward, Juan Language, Percy Williams, PJ Uys, Thomas Dreyer. Conversions: Kobus du Plessis (4). Penalty: Du Plessis.
Valke (31) – Tries: Grant Janke, Riaan Arends (3). Conversions: Jaun Kotze (4). Penalty: Kotze.
Photo: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images