Siya Kolisi had a quiet, but solid, return to rugby in Western Province’s comfortable 45-14 win over the Pumas in their Currie Cup clash at Newlands on Friday, writes JOHN GOLIATH.
Kolisi, who injured his knee in the Stormers’ win over the Highlanders on 25 May, got a 47-minute run-out against the Pumas. It wasn’t a spectacular comeback from the Springbok captain, but the main thing for the loose forward was to get through the match unscathed with his knee in good shape.
Kolisi was mostly used in the wider areas on attack for Western Province, and had his first touch of the ball in the third minute when he went on a busting run on the right wing. He had a few more runs, before almost going over the tryline from close range shortly before halftime. Scrumhalf Justin Phillips ended up scoring from that play.
Kolisi is certainly still a bit rusty, and it remains to be seen if he will be drafted back into the Bok group for next week’s Test match against Argentina in Pretoria or if he will travel to Kimberley for Province’s match against Griquas next Friday.
The other returning member of the WP team, Sergeal Petersen, Kolisi’s back-row partner Sikhumbuzo Notshe and fullback Dillyn Leyds were the home side’s stand-out players on the day against a Pumas team that went off the boil after a spectacular start to the match.
The hosts moved up to third on the table on 12 points with their bonus-point win, while the Pumas’ semi-final hopes are very slim following their fourth defeat in five matches.
The Pumas got stuck in early and opened the scoring when Alwayno Visagie broke the line to dot down under the posts. But when WP woke up from their early slumber, they played some top rugby to score five tries in the first half.
Petersen finished off well after some great work by Leyds, before Notshe crossed the line after a great outside break by Petersen in his own half.
Seabelo Senatla scored a brace of tries from turnover ball, before Phillips pushed the ball up against the posts to give WP a 31-7 lead at the break.
The second half, though, was rather subdued, as both teams made a of of mistakes.
The visitors had two tries disallowed by the TMO, but managed to get a consolation try in between WP’s seven-pointers in the second half.
Ernst van Rhyn went over from close range for Province, before Chris Smith managed to get over the line for the visitors. Ruhan Nel then had the last say of the match when he scored under the posts.
Western Province – Tries: Sergeal Petersen, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Seabelo Senatla (2), Justin Phillips, Ernst van Rhyn, Ruhan Nel. Conversions: Josh Stander (3), Jean-Luc du Plessis (2).
Pumas – Tries: Alwayno Visagie, Chris Smith. Conversions: Chris Smith (2)
Western Province – 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (c), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Corne Fourie.
Subs: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Edwill van der Merwe.
Pumas – 15 Devon Williams, 14 Morné Joubert, 13 Alwayno Visagie, 12 Ryan Nel (c), 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Ashlon Davids, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Stefan Willemse, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Marne Coetzee, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel.
Subs: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Hilton Lobberts, 19 Phumzile Maqondwana, 20 Ginter Smuts, 21 Kobus Marais, 22 Ruwellyn Isbell, 23 Morgan Maude.
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images