WP scored a 36-12 bonus-point win against Griquas on Saturday to maintain their place at the top of the Currie Cup log. JON CARDINELLI reports.
On Friday, the Golden Lions beat the Pumas 29-15 to move to the top of the overall table. It was a position they would maintain if Griquas could do them a favour in defeating WP in Cape Town.
Ultimately, the Lions’ reign at the top would last for less than 24 hours. WP thumped Griquas on Saturday afternoon to reclaim the No 1 spot, and maintain their unbeaten record at Newlands in 2014.
WP raced to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, and received a further boost in the 25th minute when Griquas prop Maks van Dyk was yellow-carded for foul play.
It was a controversial call, and the side with a one-man disadvantage conceded points almost immediately. Juan de Jongh cut Griquas' line, and Brok Harris scored from a subsequent phase to stretch WP’s lead to 24-0.
While De Jongh and Cheslin Kolbe were full of running in the wider channels, WP were for the most part more effective when they kept the ball in the forwards.
In the 16th minute, WP won a lineout on Griquas' tryline and set up for the drive. Sikhumbuzo Notshe scored a try from the back of that maul, and would score another in the exact same fashion on the hour. When WP got their execution right at this set piece, the Griquas defence had no answer.
Griquas scored a late try through reserve scrumhalf Abrie Griesel, but even that could not lend some respectability to the scoreline. They were second to a much better WP side on the day.
Western Province – Tries: Justin Geduld, Sikhumbuzo Notshe (2), Cheslin Kolbe, Brok Harris. Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (3), Kurt Coleman. Penalty: Catrakilis.
Griquas – Tries: Ruaan Lerm, Abrie Griesel. Conversion: Dean Grant.
Western Province – 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh (c), 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Justin Geduld, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Subs: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Rohan Kitshoff, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Kurt Coleman.
Griquas – 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 PJ Vermeulen, 10 Francois Brummer (c), 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Burger Schoeman, 7 Ruaan Lerm, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Hilton Lobberts, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Steph Roberts.
Subs: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Janro van Niekerk, 18 Jonathan Adendorf, 19 Carel Greeff, 20 Abrie Griesel, 21 Dean Grant, 22 Danie Dames.
Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix