Sergeal Petersen produced a standout performance as Western Province claimed a 57-28 bonus-point vicotry over the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
Petersen has endured his fair share of injury trouble over the past 18 months, but he again showcased his prodigious talent in an effervescent outing that saw him set up a couple of tries and score two of his own against the Pumas.
This game was effectively won and lost within the opening half an hour, though, with Western Province blowing the Pumas off the park as they ran in four tries to power into a 26-0 lead.
With Springbok Wilco Louw delivering a dominant performance at scrum time, and Petersen making a noticeable impression early on, the visitors effectively established an unassailable advantage.
The Pumas did manage to respond with two tries before the break to cut the deficit to 15 points, but Petersen then produced a bit of magic under the high ball to collect possession and put Ernst van Rhyn away for Province’s fifth try soon after the restart.
Province continued on their merry way when Sikhumbuzo Notshe was next to dot down, and Petersen then latched onto a Damian de Allende grubber to complete his brace of tries and send WP surging to the 50-point mark.
The Pumas did show some character as Trompie Pretorius and Christopher Smith went over for consolation tries, which at least enabled them to claim a bonus point, but Herschel Jantjies would score one more for WP before the final whistle.
Pumas – Tries: JP Lewis, Le Roux Roets, Trompie Pretorius, Christopher Smith. Conversions: Smith (4).
Western Province – Tries: Kobus van Dyk, Sergeal Petersen (2), Ruhan Nel, SP Marais, Ernst van Rhyn, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Herschel Jantjies. Conversions: SP Marais (7). Penalty: Marais.
Pumas – 15 Gerrit Smith, 14 JP Lewis, 13 Ryan Nell, 12 Hennie Skorbinski (c), 11 Neil Maritz; 10 Christopher Smith, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Marné Coetzee, 2 Simon Westraadt, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Subs: 16 Marko Jansen van Vuuren, 17 Andrew Beerwinkel, 18 Hugo Kloppers, 19 Hilton Lobberts, 20 Nardus van der Walt, 21 Reynier van Rooyen, 22 Trompie Pretorius.
Western Province – 15 Dillyn Leyds (c), 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 SP Marais, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Wilco Louw 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Subs: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Herschel Jantjies, 21 Dan du Plessis, 22 Craig Barry.
Photo: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images