Western Province put in a ruthless display of attacking rugby to beat 13-man Free State 51-14 at the U18 Craven Week in Bloemfontein on Wednesday. DYLAN JACK reports.
The result puts Western Province through to play in the unofficial final of the tournament. It remains to be seen who they will face, though it seems there is a real chance of it being the WP XV, something which would surely bring the Boland debate to a head.
The much-anticipated match between two of the strongest sides at the tournament was unfortunately marred by a red card just 14 minutes into the contest.
Up until then, Province had enjoyed the better of the chances and had taken an early lead through scrumhalf Bobby Alexander. The game seemed feisty early on and the tension came to the fore when Jan-Hendrik Wessels was correctly shown red for a ridiculous stamp on his opponent.
To their credit, Free State fought bravely for much of the first half, managing to keep WP to a 20-point differential, but just couldn’t keep up in the second half. To add further shame, their flank Ricky Fourie was also shown red for a dangerous clean-out when he dumped his opponent on his neck.
WP capitalised almost immediately on the first red card, working their way to near the Free State line, before Pierich Siebert went over out wide. WP flyhalf Kade Wolhuter extended his side’s lead with a couple of penalties, with the visitors going into the break 20-0 up.
Province did lose lock Dylan de Leeuw to a yellow card early in the second half but continued with their onslaught, adding tries through loosehead prop Rhynardt Rijnsburger, No 8 Gideon van Wyk and flank Romeo Ntumba.
The home side managed a brief response, avoiding a complete whitewash, when wing Katleho Chabanyane finished off a long-range try and then when Juan Olivier charged down an attempted clearance and popped the ball to Sisonke Vumasonke to score.
However, things got worse as De Leeuw atoned for his yellow card with a try in the corner. Alexander completed the rout when he powered his way over the line for his brace.
Free State – Tries: Katleho Chabanyane, Sisonke Vumasonke. Conversions: Juan Olivier (2).
Western Province – Tries: Bobby Alexander (2), Pierich Siebert, Rhynardt Rijnsburger, Gideon van Wyk, Romeo Ntumba, Dylan de Leeuw. Conversions: Kade Wolhuter (4), Jacques Rosseau. Penalty: Wolhuter (2).
Free State – 15 Sonwabo Sokoyi, 14 Katleho Chabanyane, 13 Ian Small-Smith (c), 12 Lesley Botha, 11 Paschal Ekeji, 10 FC du Plessis, 9 Juan Olivier, 8 Tiaan Jonker, 7 Nhlanhla Senoamadi, 6 Ricky Fourie, 5 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 4 Sisonke Vumasonke, 3 Mamello Letshoalo, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Tielman Nieuwoudt.
Subs: 16 Deon le Roux, 17 Mamello Moshoaliba, 18 Boela Manyala, 19 Monwabisi Khani, 20 Kian Fransman, 21 Elmar Lintnaar, 22 Revaldo Maurice.
Western Province – 15 Tharquinn Manuel, 14 Curwin Gertse, 13 Quan Horn, 12 Tyler Bocks, 11 Angelo Osch, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 9 Bobby Alexander (c), 8 Gideon van Wyk, 7 Pierich Siebert, 6 Romeo Ntumba, 5 Dylan de Leeuw, 4 Connor Evans, 3 Bryan le Roux, 2 Allister Williams, 1 Rhynardt Rijnsburger.
Subs: 16 Lukhanyo Vokozela, 17 Louwtjie Marais, 18 Jovan Bekker, 19 Marco de Witt, 20 Isaiah Wharton, 21 Liam Kloosman, 22 Sacha Mngomezulu, 23 Jacques Rosseau.
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images