Western Province thumped Free State 52-17 to clinch the U21 provincial title at Ellis Park on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
Province dominated from start to finish, with flyhalf Brandon Thomson pulling the strings with accurate kicking both tactically and off the tee for a 25-point haul.
Free State had their moments on attack, but failed to take their opportunities.
Province, who dominated upfront, raced out to a 17-3 lead inside the opening 20 minutes, courtesy of tries by fullback Grant Hermanus and captain EW Viljoen, either side of wing Arrie Vosloo’s penalty for Free State.
Thomson nailed both conversion attempts, before Cheetahs loosehead prop Ox Nche burrowed over from close range to reduce the deficit. But a further penalty gave WP a 20-10 lead at the break.
The second half started off slowly as neither side was able to add to its tally for a full 15 minutes. But then Thomson stepped up with 13 points in the space of six minutes, via two penalties and a converted try, to put the game beyond Free State’s reach.
WP started to throw the ball around more and soon lock David Ribbans went in untouched for their fourth converted score.
Free State did go over for a late consolation effort through eighthman Steven Meiring, but Province weren’t done yet as two final tries by Leolin Zas and replacement James Verity-Amm, capped off a dominant display.
Western Province U21 – Tries: Grant Hermanus, EW Viljoen, Brandon Thomson, David Ribbans, Zeolin Zas, James Verity-Amm. Conversions: Brandon Thomson (4), Jean-Luc du Plessis. Penalties: Thomson (4).
Free State U21 – Tries: Ox Nche, Steven Meiring. Conversions: Arrie Vosloo, Andre Venter. Penalty: Vosloo.
Western Province U21 – 15 Grant Hermanus, 14 Khanyo Ngcukana, 13 EW Viljoen (c), 12 Jarryd Sage, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Devon Nash, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Luke Stringer, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Kyle Whyte, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Wesley Adonis.
Subs: 16 Martin Wipplinger, 17 Liam Hendricks, 18 Kobus van Dyk, 19 Christo van der Merwe, 20 SP Ferreira, 21 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 22 James Verity-Amm.
Free State U21 – 15 Henry Immelman, 14 Carel-Jan Coetzee, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Stephen Janse van Rensburg, 11 Arrie Vosloo, 10 Andre Swart, 9 Louis Venter, 8 Steven Meiring, 7 Jasper Wiese, 6 Jean-Claude Fourie, 5 Justin Basson, 4 Boela Venter, 3 Gunther Janse van Vuuren, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Reinach Venter, 17 Johan Kotze, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Ntokozo Vidima, 20 Daniel Maartens, 21 Lorenzo Gordon, 22 Gerrie Labuschagne.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images