Western Province clinched a 38-12 bonus-point victory against Griquas at Newlands on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
WP’s fourth consecutive bonus-point win takes them back to the top of the Currie Cup log, ahead of the Sharks on points difference. The two teams will meet at Newlands next Saturday.
While WP’s backline – including two-try wing Sergeal Petersen, fullback Damian Willemse and scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies – will rightly receive plaudits for their support play, vision and execution, the headline features of the game were the hosts’ monstrous scrums, effective lineouts, and control at the breakdown. Special mention should also be made of WP’s stingy defence, which snuffed out the few scoring opportunities Griquas created.
Province made a flying start to the game, as Josh Stander crossed over for a self-converted effort in the second minute after their first real attack down the left flank.
Griquas were horribly exposed down the blindside again when WP made full use of the width of the field in the build-up to Petersen’s first try. Jantjies and Augustus compounded Griquas’ woes with tries to extend WP’s lead.
The moment of the match came from Petersen’s second touchdown. When Willemse threaded through a grubber, Griquas fullback AJ Coertzen fumbled possession at the back and Petersen gathered. But with Coertzen recovering well in defence, Petersen had the presence of mind to put boot to ball and outpaced his opponent to score a remarkable try.
At 33-0 down and with all the play taking place in their own half, there was finally some coast to coast action for Griquas when Kyle Steyn finished off a breakaway try. JJ Engelbrecht then stupidly slid into Steyn, with his knees making contact with the player’s head after the try had been scored, and had a penalty given against him.
Griquas bravely defended their line towards the end of the half to keep the score down to 33-7.
They began the second half like they ended the first, on a try-scoring note. Excellent ball retention saw them probe and bash away at the line, setting up Coertzen for a try in the corner.
The action fizzled out in the last quarter, but WP would, fittingly, have the final say when Engelbrecht finished off a well-worked team effort late in the match.
Western Province – Tries: Josh Stander, Sergeal Petersen (2), Herschel Jantjies, Juarno Augustus, JJ Engelbrecht. Conversions: Stander (4).
Griquas – Tries: Kyle Steyn, AJ Coertzen. Conversion: George Whitehead.
Western Province – 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 JJ Engelbrecht, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Chris van Zyl (c), 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Subs: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Justin Phillips, 21 Dan du Plessis, Dillyn Leyds.
Griquas – 15 AJ Coertzen, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Kyle Steyn (c), 12 Andre Swarts, 11 Enver Brandt, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Conway Pretorius, 7 Sias Koen, 6 Eital Bredenkamp, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren, 4 FP Pelser, 3 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 2 Khwezi Mkhafu, 1 Devon Martinus.
Subs: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Liam Hendricks, 18 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Stephan Janse van Rensburg, 21 Wendal Wehr, 22 Christopher Bosch.
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images