Western Province got their U18 Craven Week campaign off to a solid start by beating Boland 50-24 on day one in Bloemfontein on Monday. DYLAN JACK reports.
In truth, it was a bit of a stuttering start from WP as they struggled to deal with the excellent breakdown pressure from Boland. While they outscored their near neighbours four tries to zero in the first half, they looked quite disjointed for a good period of the match.
A brace from No 8 Gideon van Wyk, who enjoyed a solid cameo in the second half, to go with a 22-point haul from Kade Wolhuter had WP overcome their rivals, although the match was tighter than the scoreline suggests.
Also impressive for WP was flyhalf Sacha Mngomezulu, who set up a couple of tries with some typical off-the-cuff rugby and lock Marco de Witt, who scored a try and was a menace at the lineout.
After a competitive start, it took WP just over 60 seconds to open the scoring when hooker Lukhanyo Vokozela went over from a driving maul. However, Boland made their intentions known by doing their utmost to spoil WP possession, putting plenty of pressure on scrumhalf Liam Kloosman. Boland managed to get on the board moments later through a penalty from Keane Gelant.
WP started to take control when lock Marco de Witt reached over for a try before fullback Kade Wolhuter scored from a quick-tap penalty. A wonderful flowing move started by Wolhuter allowed inside centre Jacques Rousseau to score WP’s fourth, and they went into half time 26-3 up.
Boland struck early in the second half as Hugo Mostert had a free run at the line after an excellent linebreak from Nathan Engelbrecht. However, after withstanding some determined defending, Rousseau set up big No 8 Gideon van Wyk for WP’s fifth try. That was cancelled out as flyhalf Boldwin Hansen ran a good line on a set move from a scrum to break through the WP defence for a fine individual try.
Province all but sealed the result when an excellent pass from Mngomezulu found Van Wyk, who strode in for his second of the match, before the flyhalf also set up Wolhuter for his brace. Centre Tyler Bocks added further gloss to the scoreline with a late try.
Western Province – Tries: Lukhanyo Vokozela, Marco de Witt, Kade Wolhuter (2), Jacques Rousseau, Gideon van Wyk (2), Tyler Bocks. Conversions: Kade Wolhuter (5).
Boland – Try: Hugo Mostert, Boldwin Hansen, Nathan Engelbrecht. Conversion: Keane Gelant (3). Penalty: Gelant.
Western Province – 15 Kade Wolhuter, 14 Curwin Gertse, 13 Tyler Bocks, 12 Jacques Rousseau, 11, Angelo Osch, 10 Sacha Mngomezulu, 9 Liam Kloosman, 8 Isaiah Wharton, 7 Pierich Siebert (c), 6 Romeo Ntummba, 5 Dylan de Leeuw, 4 Marco de Witt, 3 Jovan Bekker, 2 Lukhanyo Vokozela, 1 Louwtjie Marais.
Subs: 16 Allister Williams, 17 Rhynardt Rijnsburger, 18 Bryan le Roux, 19 Connor Evans, 20 Gideon van Wyk, 21 Bobby Alexander, 22 Quan Horn, 23 Tharquinn Manuel.
Boland – 15 Keane Gelant, 14 Hugo Mostert, 13 Roann Jansen, 12 Bradley Alexander, 11 Wayne Plaatjies, 10 Boldwin Hansen, 9 William Baron, 8 JP van der Westhuizen, 7 Gysbert du Preez, 6 SJ Heroldt, 5 Tarek Smith, 4 Reiner Viljoen, 3 Fernnin Arendse, 2 Wynand du Plessis, 1 Tiaan Hechter.
Subs: 16 Marcel Pheiffer, 17 Benicio Kamfer, 18 Albert Bruwer, 19 Joshua Smit, 20 Danel Franse, 21 Gilton Mangena, 22 Nathan Engelbrecht, 23 Jayden van Wyk.
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images