Western Province beat the Blue Bulls 10-6 at Newlands on Saturday to set up a Vodacom Cup final clash with the Pumas. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
The Bulls dominated the early stages of the contest but stern WP defence kept them at bay. Jean-Luc du Plessis and Kobus Marais then traded penalties with both teams looking set to go into the break deadlocked at 3-3.
Province, who had been dominated by the Bulls in the lineouts up to that point, turned down the opportunity to kick at goal for the lead and set the lineout again. The gamble paid dividends as they secured the ball and pushed forward with a driving maul before Notshe broke away to score a converted try for a 10-3 half-time lead.
The second half wasn't any better with only three points added to the score for the visitors by Marais. Fullback Akona Ndungane, who played well throughout the match, might have scored a vital try when he crossed the tryline, but his effort was disallowed for an infringement in the lead-up.
The hosts then held off a late surge by the Bulls to claim a first win in a Vodacom Cup knockout match against the old enemy.
Western Province – Try: Sikhumbuzo Notshe. Conversion: Jean-Luc du Plessis. Penalty: Du Plessis.
Blue Bulls – Penalties: Kobus Marais (2).
Western Province – 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Pat Howard, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Robert du Preez, 11 Tshotsho Mbovane, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Rayn Smid, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Tapiwa Tsomondo, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Michael Willemse (c), 1 Sti Sithole.
Subs: 16 Charlton van Jaarsveld, 17 Deacon Chowles, 18 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 19 Justin Benn, 20 Justin Phillips, 21 Kyle Lombard, 22 Willy Ambaka.
Blue Bulls – 15 Akona Ndungane, 14 Jade Stighlingh, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Kobus Marais, 9 JP Smith, 8 Clyde Davids, 7 Nardus van der Walt,6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Nqubeko Zulu, 3 Andrew Beerwinkel, 2 Arno van Wyk, 1 Basil Short.
Subs: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 19 Roelof Smit, 20 Kefentse Mahlo, 21 CJ Stander, 22 Marquit September.
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images