Western Province produced a superior forward performance to beat the Blue Bulls 20-5 at Newlands on Saturday. JON CARDINELLI reports.
A lot was said in the buildup about the Bulls’ strength at the set pieces and Springbok lock Lood de Jager’s potentially game-shaping inclusion. On the day, however, the Bulls struggled to impose themselves at the lineouts and were absolutely hammered by WP at the scrums.
The visitors lived off scraps, and it was a from a turnover deep in their own territory that they scored the first try of the contest. Tim Agaba shifted the ball to Embrose Papier, who sprinted 70-odd metres before pointing to the sky and diving for the corner.
#CurrieCup – HALFTIME:
Western Province 5-5 Blue Bulls
It’s all square at the interval with Embrose Papier and Ruhan Nel the two try scorers.
— SuperSport ⚽️🏆 (@SuperSportTV) July 13, 2019
Ruhan Nel scored for WP in the 25th minute. The half-time scoreline of 5-5 was a poor reflection of the contest, given the amount of possession and territory enjoyed by the hosts.
Province continued to impose themselves in the second stanza. Their kicking game and ability to offload in contact fractured the Bulls’ defence, and created a chance for Juarno Augustus to slip down the left-hand touchline for a five-pointer.
The Bulls lost a key player when De Jager – who was being managed carefully in his first game back from injury – left the field in the 50th minute. They struggled to retain possession for any significant period and failed to address their issues at scrum time.
The Bulls conceded yet another scrum penalty in the 65th minute. SP Marais slotted a long-range penalty kick to extend WP’s lead to 10 points.
Craig Barry scored after the hooter as WP went on to secure the win and deny the Bulls a bonus point.
Western Province – Tries: Ruhan Nel, Juarno Augustus, Craig Barry. Conversion: SP Marais. Penalty: Marais.
Blue Bulls – Try: Embrose Papier.
Western Province – 15 SP Marais, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 Chris van Zyl (c), 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Corne Fourie.
Subs: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Josh Stander, 23 Craig Barry.
Blue Bulls – 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Wian Vosloo, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Ruan Nortje, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima
Subs: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Matthys Basson, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Dylan Sage.