WP scrap to win over Pumas

Scarra Ntubeni scored two tries as Western Province ground out a 28-14 win over the Pumas at Newlands on Friday night. CRAIG LEWIS reports.

In the past couple of days leading up to this clash, WP Rugby first faced the news that Flyt Property Investment would be seeking ‘damages’ from the WPRFU over reneging on an agreement signed in June 2020, while American consortium MVM Holdings pulled out of negotiations around a prospective investment.

It’s led to speculation whether some of the off-field issues might start to spill over to disrupt Western Province’s Currie Cup focus, but ultimately they at least managed to ensure there would be no slip up against a gutsy Pumas side.

Yet there will be very little jubilation around an error-riddled performance that was workmanlike at best.

In particular, the opening stanza was a largely forgettable affair, with the total of 16 conceded penalties telling the story of a stop-start affair that saw WP hold a tenuous 8-5 lead at the break.

Two quickfire tries after the break to Angelo Davids and Ntubeni did open up an 18-5 buffer for WP, but the penalties continued to flow in a scrappy encounter that lacked any rhythm.

Late in the game, the Pumas noticeably begun to enjoy a change of momentum of scrum time as tighthead prop Lee-Marvin Mazibuko found himself repeatedly penalised, while Herschel Jantjies was also yellow-carded as WP did little more than hang onto a 10-point lead.

In the final play of the game, though, Steven Kitshoff powered over the line to secure a bonus-point for WP that they will undoubtedly feel was a rather fortunate outcome.

Western Province – Tries: Scarra Ntubeni (2), Angelo Davids, Steven Kitshoff. Conversion: Kade Wolhuter. Penalties: Wolhuter (2).
Pumas – Tries: Erich Cronje. Penalties: Devon Williams (3).

Western Province – 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Michal Haznar, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Tristan Leyds, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 David Meihuizen, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Kwenzo Blose, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Johan du Toit, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Kade Wolhuter, 23 Dan du Plessis.

Pumas – 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Ruwellyn Isbell, 10 Tiaan Botes, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Darrien Landsberg, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (c), 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Ig Prinsloo, 2 Simon Westraadt, 1 Morgan Naude.
Subs: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 Wikus Groenewald, 18 Brandon Valentyn, 19 Ewart Potgieter, 20 Ginter Smuts, 21 Devon Williams, 22 Japie Kleinhans, 23 Liam Hendricks.

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Craig Lewis