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WP survive yellow peril to beat Wildebeest
MWP
April 26, 2008
Vodacom Western Province survived being reduced to 13 men at one point to earn a home Vodacom Cup semi-final with a hard-fought 22-14 victory (halftime 8-7) over the Natal Wildebeest in Cape Town on Saturday.

The home side were reduced to 13 men when prop Wicus Blaauw joined replacement scrumhalf Allister Siegelaar in the sin-bin in the 54th inute – Blaauw for ill-discipline at the breakdown and Sieglaar for a late tackle.

In their absence Wildebeest flanker Michael Rhodes made the home team pay when he carried two tacklers over the tryline after a string of good passes saw the visitors move the ball down the line. De Bruin’s conversion brought the visitors to within two points of the lead (15-14).

Western Province survived without conceding further points and finished with a late try to secure the victory and a home semifinal against the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs.

The crowd at Newlands didn’t have to wait long for their team to score. From the kick-off, Western Province flyhalf Isma-eel Dollie charged down a clearing kick from his opposite number, recovered the ball and scored.

The visitors made their first impression on the scoreboard 20 minutes later when Natal hooker Jody Jenneker powered over from a free-kick on WP’s five-metre line – flyhalf Neil de Bruin converted to give his team a 7-5 lead.

The score remained unchanged as both De Bruin and Dollie struggled to hit the mark with penalty kicks, but the latter successfully slotted a kick at goal with four minutes remaining in the first half to reclaim the lead for Western Province at the break (8-7).

In the second half Western Province again made a strong start, scoring four minutes after the restart. Left winger Zahier Ryland flipped a no-look pass over his outside shoulder to centre Dabeon Draghoender near halfway, the ball went to Dollie in support, and the flyhalf sold a dummy-pass inside – flat-footing Wildebeest captain Alistair Hargreaves – to score his second try, jogging over from 30 metres out. Dollie’s conversion gave WP a 15-7 lead.

The Wildebeest also had a player yellow-carded with eleven minutes remaining – replacement lock Schalk van Jaarsveld was given 10 minutes to cool off after he high-tackled WP winger Terry Jacobs. They too suffered the consequences when Dollie latched onto a loop pass inside the Wildebeest’ 22, zipped a tight spiral pass to replacement hooker Deon Fourie on the wing and watched as his team–mate outran Jenneker for the final try of the match. Dollie’s successful conversion gave the home team an unassailable lead.

Western Province are now one step away from reaching the finals for the first time in the competition’s eleven-year history.

Scorers:

Western Province - Tries: Isma-eel Dollie (2), Deon Fourie. Conversions: Dollie (2). Penalties: Dollie.

Wildebeest - Tries: Jody Jenneker, Michael Rhodes. Conversions: Neil de Bruin (2).

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