WP down fiery Free State
Gerdie Karstens
April 22, 2016

DHL Western Province beat a fiery Toyota Free State XV by 36-31 at the CUT stadium in Bloemfontein on Friday afternoon to add a second scalp to their list in the new provincial tournament.

Province centre Daniel du Plessis was the pick of the litter and scored two good tries ten minutes after the start of the second half to help put the visitors on the front foot. That gave the visitors the edge and their second victory of the competition after beating the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Newlands two weeks ago.

Free State started well on the attack and looked eager to build on win of 32-17 they got over the Namibian Welwitchias in the Toyota stadium last week. And it started well for the hosts as fiery hooker Joseph Dweba crossed as early as the 4th minute for the first try of the game.

Twenty minutes after the start of the first half and after numerous attempts, Province claimed the lead via a good five pointer by lock Jurie van Vuuren, with fly half Scott van Breda converting. The hosts however had the best of the first half as winger Mosolwa Mafuma crossed for the first of his two tries to see Free State to a slender 10-7 lead at the break.

Three quick tries by Province within 10 minutes after the start of the second half gave the visitors the grip on the game they needed. Centre Du Plessis proved his worth as crossed twice, with replacement Justin Philips also scoring as the Free State defence started to fail under all the pressure.

Free State regained some of their lost momentum with scrum half JP Smith scoring in the 55th minute and fly half Sias Ebersohn kicking another conversion to lessen the gap. A missed penalty by Van Breda in the 65th minute was followed by a successful attempt by Grant Hermanus before flanker Luke Stringer jotted down to make it 36-17 in favour of the visitors and seemingly put the game beyond Free State’s grasp.

Credit must however go to the hosts as they continued playing to the very end. First replacement hooker Tiaan Liebenberg scored before Mafuma claimed his second of the afternoon a minute before fulltime. Ebersohn converted both, but a deficit of five points gave Province their second victory of the competition.


DHL Western Province 36 (7): Tries: Daniel du Plessis (2), Jurie van Vuuren, Justin Philips, Luke Stringer. Conversions: Scott van Breda (4). Penalty: Grant Hermanus.

Toyota Free State XV 31 (10): Tries: Mosolwa Mafuma (2), Joseph Dweba, JP Smith, Tiaan Liebenberg. Conversions: Sias Ebersohn (3).

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