Province outgun Sharks
Brendon Atwell
September 03, 2016

Robert du Preez had a masterful performance as DHL Western Province outgunned the Cell C Sharks 34-27 (halftime 17-20), scoring five tries to two, in a pulsating Currie Cup Premier Division encounter at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday evening.

The Province flyhalf controlled the game brilliantly, slotting three conversions, a penalty and creating three tries to claim the man of the match award.

The Sharks took a while to get into the game and controlled the possession and territory stakes in the first half but found themselves trailing 17-6 midway through the first forty minutes.

WP opened the scoring with a well-worked try through centre Johnny Kotze, who ran a good line to take the ball from Du Preez, beat two defenders and score under the poles, which Du Preez converted.

Fullback Curwin Bosch, who had a near-perfect evening with the boot, slotted a penalty shortly after the opening try.

But Province extended their lead with their second try after a wonderful kick by Du Preez and a fortuitous bounce of the ball.

The home side were on their 22m line and Du Preez put the ball to boot, which bounced in space and right wing Werner Kok collected in front of Cheslin Kolbe and raced away to score.

Province's discipline cost them dearly in the first half as Bosch added four more penalties in the half while Du Preez landed one of his own.

Du Preez's brother, Jean-Luc, scored the Sharks' first try after Western Province gave away a scrum penalty.

Scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer took a quick-tap and raced towards the line but the visitors recycled the ball and moved left where Du Preez popped up and dived over in the left-hand corner as the visitors led by three points at the break.

Province kept their coastal rivals scoreless for two thirds of the second half while scoring three tries to extend their lead to 14 points.

The Sharks also had to play 10 minutes with 14 men as Du Preez was shown a yellow card for tipping centre EW Viljoen, but the home side were unable to make the Sharks pay.


Province started the second half strongly and were camped on the Sharks tryline when Du Preez put in a cross kick to the right of the field where Viljoen jumped and beat Bosch in the air to score the third try.

Province were unable to add to the scoreboard during Du Preez's absence, but the visitors seemed to lose momentum.

Once Du Preez returned, Province managed to run in two more tries with flanker Kobus van Dyk dotting down for the bonus-point try.

WP managed to put together a very strong maul, running the Sharks pack backwards before being stopped short of the line but the ball was recycled and Van Dyk popped over the line.

Viljoen scored his second try of the night after another deft touch by flyhalf Du Preez, who dropped the ball onto the boot, threading it through the eye of a needle, with Viljoen picking up and falling over the line to give the home side a 14-point cushion with Du Preez converting.

But the Sharks came back strongly and scored their second try through replacement fullback, Rhyno Smith.

A wonderful breakout from inside their own half by right wing Odwa Ndungane breaking down the line, gave the Sharks frontfoot ball with which to attack.

The ball was recycled and moved out to the left and with an overlap, Smith was able to dive over the line to give the Sharks hope as Bosch converted.

But try as they might, the Sharks were unable to find the final score which would have snatched a draw as handling errors and tenacious defending from the home side handed Western Province just their second victory from four games.

Despite the loss, the men from Durban remain top of the Currie Cup log, just one point ahead of the Toyota Free State Cheetahs who have a game in hand.

Province, meanwhile, move up to sixth on the log with 12 points, level with current champions, the Xerox Golden Lions.


DHL Western Province - Tries: EW Viljoen (2), Johnny Kotze, Werner Kok, Kobus van Dyk; Conversions: Robert du Preez (3); Penalties: Du Preez.

Cell C Sharks - Tries: Jean-Luc du Preez, Rhyno Smith; Conversions: Curwin Bosch; Penalties: Bosch (5).

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