DHL WP crowned 2017 Currie Cup champions
October 28, 2017
DHL Western Province produced a strong second-half display and held their nerve late in the hard-fought Currie Cup Final – sponsored by Nashua and DirectAxis – in Durban on Saturday for a 33-21 victory and their first title since 2014.

The hosts edged their way to a 21-15 halftime lead to the delight of in front of a passionate crowd of 32 562 people at Growthpoint Kings Park, but the Capetonians fought back strongly in the second half to score 18 unanswered points and claim the coveted title.

The win marked the Cape side’s third away victory in five Currie Cup finals against the Cell C Sharks in Durban since 1995, and it capped off a rewarding day for the union from Cape Town as they also secured the SA Rugby U21 Championship title in the curtain-raiser to the main final, while the Xerox Golden Lions secured the SA Rugby U19 Championship title.

In the main game, the home team opened up the scoring in the third minute when veteran winger Odwa Ndungane dived in for a try, but this was cancelled out minutes later as DHL Western Province centre Huw Jones crossed the chalk to level the scores at 7-7.

Cell C Sharks No 8 Dan du Preez broke the deadlock in the 17th minute as he crashed over following good pressure close to the tryline, but their lead was reduced to 15-10 as his brother, DHL Western Province flyhalf Robert du Preez, slotted a penalty goal early in the fourth quarter.

The home team again inflated their score with a penalty goal and drop goal by flyhalf Curwin Bosch, but a vital try by DHL Western Province and Springbok winger Dillyn Leyds, who took advantage of space in the corner, on the stroke of halftime saw the hosts enter the break 21-15 ahead.

The opening exchanges of the second half were tight, but the visitors struck first 11 minutes in as flanker Cobus Wiese scored in the corner to see DHL WP move to within a point of the Cell C Sharks on the scoreboard.

The Capetonians took the lead for the first time in the 54th minute as Jones again navigated his way to the line for their fourth try, which Robert du Preez converted and backed up with a penalty goal five minutes later to push the visitors into an encouraging 30-21.

The Cell C Sharks were dealt a blow in the 69th minute as Dan du Preez received a yellow card and the visitors capitalised on this as Robert du Preez slotted over a penalty goal, which left the hosts with the tough task of having to score two tries in the last eight minutes to keep alive their hopes of a victory. The visitors, however, managed to shut them out in the dying minutes and sealed the 33-21 victory.


In the Currie Cup promotion-relegation match on Friday evening, Tafel Lager Griquas outscored Currie Cup First Division champions, the Down Touch Griffons, nine tries to four in Kimberley for an emphatic 59-26 victory in a match that featured two hat-tricks – by Tafel Lager Griquas winger Ederies Arendse and Down Touch Griffons fullback Selvyn Davids.

The Welkom side tried hard to make their presence felt and gave everything, but Tafel Lager Griquas were more effective at creating point-scoring chances and rounding them off, and the rewards followed, with the side registering a comfortable victory.

Results and scorers:

Currie Cup Final – Cell C Sharks 21 (21) DHL Western Province 33 (15)

Cell C Sharks – Tries: Dan Du Preez, Odwa Ndungane. Conversion: Curwin Bosch. Penalty Goals: Bosch (2). Drop Goal: Bosch.

DHL Western Province – Tries: Cobus Wiese, Dillyn Leyds, Huw Jones (2). Conversions: Robert du Preez (2). Penalty Goals: Robert du Preez (3).

Currie Cup Promotion-relegation match – Tafel Lager Griquas 59 (26) Down Touch Griffons 26 (14)

Tafel Lager Griquas – Tries: Tertius Kruger, Ederies Arendse (3), AJ Coertzen, De Wet Kruger, Wendal Wehr, Tiaan Dorfling, Shaun McDonald. Conversions: George Whitehead (7).

Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Selvyn Davids (3), Penalty Try. Conversions: Jaun Kotze, Tertius Maarman.

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