Cavaliers, Western Province play to draw
June 09, 2018

After an almighty tussle the SuperSport Rugby Challenge match between the Boland Cavaliers and DHL Western Province ended 24-24 at Esselen Park, Worcester on Saturday afternoon.

Boland started like a house on fire and after a strong run by winger Charles Mayeza it was the veteran flyhalf Elgar Watts who opened the scoring with a try, which he also converted.

Sergio Torrens, who was on the other wing for the home side, then further extended the lead after scrumhalf Jovelian de Koker handed-off his opposite number Justin Phillips in the build-up to the try. Watts could add the conversion and Boland led 12-0 in Worcester.

Big lock Ernst van Rhyn, who was one five players from Varsity Cup champions FNB Maties in the WP team, then punched a big hole before ofloading to flying centre Dan du Plessis. The try was converted by flyhalf Joshua Stander and at 12-7 WP keeping in touch with the Cavaliers.

Mayeza then went over for a try of his own after he switched from the blindside wing and his pace and power was too much for the wannabee WP defenders. Watts made it 19-7 but Boland knew that they had to keep scoring points as they were playing with a strong wind at their backs and after the break the visitors would be able to use it to their advantage.

After eightman Jaco Coetzee was stretchered off the field the 2017 World Rugby U20 Championship player of the year Juarno Augustus made his comeback from injury and he made a massive statement to the DHL Stormers coaching staff, especially with Nizaam Carr leaving to further his career overseas.

Torrens grabbed his brace shortly thereafter and Watts hit the post with his conversion attempt, which would turn out to be vitally important in the context of the final result. The halftime score was 24-7 to the Cavaliers but coach John Dobson knew his team would be able to use the wind after the break.

The WP lineout struggled after the break and it was Augustus who sparked the WP comeback with his strong running and big contributions all over the park. First, he nearly scored a try himself before creating one for wing Edwill van der Merwe. Cavaliers lock Brandon Valentyn, who was on the field for less than a minute, was shown a yellow card by referee AJ Jacobs and WP then used the numerical advantage almost immediately. Augustus picked the ball up from the subsequent scrum after his pack won the tighthead and proceeded to put the flying Van der Merwe over in the corner. Stander slotted the difficult conversion and at 24-14 WP started to believe they could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

A quick tap by Trokkie, as Augustus is known to his teammates, saw him go over and Stander hit the upright with his conversion attempt. The WP then threw the proverbial kitchen sink at Boland and it was Augustus again to score as he powered his way over the whitewash. Stander nearly snatched the victory for the team in blue and white hoops but the match ended 24-24 with both teams being disappointed in the final result.

The hosts know that they will not get a better opportunity to beat their neighbours while WP kept their unbeaten streak alive but are no longer to boast a 100%-win result in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge. WP now have a week to regroup before they host the SWD Eagles at Brookside in Cape Town while Boland travel to face the self-same SWD at Outeniqua Park in George.


DHL WP: Tries: Dan Du Plessis, Edwill van der Merwe, Juarno Augustus (2), Conversions: Joshua Stander (2).

Boland Cavaliers: Tries: Elgarr Watts, Sergio Torrens (2), Charles Mayeza, Conversions: Watts (2)

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