WP return to winning ways
September 17, 2016

DHL Western Province returned to winning ways with a bonus-point 31-23 (halftime 10-6) Currie Cup Premier Division victory over the Steval Pumas at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.

In order to remain in the hunt for a semifinal place, Province had to avoid defeat and were inspired by their Scottish international, Huw Jones. The centre returned from injury to take his place in the midfield and was instrumental in restoring Western Province to winning ways, setting up his side's opening try by right wing Werner Kok, before scoring the try of the match in the second half.

Province sealed their bonus point when lock Jan de Klerk stretched over the line after left wing Leolin Zas had scored from close range. Flyhalf Robert du Preez converted all four tries and added a penalty while his opposite number Francois Brummer, slotted a penalty and a drop goal.

The visitors managed three tries of their own, but the game was already beyond doubt with six minutes remaining and Province leading by 20 points.

The penalty count in the first period was high which broke the continuity of both sides but it was the Pumas who had the better of the opening exchanges, putting the home side under pressure which resulted in Brummer opening the scoring with a drop goal after sustained pressure on the Province line.

WP started to get their game going and strung some phases together but failed to take some penalty opportunities, opting rather to kick for the corners in search of tries for the bonus point. Eventually Du Preez opened the home side's account with a penalty after 18 minutes before Jones produced some magic.

Jones found the smallest of spaces to break through, racing down field before offloading to Kok to score the opening try with Du Preez converting. Brummer landed a penalty as the first period closed off with just four points separating the two sides.

The visitors were reduced to 14 men at the start of the first half with replacement prop, DJ Terblanche, being shown a yellow card for his side's repeated infringements after WP had camped themselves on the tryline.

But the home side were also reduced to 14 men just moments later as hooker Michael Willemse was shown a yellow card for a high tackle on replacement scrumhalf Kevin Luiters. Brummer pushed the resultant penalty wide of the mark before Jones produced the try of the match.

A ball from the base of the ruck to Du Preez was neatly offloaded to the Scottish international, who side-stepped five defenders before beating a 6th to score next to the sticks. Du Preez converted to extend to lead to 11 points midway through the second stanza.

The return of Terblanche to the field of play gave the Pumas some oomph as they worked their way up the field before winger JP Lewis went over in the corner for the visitors' first try. But Province all but wrapped up the game in a two minute blitz as Zas and De Klerk scored converted tries to hand Province the much-needed bonus point.

Fullback Cheslin Kolbe produced a good run before being stopped short of the line but the ball was recycled well and Zas took a short ball and went over for try No 3. Just two minutes later and the bonus-point was sealed as Kok was given space on the right by replacement Scott van Breda, before racing away towards the line. But some scrambled cover defending stopped the burly right winger from scoring his second try. But De Klerk used his size and power to reach for the tryline for try No 4.

The Pumas though hit back in the final six minutes with tries from replacement centre Tyler Fisher and Number 8 Renaldo Bothma. Fullback Devon Williams, who took over the kicking from Brummer, managed just a single conversion as Province returned to winning ways.


DHL Western Province - Tries: Werner Kok, Huw Jones, Leolin Zas, Jan de Klerk; Conversions: Robert du Preez (4); Penalty: Du Preez.

Steval Pumas - Tries: JP Lewis, Tyler Fisher, Renaldo Bothma; Conversion: Devon Willliams; Penalty: Brummer; Drop-Goal: Brummer.