Wed 19 Jul 2017 | 04:47

Honours Even in Main Match

Honours Even in Main Match
Wed 19 Jul 2017 | 04:47
Honours Even in Main Match
In 1981 the Springboks drew 16-all with the Maori after a dubious dropped goal for the Springboks by Colin Beck was judged to be over. After the match Billy Bush, captain of the Maori, announced: "We won 16-all."
Who won 13-all on this pleasant afternoon at St Stithians College in Randburg? The decision will probably be known when the teams are announced to play in the main match on Saturday.
The Golden Lions scrummed better, there was little to choose between the line-outs, the Golden Lions won the turnovers and the penalty count but the Western Province backs looked more cohesive, more effective, always likely to produce a surprise.
Western Province started each half with a try. They scored after 43 seconds in the first half and after 19 seconds in the second half. That is two tries in 62 seconds, just over a minute, in a match which went on for just over 70 minutes.
It was a tense, high-tempo affair from start to finish, relentless, brave, ruled by zeal an d determination. That there were few tries did not take away from the desperate, painful tension of the match which lasted from first whistle to last. The excitement survived the long, messy scrums and the long "time-offs" for consultations about decisions.
Western Province kicked off, the Golden Lions kicked out and Western Province won a line-out on their left. They went right and left wing Thaakir Abrahams broke clean through. Left wing gave to right wing and Angelo Davids scored in the corner as two Golden Lions tried to stop him. There was a prolonged consultation with the TMO before the try was awarded. 5-0 after 43 seconds.
Left wing Santino Swanepoel of the Golden Lions had a long run on counterattack and hooker Joshua Muller looked every bit a speedy centre as Western Province attacked down the right. From a long Golden Lions kick, Western Province took a quick throw-in to Muller du Plessis in a counterattack of nearly 50 metres.
Muller du Plessis and Joachim Martins of Western Province attacked and then Western Province missed a relatively easy penalty.
When the Western Province loosehead was penalised in a scrum that collapsed even before the ball was in the Golden Lions missed an even easier kick when the ball hit the upright and bounced away.
The half ended at 5-0 to Western Province.
The Golden Lions kicked off to start the second half. Flyhalf Quan Eymann broke at great speed down the left and some 40 metres later gave to Abrahams who raced to final 20 metres to score the 19-second try. Western Province led 10-0.
Two minutes later the Golden Lions scored their first try. From a line-out near the half-way line, on their right, they went far left where Yanga Hlalu made inroads. They were close and went wide right where speedy David Cary ran round the defence to score in the corner. 10-5 after 42 minutes.
The Golden Lions attacked again through aggressive phases but were penalised.
Western Province won the ball back from a tackle but Lucky Dlepu was blown away and Franco Schutte flykicked and chased. The ball stood up for him but Eymann brought him down from behind. Falling Schutte got the ball to Santino Swanepoel who was delighted to score. It was the easiest conversion of the afternoon but went astray. 10-10 with 17 minutes to play.
Western Province kicked a long kick downfield but Santino Swanepoel came racing back past defender after defender. He gave to Leon Mpeku who knocked on. For the third time in the match Western Province were penalised at the scrum and Bonianga Mpeku kicked the goal to give the Golden Lions the lead with 10 minutes to play.
Western Province hurled themselves at the Golden Lions and were rewarded with a penalty, a long way out but in front. Eymann kicked the ball dead straight, in the middle of the uprights. 13-13 with five minutes to play.
Western Province had the best chance to score in the end play. They kicked downfield and chased. Faced with two attackers, lone defender, Schutte, like Horatius of old, saved the day for his side.
Would it be such a bad idea if they had a replay on Saturday?
Golden Lions: 15 Bonianga Mpeku (KES), 14 David Cary (Helpmekaar), 13 Leon Mpeku (KES), 12 Yanga Hlalu (KES), 11 Santino Pieter Swanepoel (Florida), 10 Marc Morrison (KES), 9 Tinus Combrinck (Monument), 8 Travis Gordon (KES), 7 Franco Schutte (Monument), 6 Mark Snyman (Helpmekaar), 5 Stephan le Roux (Monument), 4 Christen van Niekerk (Monument), 3 Keegan Glade (KES), 2 Morné Brandon (Monument), 1 Nkosikhona Masuku (Parktown), 16 Dameon Venter, 17 Rudolph Oosthuizen (Florida), 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye (St Stithians), 19 Kegan Litchfield (Jeppe), 20 Pieter Jacobs (Monument), 21 Luke Rossouw (Monument), 22 Tyler Hayward (KES), 23 Muzilikazi Manyike (Jeppe).
Western Province: 15 Muller du Plessis (Paarl Gim), 14 Angelo Davids (Stellenberg), 13 Dawid Kellerman (Paarl Gim), 12 Rufus Dercksen (Paul Roos), 11 Thaakir Abrahams (Paarl Boys' High), 10 Quan Franklin Eymann (Brackenfell), 9 Vusile Dlepu (SACS), 8 Joachim Martins (Paarl Gim), 7 Philip van Dyk (Paul Roos), 6 Vian Fourie (Paarl Boys' High), 5 Adrian Alberts (Paarl Boys' High), 4 Ian Kitwanga (Parklands), 3 Joshua du Preez (Paarl Boys' High), 2 Joshua Muller (Stellenberg), 1 Alexander Mbete (Paul Roos), 16 Christaan Rossouw (Paarl Gim), 17 Hugo Pienaar (Paarl Gim), 18 Tristan Leitch (Paul Roos), 19 Janko Swanepoel (Stellenberg), 20 Sujai Ikemefuna (SACS), 21 Gerado Jaars (Paul Roos), 22 Mogamat Karriem (Leadership), 23 Duren Hoffman (Boland Landbou).
Referee: Mpho Matsaung
Assistant referees: Eduan Nel, Pieter Maritz 
Television matchg official: Lesego Legoete
Assessors: Jacques Hugo

PV: 2