Mgomezulu magic gets WP on the board
CRAVEN WEEK REPORT: Western Province flyhalf Sacha Mgomezulu pulled all the strings in a dominant performance as his side made their intentions clear with a 50-24 victory over Boland on Day One of the 2019 Craven Week.
Mgomezulu may not have added his name onto the scorers list but was influential in setting up most of the WP’s eight tries, despite Boland putting them under pressure for sustained periods of the match.
Western Province immediately stamped their authority on the match when Lukhanyo Vokozela dotted down in the second minute. WP set up a five-metre line-out and the rolling maul proved successful as WP opened the scoring. Montpellier-bound Kade Wolhuter added the extras to ensure a 7-0 ahead.
Boland hit back almost immediately though as they got their hands on the ball and took the game to their more-fancied opponents. They got some reward in the fifth minute when Hugo Mostert slotted a penalty to reduce the deficit to 3-7.
The match turned into an arm-wrestle from that point and Boland could have added to their scoreline but Mostert’s penalty attempt went wide. WP came charging back to increase their lead when Marco de Witt dotted down in the 19th minute.
The arm-wrestle continued but quick thinking by Wolhuter caught Boland’s defence off-guard in the 26th minute to add his name to the try scorers list. He added the extras to ensure a 19-3 lead. There was no stopping WP as they grabbed their fourth try soon after when Jacques Rousseau rounded off a flowing move.
From a breakdown, WP sent the ball through the backline to find Angelo Osch out wide. Osch broke down the sideline, came inside to draw the final defender and put Rousseau through for an easy score. Wolhuter once again landed the conversion for a 26-3 lead after 30 minutes, which is how it remained at the half-time interval.
It took six minutes for the scoreline to change as Boland got their first try of the match in the 41st minute. Nathan Engelbrecht broke from his 22, sucked in four WP defenders to create space on the outside for Mostert, who raced away to score under the uprights. He added the extras to reduce the deficit to 10-26.
Back came WP though as No.8 Gideon van Wyk rounded things off. Mgomezulu put Rousseau through, who went on a solid run before offloading to van Wyk. Wolhuter’s conversion ensured a 33-10. However, back came Boland when Boldwin Hansen came on an inside run after receiving a pass on WP’s 22-metre line to race away. Mostert’s conversion reduced the deficit to 17-33.
However, WP turned on the style from that point to score two quick tries through Van Wyk and Wolhuter. On both occassions, Mgomezulu timing of his passes was spot on as he put both team mates into gaps in the 58th and 62nd minute, respectively. Wolhuter added a single conversion to stretch the lead to 45-17.
WP put the icing on the cake in the 68th minute when Angelo Osch showed some nifty footwork that created a gap for Tyler Bocks to run through and dot down to take WP’s point tally to the 50-point mark.
Boland had the final say though, as Engelbrecht’s show-and-go opened a gap in WP’s defence. He needn’t a second invite to race through and score after the final hooter. Mostert popped over the conversion to close out the match.
For Western Province:
Tries: Vokozela, de Witt, Wolhuter 2, Rousseau, van Wyk 2, Bocks
Cons: Wolhuter 5
Tries: Mostert, Hansen, Engelbrecht
Cons: Mostert 3
Western Province: 1 Rhynhardt Rijnsburger, 2 Allister Williams, 3 Brian le Roux, 4 Connor Evans, 5 Dylan De Leeuw, 6 Romauld Ntumba, 7 Pierich Siebert (captain), 8 Gideon van Wyk, 9 Dylan Alexander, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 11 Angelo Osch, 12 Tyler Bocks, 13 Quan Horn, 14 Curwin Gertse, 15 Tharquin Manuel, 16 Lukhanyo Vokozela, 17 Gert Marais, 18 Jovan Bekker, 19 Marco de Witt, 20 Isaiah Wharton, 21 Liam Kloosman, 22 Sacha Mgomezulu, 23 Jacques Rousseau.
Boland: 1 Benicio Kampher, 2 Wynand du Plessis, 3 Albert Bruwer, 4 Renier Viljoen, 5 Tarek Smith, 6 SJ Herholdt (captain), 7 Joshua Smith, 8 JP van der Westhuizen, 9 William Baron, 10 Boldwin Hansen, 11 Wayne Plaatjies, 12 Bradley Alexander, 13 Roann Jansen, 14 Hugo Mostert, 15 Keane Galant, 16 Marcel Pheiffer, 17 Tiaan Hechter, 18 Ferninn Arendse, 19 Gysbert du Preez, 20 Danel Franse, 21 Gilton Mangena, 22 Nathan Engelbrecht, 23 Jaydin van Wyk
Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)
Assistant referees: Rauridh Campbell (Scotland), Anelda Coetzee
TMO: Paul Larter (Scotland)