Kotze shines as WP punish Bulls
MATCH REPORT: JJ Kotze scored four as Western Province cruised to a convincing 48-24 victory over a depleted Bulls side at Loftus Versfeld.
Kotze was one of the standout performers during the Cape Town side’s seven-try demolition on Saturday.
Aside from Kotze’s quartet Sihle Njezula, Evan Roos and Dan Du Plessis added their names to the score sheet.
For the Bulls, Kefentse Mahlo, Richard Kiel, Dewald Donald and Jaco Labuschagne all crossed the line.
*As it happened: Bulls v WP
The Capetonians’ class upfront was simply too hot to handle for the defending champions, which is essentially where the game was won. With four tries in the first half, WP were firmly in control, leading by 28-12 at the break.
They added another three after the break, but credit to the young men from Pretoria for not giving up and grabbing a four-try bonus point right at the death.
Both sides were depleted due to various reasons, but in the end WP simply had too many players with too much experience for the Bulls’ youngsters, most of which still played in the Varsity Cup and Pretoria’s Carlton Cup club league in the last few weeks.
With their set piece on fire against the home team, WP kept it simple and pounced when they had the opportunity. All four their tries in the first half were scored from attacking lineouts – Sihle Njazula (wing) crossed in the corner after a great backline move, while Kotze (hooker) was driven over from mauls.
Despite being on the backfoot, the Bulls were on the scoreboard first when Kefentse Mahlo (wing) went over untouched from a turnover, after the visitors showed early attacking intent.
Richard Kriel (fullback), who had a hand in Mahlo’s try, got the home team’s second try after good handling when they managed to get into the visitors’ half, but that didn’t happen nearly enough for the Vodacom Bulls to put up any form of fight.
It was almost inevitable that Kotze was going to score another try, which happened 10 minutes after the restart as WP continued to build on their forward dominance. When Evan Roos (No.8) broke through some weak tackling for the visitors’ sixth try, followed later by their seventh from Dan du Plessis (centre) from another dominant scrum, a massacre what on the cards.
It didn’t fully materialize as the Bulls kept on fighting (the scored two late tries for a bonus point) and WP’s replacements cost them some momentum, but in the end the visitors simply had too much fire-power across all aspects of the game on a night where the men from Pretoria’s top dogs were preparing for the Rainbow Cup final in Italy.
Man of the match: For the Bulls, Richard Kriel put in an impressive shift. Evan Roos of the Western Province was another player who stood out. However, for his four tries, our nod goes to Western Province hooker JJ Kotze.
Tries: Mahlo, Kiel, Donald, Labuschagne
Cons: Burger 2
For Western Provice:
Tries: Njezula, Kotze 4, Roos, Du Plessis
Cons: Van Reenen 4, Swiel
Yellow cards: Simphiwe Matanzima (Bulls, 40 – Deliberate infringement), Sergeal Petersen (Western Province, 73 – deliberate obstruction)
Bulls: 15 Richard Kriel, 14 Sebastiaan Jobb, 13 Sango Xamlashe (captain), 12 Louritz van der Schyff, 11 Kefentse Mahlo, 10 Jandré Burger, 9 Johan Mulder, 8 Jaco Bezuidenhout, 7 Jaco Labuschagne, 6 Henco Beukes, 5 Tiaan de Klerk, 4 JJ Scheepers, 3 Francois Klopper, 2 Werner Fourie, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima.
Replacements – from: 16 Llewellyn Classen, 17 Dewald Donald, 18 Mhleli Dlamini, 19 Adolph Visser, 20 Eduan Lubbe, 21 Tiaan Fourie, 22 Kabelo Mokoena, 23 Niel Beukes, 24 Uzile Tele.
Western Province: 15 Sergeal Petersen, 14 Sihle Njezula, 13 Rikus Pretorius, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Abner van Reenen, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Niel Otto, 5 David Meihuizen, 4 Ernst van Rhyn (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 JJ Kotze, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements (from): 16 Sazi Sandi, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Justin Basson, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Cornel Smit, 24 Jason Alexander, 25 De Wet Marais, 26 Chris Schreuder.
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Local appointments
TMO: Cwengile Jadezweni