Davids hat-trick sets up Province win
CURRIE CUP MATCH REPORT: New recruit Angelo Davids scored a hat-trick of tries as Western Province got their campaign off to a winning start with a 48-36 triumph over the Lions in Cape Town.
The 12-try encounter was by some distance the most entertaining match of the opening weekend, but also showed the amount of work that awaits both teams.
WP scored seven tries, with three of those going to the Sevens superstar Angelo Davids.
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It was a free-flowing game to open the season and there was no shortage of entertainment for the crowd as both team showed great attacking intent.
Western Province did not waste any time getting the scoreboard moving, with lock Adre Smith powering over from close range after a driving maul had been stopped just short.
Flyhalf Timothy Swiel kicked the touchline conversion and he had three more points from the kicking tee after the Lions had scored a maul try, to make it 10-5 after an intense opening 15 minutes at Stadium.
The Lions responded with a penalty of their own, but the ball was won back from the resulting restart, with Leolin Zas bursting into the 22 before it was sent wide to wing Angelo Davids who finished in the corner.
The home side had the momentum and took further advantage as hooker Chad Solomon went over from a driving maul.
Western Province was reduced to 14 when Smith was shown a yellow card and the visitors managed another maul try from the resulting penalty.
However, Western Province would have the final say in the first half as Davids went over in the corner again for the bonus-point try which gave them a 29-15 advantage at the break.
The hosts picked up where they left off after half-time as the forwards applied the pressure through a series of line-out drives before it went to No.8 Hacjivah Dayimani, who glided through a gap for the fifth try.
The visitors hit back with a try from wing Zeilinga Strydom, but Western Province came up with another of their own shortly afterwards as some magic in midfield and a perfect grubber from Tristan Leyds saw Davids score his hat-trick try.
The teams traded tries once again, with first the Lions wing Boldwin Hansen and then replacement Western Province loose forward Deon Fourie scoring.
Man of the match: Despite being carded within seconds after coming on as a replacement – which was a team card – Lunga Ncube was great value for the visitors – stealing a crucial line-out on a WP throw five metres from his own line. Emmanuel Tshituka also did yeoman work for the Lions. The most impressive forwards for the home team were Adre Smith and Hacjivah Dayimani. Veteran flyhalf Tim Swiel showed his experience. Province centre Leolin Zas made a mocker of the Lions’ porous defence. Fullback Tristan Leyds did some invaluable creative work. Our award goes to Western Province wing Angelo Davids, the Sevens star showing his awesome finishing ability and even ended up playing scrumhalf for the last five minutes.
For Western Province
Tries: Smith, Davids 3, Solomon, Dayimani, Fourie
Cons: Swiel 4, Schreuder
For the Lions
Tries: Venter, Snyman, Strydom, Hansen, Osuagwu
Cons: Isaacs 4
Yellow cards: Adre Smith (Western Province, 34 – foul play, dangerous tackle), Lunga Ncunga (Lions, 43 – repeated infringements, collapsing the maul), Godlen Masimla (Western Province, 75 – foul play, tripping an opponent)
Western Province: 15 Tristan Leyds, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Leolin Zas, 12 Cornel Smit, 11 Paschal Ekeji, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Thomas Bursey, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Simon Miller, 6 Nama Xaba (captain), 5 Adre Smith, 4 Connor Evans, 3 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Kwenzo Blose.
Replacements: 16 Jacques van Zyl, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Keke Morabe, 20 Deon Fourie, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Chris Schreuder, 23 Mnombo Zwelendaba.
Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Boldwin Hansen, 13 James Mollentze, 12 Aidynn Cupido, 11 Zeilinga Strydom, 10 Vaughen Isaacs, 9 Jurich Claasens, 8 Emmanuel Tshituka, 7 Jarod Cairns, 6 Mark Snyman, 5 Simon Dionisio, 4 Peter-John Steenkamp, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye (captain), 2 Dameon Venter, 1 Banele Mthenjane.
Replacements: 16 Darnell Osuagwu, 17 Heiko Pohlmann, 18 Sibusiso Shongwe, 19 Ruan Venter, 20 Lunga Ncube, 21 MJ Pelser, 22 Nico Steyn, 23 Tyler Bocks.
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Local
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen
* Picture credit: @WP_RUGBY