WP claim bonus-point win against lame Lions
CURRIE CUP MATCH REPORT: Western Province, as was expected, cruised past the Lions in a dour encounter at a wet Newlands on Wednesday.
Outscoring the visitors by four tries to one, for a 35-13 win, WP moved back into play-off contention and ensured the visitors remain stuck at the bottom of the standings.
It was a game between two desperately deprived teams – both who seemed to lack the ability to come up with anything other than launching kicks high into the sky or setting up mauls.
The Lions in particular were guilty of far too many schoolboy errors, gifting the home team some easy escape options.
Province held a narrow 16-13 lead after a pretty even first half, but dominated the second half to score three unanswered tries.
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It is also a result that ended the Lions’ already slim play-off hopes.
The home team dominated the territorial battle, which proved decisive, as the Lions failed to capitalise on having a strong wind at their backs in the first half and was kept scoreless in the second.
Tim Swiel put the boot into the visitors, both tactically and off the tee, scoring 15 points, while star No.8 Evan Roos scored two of the Capetonians’ four tries – as they moved from sixth to third place on the log.
The Western Province pack flexed their muscles early, winning a scrum penalty and plenty of metres with a driving maul before Swiel put them on the board with a penalty goal in the eighth minute.
His opposite number, Jordan Hendrikse, levelled the scores four minutes later after the Lions won a scrum penalty of their own.
The hosts looked dangerous on the attack and they grabbed the opening try as the experienced Deon Fourie sniped from a ruck and linked up with fellow loose forward Johan du Toit, who offloaded to Godlen Masimla to dot down. Swiel’s conversion brought the opening quarter to a close with the hosts leading 10-3.
The men from Johannesburg were quick to respond as classy play by Wandisile Simelane saw EW Viljoen break a tackle and slide over in follow-up contact to convert their first real opportunity into seven points.
The Lions continued to look panicky on defence, though, which led to a second penalty goal by Swiel.
The scores were squared again by Hendrikse in the 32nd minute after Fourie got his turnover attempt wrong. MJ Pelser was then caught playing the ball on the ground and Swiel cashed in with a three-pointer that gave Western Province a 16-13 lead at half-time.
A standout all season, Roos ensured the home team got off to a perfect start in the second stanza as he scored an explosive try two minutes in, which Swiel converted.
Andre Warner nearly scored the Lions’ second try when he charged down Warrick Gelant’s kick and dotted down on the edge of the dead-ball line. However, TMO Quinton Immelman agreed with referee Rasta Rasivhenge’s decision that the scrumhalf’s touchdown had come just a touch too late.
The men in the hooped jerseys continued to dictate terms and doubled down on their driving maul to take the stuffing out of the Lions and get within a metre of the try line, where that man Roos struck again to score his second. Swiel continued his goal-kicking showcase and at 30-13, the Capetonians were in complete control.
With nine minutes remaining, the visitors received a glimmer of hope as Neethling Fouche was yellow-carded for a no-arms tackle on Asenathi Ntlabakanye inside his 22.
They opted for a scrum only to concede a penalty, a fresh Sazi Sandi doing the damage and snuffing any hopes of a comeback.
Western Province put an exclamation point behind a dominant second-half performance as replacement hooker Andre-Hugo Venter scored the bonus-point try in the final play of the game to cap off their first Currie Cup win over the men from Johannesburg since 2018 in style.
Man of the match: In such a dour game there were not too many standout players, but the few who set themselves apart all came from the hosts. Warrick Gelant provided the spark from the back and Deon Fourie had his moments at flank, although his discipline is a concern. The one player that managed to rise above the mire of mediocrity was Western Province No.8 Evan Roos. He was very busy and effective with the ball in hand, while also on defence.
For Western Province
Tries: Masimla, Roos 2, Venter
Cons: Swiel 3
Pens: Swiel 3
For the Lions
Pens: Hendrikse 2
Yellow card: Neethling Fouche (Western Province, 72 – foul play, no-arms in the tackle)
Western Province: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 David Meihuizen, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Dian Bleuler.
Replacements – from: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Nama Xaba, 20 Marcel Theunissen, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Cornel Smit, 23 Tristan Leyds, 24 Simon Miller, 25 Chris Schreuder.
Lions: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Travis Gordon, 7 Sibusiso Sangweni, 6 MJ Pelser, 5 Ruben Schoeman, 4 Peter-John Steenkamp, 3 Chergin Fillies, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Nathan McBeth.
Replacements: 16 Morne Brandon, 17 Sithembiso Sithole, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Emmanuel Tshituka, 20 Mandisi Mthiyane, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Dan Kriel, 23 Manuel Rass.
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Local appointments
TMO: Quinton Immelman
- Additional reporting by SA Rugby