Second-half blitz sealed it for WP
Western Province got their Currie Cup campaign back on track with a hard-earned 25-20 win over a resolute Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.
While WP bank four points in the country's premier domestic competition, Griquas now have just a solitary losing bonus point from the first two weeks of the competition.
Griquas, playing with a strong wind at their backs, used the conditions to good effect to race into an early (12-0) lead, but after the break Province looked the more threatening with ball in hand.
One try just before the half-time break and another two in the second half to sealed the win for the visitors.
Griquas started at a ferocious pace and put together some useful phases of play, but lacked the clinical touch deep in the WP half.
WP were on the back foot in the opening minutes, but regained composure to show their class late in the contest.
Griquas maintained their attacking play and drew first blood after lock Rynhard Landman dove over in the corner.
The forward rounded-off after some good interplay between the pack and backs.
Fullback Francois Brummer failed to convert Landman's opener, but it wasn't long before Griquas again caught WP's defence napping, as wing Wilmaure Louw rounded of in the corner.
Brummer was on target with his second attempt to give the Kimberley outfit the early advantage.
The visitors had their first real chance to get on the board when flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis took a penalty shot at goal, but his attempt in a swirling wind went wide.
WP finally scored after Griquas were beaten in defence through a sustained period of attack.
Wing Ederies Arendse ran 25 metres for the highlight of a very poor first half by the visitors, the score 12-7 at the break.
Brummer kicked a penalty early in the second period, but Province launched a come-back through centre JP du Plessis, who scored after a quick tap to get his team within three points of Griquas.
Griquas were forced to defend their lead and made several crucial tackles, but their tired bodies showed in the last 15 minutes as WP drove them back into their own area.
Province used it to their advantage and prop Steven Kitshoff dove over under the posts after some slack defence by the hosts.
Griquas tried to salvage a bonus point and succeeded when lock Jaco Nepgen burst over, but with two minutes on the clock and the conversion to come, the hosts narrowly missed out to their Western Cape counterparts.
Man of the match: The Griquas' best players were all among the forwards - Leon Karemaker, Martin Muller, Rynhard Landman, Lourens Adriaanse and captain Ryno Barnes. For Western Province Gio Aplon looked good at times with ball in hand, Demetri Catrakilis controlled the game well in the second half and Siyabonga Ntubeni was a bundle of energy when he came on. However, our award goes to WP prop Steven Kitshoff for his Herculean effort on defence.
Tries: Landman, Louw, Nepgen
Tries: Arendse, Du Plessis, Kitshoff
Cons: Catrakilis 2
Pens: Catrakilis 2
Griquas: 15 Francois Brummer, 14 Wilmaure Louw, 13 Jean Stemmet, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Leon Karemaker, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Wesley Wilkins, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Rynhard Landman, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes (captain), 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Matt Dobson, 17 Janro van Niekerk, 18 Frikkie Spies, 19 Jaco Nepgen, 20 Jacques Coetzee, 21 Walter Venter, 22 Richard Lawson.
Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 Ederies Arendse, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Jebb Sinclair, 6 Tyrone Holmes, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Don Armand, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie (captain), 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 19 Yaya Hartzenberg, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Damian de Allende.
Referee: Marius Jonker
Assistants: Jason Jaftha, Francois de Bruin
TMO: Shaun Veldsman