WP fight back to down Cheetahs
Sat, 17 Aug 2013 19:13
A late try from captain Deon Fourie saw Western Province secure a tight 15-14 win over the Free State Cheetahs at Newlands.
The win sees the Cape team move into second place, level on points with both the Blue Bulls and the Cheetahs after the first two rounds.
The visitors had raced into an early 14-0 lead thanks to tries from Elgar Watts and Riaan Smit, but Province fought their way back in the wet conditions, and eventually claimed a narrow win.
Just over 8000 spectators warmed to the fare at a chilly Newlands, where WP left their matchwinning effort until five minutes from the end.
WP showed a marked improvement at the early set-pieces and kept it that way as the match wound its course.
With that advantage, they paved the way for a territorial advantage in the first-half and their overall play suggested that the Cheetahs' defence would be hard-pressed to keep their defence intact.
Cheetahs' flyhalf Watts provided the first-half highlight with an electrifying run from 30 metres out to score next to the posts after sidestepping three WP defenders in the sixth minute. Right wing Riaan Smit goaled the conversion.
There was a concerted fightback by WP and when they seemed to be on the the verge of a breakthrough, Smit intercepted a pass on his own 22m line and ran in for the visitors' second converted try in the 17th minute.
The slippery conditions as a result of earlier rains in the day, put paid to a few darting runs by WP wing Cheslin Kolbe, who proved a threat whenever he was in possession.
WP opened the account with a 20th minute penalty from flyhalf Gary van Aswegen, and four minutes later flanker Michael Rhodes broke away from a line-out to run in for the home side's first try. Van Aswegen converted to reduce the deficit to four points.
The hosts looked full of running in the passage of play ahead of the break but they were unable to convert numerous promising opportunities. Van Aswegen also did not help his side's cause with a few grubber kicks which seemed hopelessly inopportune at the time.
It was much the same after the break when WP looked full of running, with expansive moves that tested the Cheetahs defence out wide for most of early second-half play.
Just as play neared the hour mark, Newlands had a downpour which made the surface even more slippery.
After some 30 minutes of pinning the Cheetahs down in their own half in second-half play, WP were forced to go on the defence as they smothered a counter-attack down the centre of the field which took play to 20 from their tryline.
WP managed well enough on defence and staged a counter-attack of their own, to force a line-out 10 metres out from the Cheetahs' tryline.
From the resultant set-piece, WP set up a driving maul before captain Fourie crashed over for what was the matchwinning try, which went unconverted five minutes from the end.
Man of the match: Western Province skipper Deon Fourie was all over the park as usual and capped a good performance with the match-winning try.
For Western Province:
Tries: Rhodes, Fourie
Con: Van Awegen
Pen: Van Aswegen
For the Free State Cheetahs:
Tries: Watts, Smit
Cons: Smit, Watts
Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Pat Howard, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Rohan Kitshoff, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Ryan Nell.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Johannes Prinsloo (captain), 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 Teboho Mohoje, 19 Davon Raubenheimer, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Piet Lindeque.
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden, Marc van Zyl Marc
TMO: Deon van Blommestein
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