Province sneak into play-offs
MATCH REPORT: Western Province sneaked into the Currie Cup with a fortuitous 30-28 win over a plucky Boland Cavaliers team at Newlands on Friday.
After taking a 17-7 lead at half-time, Province lost their shape and with 10 minutes remaining the visitors from Wellington had raced into a 28-20 lead - looking good for an upset.
However, a Dave Ribbons try in the 72nd minute - along with a Robert du Preez conversion and penalty two minutes from time - helped WP secure the win and the four points to move into the top four.
Western Province came into the game trailing the fourth-paced Sharks by two points in the standings.
Despite being outscored four tries to three by Boland, Western Province, thanks to 15 points from the boot of Du Preez, managed book their place in the semifinals.
They will travel to play the Blue Bulls in the semifinals.
Boland may only have won two matches this season but they made the brighter start and they scored the opening try, in just the third minute, when flank Shaun Adendorff barged his way over from close range after a quick tap penalty, five metres from Western Province's tryline.
But the hosts started fighting their way back into the contest and their forwards were dominant in the scrums.
However, they were being frustrated by some immense defence from the visitors who managed to keep the home team scoreless until the 21st minute when Province flyhalf Robert du Preez slotted a close-range penalty.
Province then scored a magical try as fullback Cheslin Kolbe broke free on his own 22-metre line before galloping 50 metres and off-loading to right wing Scott van Breda, who cut inside to round off a superb score.
The home team added to their lead, five minutes before the break, when flank Kobus van Dyk was mauled over after an attacking line-out five metres from Boland's tryline.
Boland, much like in the first half, started as the stronger of the two teams and they grabbed a fully-deserved second try when fullback Adriaan Carelse rounded off a good team try after the visitors had won a turn over deep in their own half.
Du Preez pushed the lead to six points with a 55th minute penalty, but Boland were starting to string some possession together and a succession of pick and goes saw tighthead Francois Hanekom barge his way over from close range with pivot Theuns Kotze slotting the conversion as the visitors edged into a 21-20 lead after 64 minutes.
Boland grabbed their second try in as many minutes when flank Jacques Engelbrecht broke loose before galloping down the left-hand touchline before diving over in the corner for a converted score, the bonus-point try for the visitors as they moved to an eight point lead after 66 minutes.
But their hopes of pulling off an upset victory were undone when Province cut the deficit to just one point, with seven minutes left in the contest, when replacement forward David Ribbans muscled his way over for a converted try before Du Preez stepped up to kick the winning points.
Man of the match: Boland wing Logan Basson caused the Province defence a few heart palpitations, flyhalf Theuns Kotze directed play well, while loose forwards Jacques Engelbrecht and Shaun Adendorff, as well as lock Shaun McDonald caused havoc on defence and in general play. Cheslin Kolbe had some good runs at fullback, wing Leolin Zas made plenty of metres with ball in hand, flyhalf Robert du Preez had equal measures of greatness and disasters and Rynhardt Elstadt was food value while on the field. However, the man that brought calmness and control in that crucial last 10 minutes was replacement prop JC Janse van Rensburg - our man of the match.
For Western Province:
Tries:Van Breda, Van Dyk, Ribbans
Cons: Du Preez 3
Pens: Du Preez 3
For the Boland Cavaliers:
Tries:Adendorf, Carelse, Hanekom, Engelbrecht
Cons: Kotze 4
Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Scott van Breda, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Chris van Zyl (captain), 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Mike Willemse, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 JP Smith, 19 Dave Ribbans, 20 Jurie van Vuuren, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Werner Kok.
Boland Cavaliers: 15 Adriaan Carelse, 14 Logan Basson, 13 Gerrit van Wyk, 12 Petrus Vermeulen, 11 Danwel Demas, 10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Zandré Jordaan, 7 Jacques Engelbrecht, 6 Shaun Adendorff, 5 Hanno Kitshoff, 4 Shaun McDonald, 3 Francois Hanekom, 2 Clemen Lewis (captain), 1 Basil Short.
Replacements: 16 Francois Esterhuyzen, 17 Enoch Mnyaka, 18 Linda Thwala, 19 Wayne Wilschut, 20 Joubert Horn, 21 Gerhard Jordaan, 22 Sergio Torrens
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds, Francois Pretorius
TMO: Shaun Veldsman