Province splutter past Pumas
CURRIE CUP MATCH REPORT: Western Province overcame a shocking first-half performance to beat the Pumas 34-19 at Newlands on Saturday.
In what must rate as one of the worst performances of the year by the hosts, the Pumas took a 12-10 lead into the break.
That became 19-10 two minutes after the second-half restart - a margin that lasted almost 10 minutes before WP finally shifted into second gear.
Four tries and two yellow cards (one to echo team) later and Province secured the bonus-point win.
However, it was not the kind of performance that will inspire confidence in the sparsely populated Newlands faithful.
The handling errors by WP in the first half went well into the double figures and then there was the poor decision-making.
It was the first victory of the Currie Cup campaign for coach John Dobson's team in what was their first home game of the season.
Province took the game to the opposition in the opening stages and they were rewarded when Seabelo Senatla went over in the corner for the opening try.
The visitors absorbed a lot of pressure on defence and would level things up at 5-5 when lock Stephan Greeff got over for a try from a driving maul.
The Pumas then took a 12-5 lead when fullback Devon Williams reacted to a quick throw-in and raced away for their second try.
Western Province hit back with a try from fullback Sarel Marais just before half-time, to reduce the Pumas' lead to 12-10 at the break.
The Pumas were first to strike in the second half as replacement Jerome Pretorius burst over for a try to take their lead out to 19-10.
Western Province responded with a third try as hooker Bongi Mbonambi barged his way over from close range to reduce the deficit to 19-15.
The home side were back in front soon afterwards as the ball was sent wide to Dillyn Leyds who scored in the corner, with Sarel Marais adding the touchline conversion.
With the momentum firmly in their favour, Western Province extended their lead through a penalty try which was awarded following a powerful maul.
There was time for one final try from Nizaam Carr which sealed the victory for Western Province.
Man of the match: For Western Province back Devon Williams looked to spark his team into action, while second half replacement Chris Cloete also made a big impact for the Pumas. Seabelo Senatla was not perfect, but at least looked for work. Damian Willemse looked threatening with ball in hand, but his goal-kicking still leaves a lot to be desired. Captain Chris van Zyl also worked hard, However, our award goes to Western Province's replacement scrumhalf Jano Vermaak, who was the spark that got the home team over the line.
For Western Province:
Tries: Senatla, S Marais, Mbonambi, Leyds, Penalty try, Carr
Cons: S Marais, Penalty try does not require a conversion
For the Pumas:
Tries: Greeff, Williams, Pretorius
Cons: K Marais 2
Yellow cards: Frank Herne (Pumas, 62 - cynical foul, collapsing the maul), Siyabonga Ntubeni (Western Province, 75 - foul play, tripping opponent)
Western Province: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Stephan de Wit, 5 John Shickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Johan du Toit, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Michal Hazner.
Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Jean-Paul Lewis, 13 Gerrit Smith, 12 Sias Ebersohn, 11 Ruwellyn Isbell, 10 Kobus Marais, 9 Reynier van Rooyen, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Brian Shabangu (captain), 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Jacques Kotze, 2 Mark Pretorius, 1 De-Jay Terblanche.
Replacements: 16 Frank Herne, 17 Louis Albertse, 18 Jannie Stander, 19 Chris Cloete, 20 Theo Maree, 21 Justin van Staden, 22 Jerome Pretorius.
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: Divan Uys, Kwezi Mqomboti
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans