WP simply too good for young Cheetahs
CURRIE CUP REPORT: The Western Province sublime first-half performance helped them secure a comfortable 57-14 win over the Free State Cheetahs in Cape Town on Saturday.
The WP's victory made sure they leapfrogged to the third spot on the Currie Cup table with a game in hand.
WP outscored the visitors nine tries to two.
The Free State Cheetahs enjoyed much of the possession, but handling errors and wayward passes just constantly kept them on the backfoot.
Playing into the wind, WP scored five tries and bagged bonus-point after just 25 minutes of play, courtesy of Romaone Samuels, debutant Craig Barry, Jaco Coetzee, JD Schickerling and Scotland international Huw Jones.
The scoreline really speaks volumes of WP’s counter attacking skills, especially in the first 10 minutes when they were forced to absorb pressure as Cheetahs appear threatening with possession.
Hooker Ramoane Samuels scored the side's first try of the match after he collected an inside ball by Ruhan Nel.
Soon the side were again behind the opposition's line when debutant Craig Barry added his name to the scoresheet with a try in the corner. Willemse converted both tries, respectively 14-0.
Minutes later, flank Jaco Coetzee to dive under the poles, which was followed by Barry's break which set up a perfect platform for the lanky John Schickerling to round of the team try and get the side 26-0 up.
As the 25th minute approached WP had their bonus-point locked thanks to great interplay and pure power by Huw Jones - who scored in the corner.
There was no stopping the home side as they added to their tally, prop Wilco Louw powered over the line. The prop almost bagged a brace of tries, but the TMO ruled he lost the ball forward on the line and the side took were more than happy to take a 36-0 scoreline at the break.
Cheetahs had a better second half. The side managed to limit WP’s scoring and also scored two tries of their own.
Nonetheless, similar to the first half, hooker Samuels scored the first try of the second stanza and bagged his brace after crashing over the line.
Samuels' fellow forward was not to be upstaged as the flank Coetzee also had a double which helped WP put up 50 points on the board.
The side extended the lead when replacement Sikhumbuzo Notshe great work at the breakdown ensure him to cross the chalk for a try, 57-0.
In the final 10 minutes, Cheetahs broke their duck with two consolation tries thanks to replacements Daniel Maartens and Marnus van der Merwe. Stapelberg added the extras, respectively.
Man of the match: There were many contenders, WP fullback Craig Barry had a good debut, Jano Vermaak dictated the play well and Ramone Samuels' mobility made the job easy for his side. However, our nod goes to WP's left wing Ruhan Nel, the Blitzbok's ability to shift from defence to attack was phenomenal and he played a crucial part in setting up most of the tries.
For Western Province:
Tries:Samuels 2, Barry, Coetzee 2, Schickerling, Jones, Louw, Notshe
Cons: Willesme 3, Du Preez 3
For Free State Cheetahs:
Tries: Maartens, Van der Merwe
Cons: Stapelberg 2
Western Province: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Werner Kok, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Ruhan Nel, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 John Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Michael Kumbirai, 18 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Dan Kriel.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Marco Mason, 14 Carel Jan Coetzee, 13 Jacobus Jonker, 12 Steph Janse van Rensburg, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Ernst Stapelberg, 9 Juan-Philip Smith, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Chris Dry (captain), 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Dennis Visser, 4 Nicolaas Immelman, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Johan Kotze.
Replacements: 16 Marnus van der Merwe, 17 Andrew Kuhn, 18 Siba Qoma, 19 Daniel Maartens, 20 Fifi Rampeta, 21 Dian Badenhorst, 22 Ryno Eksteen.
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen and Divan Uys
TMO: Shaun Veldsman