Province grind their way past Lions
MATCH REPORT: Western Province will face the Sharks in next week's Currie Cup Final after they beat the Golden Lions 19-5 in their semifinal clash at Newlands.
In a penalty-laden match, both sides scored one try, but it was the boot of Robert du Preez who kept the scoreboard ticking over for the home side.
There were also some big late changes before the match with the Lions deciding to bench Springboks Malcolm Marx and Ruan Dreyer with Jacobie Adriaanse and Robbie Coetzee coming into the starting XV.
Province drew first blood in the fourth minute when flyhalf Du Preez put his side three points in front with a well-taken penalty kick.
The Lions then showed their might up front when they put in a powerful driving maul in the Province 22 which ended in lock John Schickerling getting a yellow card for collapsing in the sixth minute.
Not long after that, the Lions scored the game's first try when flyhalf Jaco van der Walt powered over after a few phases near the Cape side's tryline.
Province had their chances on attack, but they were guilty of not looking after the ball in the opening 20 minutes.
However, they eventually regained the lead with another Du Preez penalty in the 22nd minute.
Province continued to dominate possession for the rest of the first half, but they found it hard to break down the Lions' defence.
A breakthrough eventually came in the 38th minute when prop Wilco Louw managed to cross the tryline after Province were camped inside the Lions' 22 for a couple of minutes. Du Preez added the conversion and at half-time Province led 13-5.
The Lions made a promising start in the second half as they dominated possession and were camped inside Province's half. But they too were guilty of losing the ball at crucial times in the strike zone.
Instead, it was Province who opened the scoring in the second half when Du Preez added another three points to the tally with a penalty in the 56th minute.
The game descended into an arm-wrestle for the next few minutes until Du Preez rubbed more salt into the Lions' wounds with another penalty in the 69th minute to increase his side's lead to 14 points.
The Lions had their fair share of opportunities to hit back in the final 10 minutes, but poor handling with some rock solid defence from Province frustrated the Johannesburg side.
Man of the match: Nizaam Carr and Sikhumbuzo Notshe played a big part in a strong physical display with ball in hand and on defence and the award goes to both of them.
For Western Province:
Con: Du Preez
Pens: Du Preez 4
For Golden Lions:
Try: Van der Walt
Yellow card: John Schickerling (Western Province, 6 - cynical play, collapsing the maul
Western Province: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Ruhan Nel, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 John Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Allister Vermaak, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Werner Kok, 23 Damian Willemse.
Golden Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 13 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Albertus Smith, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Len Massyn, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Jacques van Rooyen (captain).
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Rhyno Herbst, 20 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 21 Sylvian Mahuza, 22 Ashlon Davids, 23 Robert Kruger.
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs, Archie Sehlako
TMO: Shaun Veldsman