Western Province shut out Lions
July 17, 2010
The Sharks' Patrick Lambie is tackled by the Blue Bulls' defence during their clash in Durban © Getty Images
Western Province made it two wins from two games in this year's Currie Cup with a 32-0 victory over the Lions at Newlands on Saturday.
Fly-half Wilem de Waal gave Western Province an early lead but they struggled to hammer home their dominance and had to wait until midway through the half before flanker Pieter Louw crossed for the opening try of the game. De Waal added the extras and three further penalties before the break.
De Waal's boot kept the scoreboard ticking over after the break and his fourth penalty was followed by a try from fullback Conrad Jantjes. A try from replacement flanker Pieter Myburgh raised hopes of a try-scoring bonus point to accompany their outstanding defensive display but they were denied by some desperate defence from the Lions as the game drew to a close. However, the result was enough for WP to claim top spot in the table.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Natal Sharks bounced back to winning ways with a 34-28 victory over defending champions the Blue Bulls in Durban. The Bulls broke the deadlock after just five minutes with a try from No.8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze but the Sharks responded well and flanker Keegan Daniel went close to levelling things up only to see his try ruled out by the TMO for a foot in touch. Sharks centre Patrick Lambie was then short and wide with an ambitious penalty attempt midway through the half and the hosts continued to press with hooker Craig Burden denied by a great tackle from Jacques-Louis Potgieter. But Burden could not be stopped moments later - dancing his way over for a try that was converted by Lambie to give his side the lead.
Potgieter then hit the post with a penalty attempt but was on target with his next effort that saw the Blue Bulls reclaim the lead. The impressive Burden another try before the break by a last ditch tackle from Gerhard van den Heever and Ruan Snyman but the Sharks did have the final say in the first half with the boot of Lambie giving his side a two-point lead as they headed to the tunnel.
The game was brought to life by a moment of magic from Sharks winger Lwazi Mvovo shortly after the re-start with the rising star of South Africa rugby bumping off the tackle of Blue Bulls fullback Jaco van der Westhuysen before speeding over for a try. Lambie then notched an equally impressive conversion from Lambie but the Bulls struck back almost immediately with a penalty from Potgieter.
Burden was denied again by the TMO before the Sharks conjured a great opportunistic score with Lambie and Jacques Botes involved before Daniel powered over for the try. The Bulls refused to roll over thought with loose-head Dean Greyling holding off the Sharks' defence to score a try and Potgieter's conversion reduced the arrears to six points. The Bulls continued to chase the game and another penalty from Potgieter made it a three point game with ten minutes remaining but Mvovo's second try knocked the stuffing out of the visitors. And any hopes the Bulls had were quashed by Daniel's second try with the flanker claiming his own chip ahead before scoring in the corner. A late try from Van den Heever offered the chance of a losing bonus point that Potgieter snatched with a great kick.
On Friday, the Cheetahs notched their first victory of the season with a 33-26 victory over the Griquas in Bloemfontein. Naka Drotske's side opened their Currie Cup account with a 25-11 home defeat at the hands of Western Province last weekend but bounced back to winning ways with a bonus point victory at Vodacom Park. Loose-head prop Coenie Oosthuizen was the unlikely hero with a hat-trick of tries as his side powered to a bonus point win.
Centre Robert Ebersohn grabbed the hosts' opening try after pouncing on an error from Griquas scrum-half Sarel Pretorius and fly-half Louis Strydom cemented his side's lead with the conversion. But some good work from the Griquas at the re-start drew a penalty that was slotted by No.10 Naas Olivier before a monster penalty from fullback Riaan Viljoen brought the Griquas to within a point midway through the half.
Cheetahs No.8 Ashley Johnson powered through the Griquas line as the half drew to a close and he found support in winger Philip Snyman who was hauled down just short of the line. But the ball was recycled to Oosthuizen who burrowed over for the try from close range with Strydom once again adding the extras. The Cheetahs continued to dictate proceedings after the break and they were rewarded for their efforts with Oosthuizen showing great strength and skills to power over for his second try. Strydom made it three from three with the conversion but the Griquas hit back with in-form winger Bjorn Basson crossing for a try that was converted by Olivier.
Jongi Nokwe gave the Cheetahs a bit more breathing room and a bonus point before Olivier reduced the arrears once more with a penalty. Oosthuizen had his hat-trick just past the hour mark with the score once again converted by Strydom but back came the Griquas with a try from Pretorius and a conversion and a further penalty from Olivier - the latter ensuring they notched a losing bonus point.
In the weekend's other game, the Pumas inflicted a 38-32 defeat on the Leopards.