Western Province blow Griquas away
August 7, 2010
Fly-half Willem de Waal made his 100th Currie Cup appearance in Western Province's win over Griquas © Getty Images
Western Province maintained their 100 percent record in this year's Currie Cup by recording a stunning 50-3 rout of the fourth-placed Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon.
Willem de Waal, in what was his 100th appearance in the tournament, contributed 14 points with the boot, while Juan de Jongh, Deon Fourie, Conrad Jantjes, Gio Aplon, Pieter Louw and Lionel Cronje all crossed during a remarkable second-half display from the league leaders. It was de Waal who opened the scoring, the veteran fly-half landing a penalty nine minutes in after Tiaan Liebenberg had been guilty of playing the ball on the ground. Riian Viljoen attempted to post an immediate reply for the hosts but his drop goal attempt sailed wide.
However, the Griquas were offered a route back into the game when Duane Vermeulen was harshly sent to the sin bin for a high tackle on Richard Lawson. Naas Olivier converted the resulting penalty from wide on the right and a spell of incessant Griquas pressure followed. But they could find no way through the Western Province defence, with their best opening ending in Lawson being bundled into touch with the line in sight.
Once restored to their full complement, the visitors quickly reasserted their dominance and they reclaimed the lead when de Waal stroked over an easy penalty from right in front of the posts after the Griquas had wandered offside. De Waal struck on 31 minutes, after Johan van Deventer had been pinged for going off his feet. The Griquas were struggling so the last thing they could have done without Bjorn Basson foolishly deciding to tackle de Waal in the air. Basson saw yellow and the Griquas were down to 14 for the rest of the half.
Western Province went close to scoring a try while Basson was off the field, with only a tremendous last-gasp tackle from Viljoen preventing de Jongh scoring in the right corner, but the visitors ultimately had to settle for nothing more than another penalty from de Waal, which helped them into a 12-3 advantage at the break.
Ten minutes after the restart Western Province had stretched their advantage to 16 points. After a spell of controlled pressure, the ball was thrown into the path of the onrushing Jantjes and he spread it wide to de Jongh, who ducked inside his man to score his fifth try of the season. De Waal converted and the Griquas were staring down the barrel.
However, they really should have reduced their arrears just seconds after the restart, with Francois Louw having given up a penalty after wandering offside just outside his 22. However, the Griquas opted to kick for touch and that backfired spectacularly, with Viljoen slicing the ball out past the end-line.
It was a costly error because Western Province put the game to bed on the hour with a quite brilliant try, Fourie touching down after a sweeping move which had featured quite brilliant off-loads from de Waal and Fourie himself, as well as the most sumptuous reverse pass in the tackle from Vermeulen. De Waal maintained his 100 percent record with the boot by nailing the conversion and he made no mistake either when called upon again on 63 minutes, after Jantjes hard barged his way through the Griquas disintegrating back-line to score.
The bonus-point clinching try arrived five minutes later, Aplon cruising over in the right corner after another unstoppable wave of Western Province pressure. Unfortunately for de Waal, he was unable to convert but that matter not a jot to the delighted visitors, who just would not relent and racked up a fifth try on 73 minutes, with Louw broke off the back of a maul to score in the left corner. Their sixth and final try came in injury time, with Cronje intercepting a desperate pass from Olivier to race away and score, thus putting the seal on Western Province's fifth successive victory in this year's Currie Cup.
The Sharks kept pace with the leaders thanks to a 48-19 victory over the Golden Lions at Absa Stadium that saw them cement second place in the table. Rising star Patrick Lambie notched 28 points for the Sharks courtesy of a try, four conversions and five penalties to power his side's to victory although the final scoreline flattered the hosts.
Lambie's try on the quarter hour put the Sharks in control but the Lions hit back with a try from winger Deon van Rensburg and the boot of fly-half Elton Jantjies carried them into the lead before the hosts hit back with a try from flanker Jacques Botes before the break.
The game took a decisive turn towards the Sharks shortly after the break with two interceptions in the space of four minutes. First Lwazi Mvovo picked off a loose pass by Jantjes and then Craig Burden pounced on a loose pass by Jano Vermaak with both ending in tries for the home side. The Sharks then hammered home their advantage with Lambie stretching their lead before Mvovo crossed for his second score late in the game.
As for the Griquas, their hold on fourth is now under threat as the fifth-placed Cheetahs, who picked up a bonus point in their 45-30 victory over the Pumas in Witbank. The Cheetahs made a sluggish start and found themselves 6-3 down after 17 minutes of play. However, it was at that point that the visitors bagged the first of the game, with prop Coenie Oosthuizen forcing his way over the whitewash.
The reclaimed the lead through Shaun Venter's intercept try but the Cheetahs quickly reasserted their superiority and racked up two more tries, from Hendro Scholtz and Jong Nokwe, before the break.
Louis Strydom added another shortly after the restart to secure the bonus point before Robert Ebersohn got on the end of his own chip forward to get his name on the scoresheet. The Cheetahs were reeling and their defence was breached again just before the hour, with Meyer Bosmanbreaking through to score.
Credit to the Pumas, they kept battling and managed two late tries through Jacques Coetzee and Carl Bezuidenhout but it was very much a case of far too little, far too late.
Meanwhile, the Blue Bulls continue to flatter to deceive, the reigning champions suffering an almighty fright before holding on to claim a 43-38 victory over the bottom-ranked Leopards in Pretoria on Friday night.
The Leopards, who went into the game on the back of four successive defeats, made a stirring start, helping themselves into an early 10-point lead courtesy of a converted try for Ligtoring Landman and a penalty from Neil Jacobs.
The Bulls came roaring back, though, with the prolific Gerhard van den Heever touching down either side of tries for Derick Kuun and Dewald Potgieter as the hosts took complete control of the game.
They pulled further clear after the restart when Francois Hougaard dotted after a scything run from Stefan Watermeyer. Michael Bondiso replied with a brilliant solo score only to see the Bulls seemingly kill off all hopes of a Leopards fightback with a try for Watermayer.
However, Bondiso was a man on a mission and he struck again moments later, this time after winning the race to Deon Scholtz's chip forward, and the Leopards really began to believe when a fine break from Jacobs ultimately led to Walter Venter diving over.
With just nine points now between the sides, the Leopards went on the offensive. They coughed up a penalty, which was converted by Jacques-Louis Potgieter, but kept coming all the same and registered another try late on, through Dumisane Matyeshana. Unfortunately, they ran out of time and the Bulls had been spared the ignominy of a shock defeat in their own back yard.