Western Province secure home semi
October 8, 2010
The Cheetahs' Coenie Oosthuizen managed a try during his side's facile victory in Rustenburg © Getty Images
Western Province secured a Currie Cup home semi-final against the Free State Cheetahs with their 33-21 victory over the Natal Sharks at Newlands on Saturday.
The win ensured that Province finished second in the table, setting up a clash with the Cheetahs at Newlands next weekend, while the table-topping Sharks will host the Blue Bulls in Durban in the other semi-final.
Western Province raced into a 13-0 lead with the Sharks only opening their account in the 30th minute. And the Sharks never looked like clawing back that advantage as the hosts controlled the game thoroughout.
Wingers Gio Aplon and Jean de Villiers, along with No.8 Duane Vermuelen, crossed for the hosts and fly-half Willen de Waal added three conversions and four penalties. The Sharks matched Western Province's three tries with No.8 Ryan Kankowski, replacement fullback Louis Ludik and replacement centre Adi Jacobs all touching down.
But Western Province were always in control and kicking accuracy proved the difference between the two sides with the Sharks only managing conversion via fullback Patrick Lambie.
The Blue Bulls secured fourth in the table with a comfortable 48-36 victory over Griquas in Kimberly on Saturday.
Griquas were out for revenge following their 38-39 loss to the Blue Bulls in Pretoria, but the task proved too much as they were again on the wrong side of a high-scoring match.
It had started promisingly for Griquas with centre Barry Geel crashing over for the try inside five minutes. But the Bulls began to find their form with Dewald Potgieter going over and Wynand Oliver's try gave them the lead.
Dawie Theron's men bounced-back immediately, with Jean Stemmet going over in the corner. But Gerhard van den Heever picked up the Bulls' third try as they gained a 22-15 advantage at half time.
And they continued the assault in the second half with Jaco Pretorius bursting over for the bonus-point try. Derick Kuun went in for his fourth try of the season but Bjorn Basson surpassed Carel du Plessis' record of 19 tries in a Currie Cup season to give Griquas a lifeline.
However the hosts promptly lost Steph Roberts to the sin bin and with him went their chances. Jaco van der Westhuyzen and Victor Matfield took advantage to both score five-pointers. Basson and Sarel Pretorius both scored before the end but it was too little too late.
The Free State Cheetahs sealed their place in the Currie Cup play-offs by routing the hapless Leopards 78-7 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Friday.
The Cheetahs ran in a staggering 12 tries during a horribly one-sided encounter. Hennie Daniller, Philip Snyman and Corné Uys all dotted twice, while Meyer Bosman, Tertius Carse, Ashley Johnson, Coenie Oosthuizen, Hendro Scholtz and Adriaan Strauss all contributed one try apiece. The Leopards only managed just one try by way of a response, through Christo van Niekerk, as they ended with a pathetic record of no wins from 14 games.
Meanwhile, the Golden Lions saw their slim hopes of forcing their way into the top four ended by a shock 34-27 defeat by the Pumas at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
The hosts were in dire need of a bonus-point victory to keep their play-off hopes alive and they looked on course to achieve their goal as they went into the final ten minutes with a seven-point lead in hand on the back of tries from Derick Minnie, JC Janse van Rensburg, Waylon Murray and Warren Whiteley. However, the Pumas silenced the home fans with two tries in the closing stages from Hendrik van der Nest and Johan Jackson as they ended an otherwise disappointing campaign on a high.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic
England must find a way to improve their game by tiny margins and they will get there, writes Phil Vickery
"England remind me of a PlayStation rugby team," John Mitchell on tactics and the search for a first-choice fly-half ahead of the World Cup
Augustine Pulu will return home with little more than 20 minutes rugby in one month on tour. It is time for more midweek games writes Craig Dowd