Currie Cup leaders Western Province retained their unbeaten run in this year’s tournament by hammering the Eastern Province Kings 49-14 at Newlands on Friday.
The hosts ran the Kings off their feet at the outset as they ran up a commanding 21-0 lead with three converted tries in quick time.
Both teams missed early penalty attempts in opening six minutes when play was dominated by series of innocuous upfield kicks from either side.
When the pattern changed and teams started to run the ball, Province immediately had an invincible look about them as they bounced the Kings attacks off their defensive wall.
The home side opened the scoring through Juan de Jongh after the Kings spilled a pass 10 metres from their own tryline in the 11th minute.
Six minutes later Province doubled their score with a Siya Kolisi try after a driving maul from 15 metres out.
Before the 9000 spectators were back in their seats to applaud the try, De Jongh ran in the third try of the match.
Province flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis made the three conversions for a 21-0 lead by the 21st minute.
The Kings regained their composure after the 21-point setback and pinned Province down in their 22-metre area until the 31st minute when flank Paul Schoeman dove over at the corner flag for his side’s first points of the match.
Province closed the half strongly but left possibly two tries out on the field because of handling errors.
When second-half play got under way, Province held a vice-like grip on the match by dominating territory.
The Kings seemed to be absorbing the pressure but when they managed a turn-over and kicked it upfield, Province fullback Cheslin Kolbe fell back to gather and then tip-toed his way through the defence before scoring under the posts.
Catrakilis converted what proved to be the bonus-point try in the 48th minute to make the cores 28-7.
Kolbe left the field soon afterwards after falling heavily in a tackle and was replaced by SA Sevens star Justin Geduld who made his Currie Cup debut.
Province again punished yet another dropped pass by the Kings’ backline and rightwing Kobus van Wyk snatched up the loose ball and ran 60m meters for the home the fifth converted try to make it 35-7.
Despite the mounting scoreline, the Kings were never disheartened and they kept attacking the Province defence.
But the Province side was too hard to contain and sprung a late scoring effort which was crowned by a try from Rhynhardt Elstadt, who had come on for Nizaam Carr.
Final Score Western Province 49 (21) EP Kings 14 (7)
Tries – De Jongh 2, Kolisi 2, Kolbe, Van Wyk, Elstadt
Con – Catrakilis 5, Coleman 2
Tries – Schoeman, T Whitehead
Con – Van Breda 2
15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Kobus van Wyk, 13. Juan de Jongh (captain), 12. Jaco Taute, 11. Pat Howard, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Michael Rhodes, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Ruan Botha (First Currie Cup start for Western Province), 4. Jean Kleyn , 3. Brok Harris, 2. Stephan Coetzee, 1. Alistair Vermaak
Replacements:, 16. Neil Rautenbach, 17. Pat Cilliers, 18. Manuel Carizza, 19. Rynhardt Elstadt, 20. Nic Groom, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Justin Geduld (On Currie Cup debut for Western Province),
Lizo Gqoboka, Edgar Marutlulle, Tom Botha, David Bulbring, Steven Sykes (captain), Shaun McDonald, Paul Schoeman, Aidon Davis, Kevin Luiters, George Whitehead, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Dwayne Jenner, Tim Whitehead, Ronnie Cooke, Scott van Breda.
Replacements: Mike van Vuuren, CJ van der Linde, Thembelani Bholi, Stefan Willemse, Tobie Botes, Shane Gates, Siyanda Grey.