Currie Cup

Western Province beat Pumas in Currie Cup




Super rugby AU : Standings | Fixtures | Super Rugby Aotearoa: Standings | Fixtures |


Unbeaten Currie Cup log-leaders Western Province ran in seven tries as they fashioned an emphatic 54-13 win over the Pumas at Newlands on Friday evening.

Although the final scoreline suggests a one-sided contest it was hardly the case, as the Pumas offered commendable resistance in the second half, after trailing 35-3 at halftime.

Province enjoying a glut of possession at the outset, adopted a cavalier approach and although they managed to break the first line of defence, the Pumas’ cover defence kicked in with great effect to thwart several promising movements.

The Pumas infringed several times and the prolific boot of flyhalf Willem ensured that they were duly punished, as he kicked three penalties in the first 16 minutes.

While play was largely confined to the Pumas half up to this stage, the one time that they managed to transfer play into the Province half, flyhalf Edgar Watts landed an 11th minute penalty close to the halfway line (9-3).

Midway through the first half, Province were still in the hunt for their first try despite taking play up to the Pumas’ tryline several times and their inability was mainly as a result of their one-dimensional onslaught, which the workmanlike Pumas bravely repelled.

However, the Province pressure finally took its toll in the 23rd minute when they ran in the first of three tries in the space of 10 minutes, two of which were converted by De Waal.

First Flanker Pieter Louw smashed his way over the line and seven minutes later wing Gio Aplon ran in the first of his two tries as Province opened up a commanding 28-3 lead.

Two minutes before the break, the Pumas’ secondary defence was opened up by the brute strength of an Anton van Zyl charge.

The Province skipper bagged the bonus point try, and after De Waal added the conversion the sides changed ends at 35-3 with the 16 000 crowd offering the home side a generous halftime applause as they made their way to the dressing rooms.

The Pumas returned to the field at the start of the second half wearing their usual home strip and the change of gear seemed to instill some spark into their game.

Not only did they render Province scoreless in the opening stages of the second half they also managed to take play past the home side’s 22-metre line several times, albeit without reward.

It was only a matter of time before the Pumas relinquished their grip on the game as Province managed to impose themselves on the match once more – and in spectacular fashion too.

The Province pack’s driving maul from 20 metres out ended with a converted try by lock Van Zyl, his second of the match (42-3) in the 59th minute.

This was the signal for Province coach Allister Coetzee to field his substitutes, but the fresh legs took time to find their rhythm and the Pumas made the most of their chances to run hard with ball in hand.

In the final 15 minutes the Pumas were adventurous enough to turn down two kickable penalties and the ploy paid off when they converted the second to score next to the posts through substitute Shaun Venter.

Province old boy Ricardo Croy missed the easy conversion (42-8). Four minutes later the Pumas sprang another surprise when they rounded off after launching a raid from inside their own half, with substitute hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld adding the finishing with his side’s second try (42-13).

While Pumas offered some more pressure as the game wound to its close, Province substitute flyhalf Lionel Cronje latched on to an intercept to score a try, which he converted himself (49-13).

In the dying minutes substitute wing JJ Engelkbrecht rounded off the score in the match with an unconverted try close to the corner flag .

“I was pleased with the performance and we did well in terms giving nothing away,” said Western Province coach Coetzee.

“The so-called smaller unions would like the teams from bigger unions to play wide all the time but we did not fall into that trap.

“We created the pressure and we showed composure, playing against a team with a big pack.

“We also have to be mindful of our goals at Western Province, both for the long short-term and long-term. We are in the process on creating depth by blooding youngsters.

“We are also concerned about trying to implement what we would like to do against the bigger unions.”

Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse said he was disappointed with his side’s first-half performance.

“It was not good enough that we came back strongly in the second half after some changes,” said Stonehouse

. “At the start we just could not hold on to passes and made errors which saw us playing catch-up rugby.

“We (the Pumas) know we are going to be better in the second round of the Currie Cup. The big thing for us is to be competitive. “But for now we need to work on the way we start the game.”

When the Pumas returned for second-half play they wore a changed strip, much to the surprise of everyone.

Stonehouse explained after the match that it was his way of getting his players to start the match afresh – at least in their minds.

“We were trailing at halftime and by changing the jerseys I got the players to start afresh in the second half, regardless of what the scoreline is.”

Final Score Western Province 54 Pumas 13


Western Province :
Tries: Pieter Louw (2), Gio Aplon (2), Anton van Zyl, Lionel Cronje and JJ Englebrecht.
Conversions: Willem de Waal (4) and Cronje.
Penalties: De Waal (3).

Tries: Shaun Venter and Torsten van Jaarsveld.
Penalty: Elgar Watts.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.