Province too good for Sharks in Currie Cup

The Western Province foreign legion of Chris Jack (New Zealand) and Sireli Naqelevuki (Fiji) scored unanswered tries in a 29-15 win over the reigning Currie Cup champions, the Sharks, at Newlands on Saturday evening.


Apart from the two tries, theProvince flyhalf Willem de Waal was in superb goalkicking form as he landed place-kick attempts from the touchlines to contribute 19 matchwinning points on the day.


All Black legend Jack marked his debut for Province in dramatic fashion with a try only 22 seconds into the match. He charged down an attempted clearance by by Sharks scrumhalf and then gathered the stray ball before he dived over unchallenged.


Province flyhalf Willem de Waal converted splendidly from the touchline to give Province an early 7-0 lead. This fortuitious advance gave Province’s game a lift and although they gained the initiative they seldom advanced beyond the Sharks’ 22m line.


Kockott (2) and De Waal kept the scoreboard ticking over with successful penalty attempts 15 minutes into the first half (10-6).


For most of the first half the teams battled in wet slippery conditions to impose themselves on the match. Poor tactical kicking by both sides added to their woes and defences were seldom tested.


Basically, the teams were resorting to safety-first tactics and the ball seldom reached the wings or recycled through phases.


Province, however, paid for their infringements as Kockett was on target twice with penalties as the match neared the half hour mark which saw Province surrender the lead 12-10.


De Waal, however, had the last say ahead of the halftime break when he slotted over two penalty attempts to ensure Province take a four-point lead into the break (16-12).


Province again started off well and were prepared to take the ball through the phases and their enterprise was rewarded when they scored the second try of the match in the 47th minute.


After a full backline movement outside centre Morgan Newman timed a fine pass to wing Sireli Naqelevuki who did equally well to gather the pass and shake off the cover defence to score at the corner flag.


Again De Waal could made no mistake with his conversion attempt (23-16). In a seven-minute passage of play that followed, De Waal and Kockett banged over penalty attempts to advance the scoreline (26-15).


Province succeeded in taking play into the Sharks’ 22m area several times but the Sharks defence held out although they were helped by poor finishing on the part of the home side.


The poor finishing was mainly as a result of poor passing.


Five minutes from the end a De Waal penalty attempted landed on the crossbar but bounced over, and with it bounced the Sharks’ hopes of making a winning start to their 2009 campaign.


Final Score Western Province 20 Sharks 15




Western Province:
Tries: Chris Jack, Sireli Naqelevuki.
Conversions: Willem de Waal (2).
Penalties: De Waal (5).


Penalties: Rory Kockott (5).

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