Province too strong for Cheetahs

The unerring boot of Willem de Waal carried Western Province to a 19-13 victory over Free State Cheetahs in their Currie Cup  clash at Newlands on Friday evening.

The Province flyhalf scored 14 of his side’s points via four first-half penalties and a second-half conversion, after the home side led 12-6 at the break. Province showed the greater initiative at the start and managed early forays into the visitors’ 22-metre area but they were unable to breach the defence.

Free State, on the other hand, were quite content to absorb the early pressure although their infringements allowed Province fylhalf Willem de Waal to put nine points on the scoreboard via three penalties.

De Waal’s opposite number Jacques-Louis Potgieter kept the Cheetahs in the picture with two penalties after Province infringed at the breakdowns. Free State needed some 20 minutes before they started asking questions of the opposition’s defence.

At this stage they managed to take play up to the Province tryline but could not manage the touchdown, and the Free Staters’ best effort was foiled by a turn-over on the tryline.

Four minutes ahead of the halftime break Province looked like finally breaking down the stubborn Free State but rightwing Tonderai Chavhanga was adjudged to be short of the tryline.

The raid was sparked off by centre Peter Grant’s dummy kick near the halfway line before Province attacked a channel down the right and then switched to the opposite side of the field.

Their only reward was a final first-half penalty, courtesy of De Waal, who allowed Province to secure a 12-6 halftime lead. A strange phenomenon of the tryless first half was that the match had its first set-scrum in the 31st minute.

Province made such a spirited start when the second half got under way that it was inevitable that attack would triumph over defence but they had to wait some 16 minutes before their leftwing, the much maligned Sireli Naqevuki, crashed his way over the Free State tryline from six metres with three defenders trying to stop him. De Waal goaled the conversion (19-6).

This advance brought about a lift in Province’s game and the crowd of 20 085 had lots to cheer about at a chilly Newlands as the ‘Streeptruie’ swarmed upfield several times in the ensuing passage of play.

Free State managed to shake off Province’s grip on the match in the 65th minute when their forwards and backs combined splendidly for several tilts at the tryline. However, the well-organised Province defence held out, forcing Free State to come away empty handed.

After De Waal had a rare miss with a penalty attempt from the opposition 10 metre line, Free State counter-attacked at the death to score a try through reserve hooker Richardt Strauss.

Potgieter landed the conversion attempt from the touchline to narrow the gap and secure a bonus point for his side (19-13).

Final score Western Province 19 Cheetahs 13


Western Province:
Try: Tonderai Chavhanga.
Conversion: Willem de Waal.
Penalties: De Waal (4).

Free State Cheetahs:
Try: Richardt Strauss.
Conversion: Jacques-Louis Potgieter.
Penalties: Jacques-Louis Potgieter (2).

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