Western Province blow Leopards away

Western Province finally managed to secure their first bonus point victory of the season when they scored a runaway 48-7 win over the Leopards at Newlands on Friday evening.


The crowd of just under 10 000 spectators were treated to a seven-try feast by the home side, with skipper Luke Watson claiming three tries.


It was the first time after four outings this season that Province managed more than three tries in a match. Province had no problems imposing themselves on the match and in the opening 10 minutes pinned the Leopards down in their own half.


During this passage of play Leopards managed once to transfer play to the Province 10m line where they were awarded a penalty after the Province loosies infringed at a ruck.


The Leopards flyhalf Clayton Durand missed the very goalable kick and the chance to put points on the board against the run of play.


Fullback Joe Pietersen finally induced some spark in the Province raids into the opposition half when after a strong run from the halfway he linked up with rightwing Gio Aplon who slipped several tackles before he put scrumhalf Conrad Hoffmann clear near the railway stand touchline.


However, the Leopards cover defence dumped him into touch at the corner flag. Province had another chance to score moments later after lock Anton van Zyl stole a Leopards throw-in at the resultant line-out.


However, Province flyhalf Willem de Waal finally got his side on the scoresheet when he banged over a 16th minute penalty (3-0).


The Leopards defence finally cracked when Province’s pack drove powerfully from 10 metres out, after which eighthman Luke Watson scored in the 21st minute.


De Waal missed the conversion (8-0). In the ensuing play Province continued to hold the upper hand but errors crept into their game while at other times they took the wrong options.


Aplon had another inspired run from deep options in the 33rd minute but he lacked support when he was collared on the Leopards’ 22m line.


De Waal did, however, extend the home side’s lead with a try two minutes later when the Leopards’ defence were caught napping after Province smartly executed a ploy from a set-scrum.


De Waal’s conversion was on target to make it 15-0, and this was the scoreline when the halftime break dawned. Province were again off to a spirited start but this time they made it count when Pietersen touched down after a splendid break by his hooker Tiaan Libenberg on the Leopards 10m line.


De Waal certainly did not have his kicking boots with him as he missed a second conversion attempt (20-0). Seven minutes later the Province pack again pulled off its driving maul trick and Watson was again the scorer.


De Waal goaled the bonus point try to made it 27-0. The Province coaching staff started sending on fresh legs after this advance and scrumhalf Bolla Conradie, wing Frikkie Welsh and lock Chris Jack all joined the fray.


Centre Morgan Newman and flank Pieter Louw followed soon afterwards for the ‘Streeptruie’.


Louw was the first of the substitutes to announce his arrival when after only two minutes of action he scored Province’s fifth try, and De Waal’s boot made it 34-0.


The many changes in the Province side seemed disruptive in the ensuing stages although the Leopards kept plugging away and they were rewarded for their efforts in the 68th minute with a try by centre Deon van Rensburg, after Leopards managed two turnovers in the approach work. Durand goaled the conversion (34-7).


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