W.Province smash Leopards in Currie Cup

A four-try, first-half, scoring spree paved the way for an overwhelming 59-17 win for Western Province over the Leopards in their Currie Cup clash at Newlands on Saturday evening.

Province added five more tries in the second half to round off their bonus-point victory which they thoroughly deserved after a hattrick of defeats in recent weeks.

Province’s early indiscretions at the breakdowns did not escape the attention of referee Pro Legoete who sinbinned eighthman Duane Vermeulen in the third minute.

He also awarded the Leopards two penalties in the first seven minutes of play, one of which flyhalf Clayton Durand struck through the posts to secure an early 3-0 for the visiting Leopards.

But when Vermeulen returned, Province struck up cohesion and rookie flyhalf Lionel Cronje led the fightback with an excellent display in the pivot position.

The line-outs in the subsequent passage of play proved an ideal platform for Province to attack the opposition tryline and, after hooker Deon Fourie made the initial breakthrough in the 14th minute, the setpiece was again used effectively seven minutes later, with Francois Louw the scorer this time.

Cronje was on target with both conversions (14-3). While the Leopards were still recovering from this setback, Province ran them ragged and twice crossed for tries in the space of six minutes to claim a bonus point ahead of the break.

Cronje was on target with one conversion attempt (26-3). Five minutes ahead of the break, the Leopards punished a lapse of concentration by Province and flanker Reginald Kember ran in unchallenged from 30 metres out to score his side’s first try, after which Durand added the conversion (26-10).

On the stroke of halftime, the Leopards were pressing hard for a second try but they conceded a turnover a fraction away from the Province tryline and, as a result, surrendered the advantage.

The sides changed ends with a 26-10 scoreline, which suggested the match was over as a contest.

Just after play resumed, a lineout close to the Leopards’ tryline again proved an ideal platform and this time Louw rounded off the driving maul. Cronje’s conversion opened up a 23-point lead (33-10).

The Leopards’ response was immediate and telling, as their scrumhalf Theo van Wyk scooped on a stray pass in the Province backline to hare through from 35 metres out for a converted try (33-17).

But the Leopards were put on the backfoot for the rest of the match as Province added four more tries in a 20-minute onslaught.

The tryscorers were scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenhage, substitute flank Yaya Hartzenburg, lock Anton van Zyl and Juan de Jongh. Substitute flyhalf Willem de Waal converted three times for a 59-17 lead.

There were more points on offer for Province in the dying stages of the match but handling errors denied them additional tries.

Final Score Western Province 59 Leopards 17


Tries: Deon Fourie, Francois Louw (2), Brok Harris, Nick Koster, Dewaldt Duvenhage, Yaya Hartzenburg, Anton van Zyl and Juan de Jongh.
Conversions: Lionel Cronje (4). Willem de Waal (3).

Tries: Reginald Kember and Theo van Wyk.
Conversions: Clayton Durand (2).
Penalties: Durand.

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