Province romp home vs Griquas in Currie Cup

A highly enterprising Western Province provided excellent entertainment as they fashioned a 48-32 victory over never-say-die Griquas in their Currie Cup clash at Newlands Stadium on Friday evening.


By the interval, Province had already scored four tries to secure the bonus point, and the match seemed over as a contest. Griquas, however, bounced back with five second-half tries which added greatly to the entertainment factor.


Despite the bonus-point victory, the Province camp will be concerned that their much-vaunted defence leaked five tries in one half of the match.


After an exchange of penalties in the first four minutes of play – Willem de Waal for Province, and Naas Olivier for Griquas – the home side grabbed the match by the scruff of the neck and the visitors surrendered three tries in the space of 12 minutes.


A few runs by various Province forwards started the frenzy and centre Jean de Villiers rounded off when he barged through a half gap for the first try.


Right wing JJ Engelbrecht then ran in two quick tries, thanks to lightning breaks by wing Gio Aplon and scrum-half Dewaldt Duvenhage, and after flyhalf De Waal added two conversions, Province opened up a commanding 22-3 lead after only 18 minutes.


Any hopes the hosts may have had of picking up a bonus point (for a fourth try) in the first half seemed to be dashed as Griquas regrouped and stormed back with a few raids into the opposition half.


However, after Province absorbed the pressure they made the breakthrough they needed for the bonus point, and Engelbrecht was on hand for the touch down on the stroke of half-time to secure a hat-trick.


After De Waal’s conversion the teams made their way back to the dressing rooms, with Province enjoying a healthy 26-point lead (29-3). When the sides returned after the break they showed the same commitment to run the ball at every opportunity, much to the delight of the 19 000-strong crowd.


Province seemed to have the better of the exchanges but Griquas were more proficient as they snatched two tries against one within 16 minutes after the break.


Left wing Bjorn Basson, who will join the Blue Bulls later this year, grabbed both Griquas’ tries, one of which was converted by Olivier. Hooker Deon Fourie bulldozed his way over for Province and De Waal added the conversion for a 36-15 lead.


Around the hour mark, when both sides sent on several substitutes, the defences on either side again gave way after a flurry of attacks which resulted in a try at each end.


Eighthman Duane Vermeulen dotted down for the home team, with substitute flyhalf Gary van Aswegen adding the conversion, and Burger Schoeman added another for Griquas (43-20).


The advance must have given Griquas a sniff of victory, and in the space of two frenzied minutes Basson (who bagged a hat-trick) and Jean Stemmet streaked through for tries, one of which was converted by substitute flyhalf Rudy Vogt (43-32).


A minute before the final whistle, Province put the final decision beyond doubt with a try through Adriaan Fondse to cap a highly entertaining fixture.


Final Score Western Province 48 Griquas 32


Scorers


Western Province:
Tries: Jean de Villiers, JJ Engelbrecht (3), Deon Fourie, Duane Vermeulen and Adriaan Fondse.
Conversions: Willem de Waal (4) and Gary van Aswegen.
Penalties: De Waal


Griquas:
Tries: Bjorn Basson (3), Burger Schoeman and Jean Stemmert
Conversions: Naas Olivier and Rudi Vogt.
Penalties: Naas Olivier

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