Western Province upset Blue Bulls

Western Province turned in a rousing display to surprise the highly-fancied Blue Bulls with a 35-7 Currie Cup win at Newlands on Saturday evening.

Province ran in two tries in each half to crown their bonus point-victory and flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis was in fine form with the boot with a 15-point contribution.

Province made good a promising start after adventurous ploy at a line-out saw their skipper and hooker Tiaan Liebenberg tearing the touchline some 35 metres to dive over at the corner flag in the fifth minute. Flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis missed the conversion (5-0).

The response from the visiting Bulls was immediate as they took play into the Province 22m area but a poor option saw their kick-ahead end up in opposition hands in the in-goal area.

Province saw off this threat rather quickly and they started imposing themselves on the match — quite surprisingly, because the Bulls were firm favourites to win the match. Central to Province’s ascendancy was their ability to hold their own at the set-pieces as well as fine inter-play between the pack and the backline.

A Province turn-over near the halfway line was the platform to launch their next try-scoring effort. This time centre Tim Whitehead scrambled the ball after the Bulls failed to field a high kick from scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage. After a 40 metre sprint down the grandstand touchline he was joined by wing Danie Poolman who was on hand to take the scoring pass in the 19th minute.

Catrakilis who was on target with a penalty three minutes earlier, added the conversion, and another penalty moments later (18-0).

The Bulls finally managed to undo Province’s vice-like grip on the match with a wave of attacks inside the Province half and their efforts came good in the 33rd minute with a try by centre Stephan Dippenaar and flyhalf Francois Brummer goaled the conversion (18-7).

Just ahead of the halftime break, Catrakilis slotted over this third penalty to give his side a commanding 21-7 lead.

When the second half got under way Province threatened again but the Bulls stood firm and thwarted several efforts just short of their tryline.

The Bulls, on the other hand, seldom managed to take play beyond the Province 10-metre line although they enjoyed a fair amount of possession, which they were not looking after particularly well.

On the hour, another turn-over, this time secured by fullback Conrad Jantjes, saw No 8 Nick Koster break out on the Bulls’ 10-metre line to outsprint the cover defence to bag Province’s third try. Catrakilis added the conversion (28-7).

That score effectively ended the match as a contest, although the Bulls tried hard in the last 20 minutes to claw their way back into the match.

During this passage of play, Province counter-attacked and Duvenage rounded off splendidly with a converted try.

Final Score Western Province 35 Blue Bulls 7


Western Province:
Tries: Tiaan Liebenberg, Danie Poolman, Nick Koster and Dewaldt Duvenage.
Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (3).
Penalties: Demetri Catrakilis (3).

Blue Bulls
Try: Stephan Dippenaar
Conversion: Francois Brummer.

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