Western Province beat Leopards in Currie Cup

Western Province comfortably beat the Leopards 49-21 to reclaim second place in the Currie Cup at Newlands on Saturday.

Western Province played the match with several key players out in the cold
because of injury but still managed to win with relative ease.

It took Province the majority of the first
half to stop the Leopards in their tracks after the visitors had run the ball
at every opportunity straight after the kick-off.

During this passage of play, Province battled to lay their hands on the ball,
as the Leopards kept possession close to their forwards.

The Leopards produced a spirited start which took the Province defence by surprise.

It looked like Province would weather the early onslaught but the Leopards
soon found the gaps and consequently ran in two tries in the opening 19 minutes.

Scrumhalf Whestley Moolman and centre Charl Weideman provided the finishing
touches to crown the visiting side’s efforts and flyhalf Clayton Durand converted
both tries.

The few opportunities that came Province’s way came to nought as handling errors
thwarted their efforts.

Flyhalf Isma-eel Dollie was off target with an early penalty attempt for the
hosts, but he made amends in the ninth minute to open their scoring account.

Midway through the first half, Province managed to impose themselves on the
match as they transferred the pressure and pinned the Leopards down in their
own half for a sustained period.

The home side relieved the pressure in the 27th minute when flank Tertius Daniller
secured a turn-over on the Leopards’ 22-metre line and burst through the defence
for his team’s first try, which was converted by Dollie (14-10).

Forced into defence ahead of the half-time break, the Leopards’ attempts to
maintain their lead were halted by infringements at the breakdown.

They gave away resultant penalties, two of which were goaled by Dollie, as
Province took the lead for the first time in the match, with a 16-14 advantage.

After the break, the Leopards were forced to settle for another spell of defence
deep inside their half.

A driving maul from the Leopards’ 22-metre line opened the way for flanker
Nick Fenton Wells to grab Province’s second try in the 47th minute, and Dollie’s
conversion opened a comfortable nine-point gap.

Province started showing greater cohesion in their build-up work, and as a
result, Leopards were never allowed back in the game, although they battled
on gamely.

As the hour-mark approached, Province’s pack enjoyed a penetrative sortie upfield,
and when the ball was recycled wide, winger Danie Poolman dived over in the
corner. Dollie added two points with a splendid kick from the touchline.

Dollie made way for substitute scrumhalf Nic Groom, who had hardly stepped
on the field when he was presented with a scoring pass as he cantered in unchallenged
for Province’s bonus point.

Duvenage, who moved to flyhalf in place of Dollie, failed with the conversion
attempt, but the hosts nonetheless held a comfortable 35-14 lead.

The 21-point cushion might have been the cue for the hosts to take their foot
off the pedal, and they were punished as Leopards launched a counter attack
which led to a try by Maritz Hoffman. Substitute Wesley Dunlop converted, narrowing
the gap to 14 points.

After Province had cleared their substitutes bench, they never quite regained
their cohesion, but they did manage a fifth try at the death when prop Brok
Harris barged over next to the posts. Duvenage added the conversion which doubled
the Leopards’ tally (42-21).

In the final minute, flanker Siya Kolisi secured Province’s final try, and
Duvenage added the conversion to seal the win as the Leopards were left trailing
at the bottom of the standings.

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