Western Province down Blue Bulls in Currie Cup

Western Province remained unbeaten after four matches when they beat the Blue Bulls 18-23 at Loftus Versfeld in the Currie Cup on Saturday.

Western Province remained unbeaten after four matches when they beat the Blue
Bulls 18-23 at Loftus Versfeld in the Currie Cup on Saturday.

The result makes Province the only unbeaten team in the Currie Cup and they
now have a three point lead over their nearest rivals.

An action-packed first half strangely produced only three points as the two
sides played positive rugby from the outset.

Uncharacteristically there was also less kicking from the hosts as they opted
to attack the line with the quick ball they received.

The scrums were also a tightly contested affair, with the Bulls showing much
improvement in this facet of play.

While the Bulls showed a willingness to keep the ball in hand, Western Province’s
typical strong defence held over the first 40 minutes.

Demonstrating that their game has progressed from a defence-minded to a more
balanced style, Province made a number of enterprising runs.

The first points of the match came shortly after the half-hour mark when replacement
Province flyhalf Kurt Coleman slotted a penalty conversion.

Blue Bulls debutant Joshua Stander had an opportunity to level the scores three
minutes from the interval but his shot in front of the poles was off-target.

The match finally produced some exciting tries after the half-time break after
Province pivot Demetri Catrakilis had converted a penalty in the 46th minute.

The Bulls finally found the breakthrough two minutes later when blindside flanker
Jacques du Plessis finished a move to score, with Stander converting. A Jesse
Kriel pass to Sampie Mastriet had seemed forward but was adjudged to be fine.

Stander’s replacement, Tian Schoeman, extended the Bulls’ lead in the 54th
minute to four points.

Instead of building on the positive momentum they had created when they had
the ball in hand, the Bulls seemed to employ a kicking tactic.

This backfired on them as Province’s dangerous outside backs sliced through
the Bulls’ defences to swing the momentum in their favour.

In the 56th minute, Western Province wing Kobus van Wyk finished off a set
move as his fellow flyer and man of the match Seabelo Senatla stepped past the
Bulls’ defence to send the former away, with Catrakilis converting (13-10).

Three minutes later, the blue-and-white hoops again crossed the whitewash with
Senatla leaving a few Bulls’ defenders in his wake en route to a fantastic individual

With 12 minutes left Schoeman close the gap with a penalty conversion, only
to see Coleman returning their lead to 10 points.

The Bulls made a last-gasp attempt to claim the victory when they opted for
a lineout penalty, which paid off as Mastriet powered his way over the line
on the other side of the field.

With the clock winding down, the Bulls made an encouraging attack on the line,
but a knock-on by William-Small Smith in the danger zone brought the match to
an end.

Final Score Blue Bulls 18 (3) Western Province 23 (0)


Blue Bulls
Tries-Du Plessis, Mastriet
Con- Stander
Pen- Schoeman 2

Western Province
Tries- Van Wyk, Senatla
Con- Catrakilis 2
Pen- Coleman 2, Catrakilis


Blue Bulls

15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Jono Ross, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann (k), 5 Grant Ha

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