Province go top in Currie Cup with Griquas win

Western Province took back the top spot in the Currie Cup standings when they beat Griquas 36-12 at Newlands on Saturday.

The match ended on a frantic note as either side scored a try, by which time the match had long been settled as a contest, after Province led 24-0 at the break.

Griquas yet again had to play part of the match with 14 players, which did little to help their cause against a rampant Cape outfit.

Province showed their attacking intent from the start when they ran in a try after only two minutes from turned-over possession, but referee Lesego ‘Pro’ Legoete spotted an infringement earlier on and the score was disallowed.

Griquas showed intent of their own, but ran into a brick wall as the Province defence weighed in with reliable man-on-man tackling.

This prompted Griquas to kick upfield instead whenever they needed to get out of their own half.

With ample supply of possession from first-phase play, Province’s new-found attacking prowess played havoc with Griquas’ defensive lines and by the 25th minute, the Newlands outfit ran in three tries.

Justin Geduld, making his debut in a starting XV, scored a sixth minute try after a backline movement, which was sprung just outside the Griquas 22-metre area.

Fullback Cheslin Kolbe, who provided the scoring pass, drew two defenders before sending Geduld clear.

Sikhumbuzo Notshe, another player to make his debut in the run-on 15, scored the second try in the 16th minute, before flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis was on target again with the conversion attempt.

A minute later. the visiting Griquas suffered a double setback when their tighthead prop Nicolaas van Dyk was yellow-carded and Province goaled the resulting penalty for a 17-0 lead after 20 minutes.

There was more woe four minutes later when Province breached the Griquas defence yet again and this time prop Brok Harris was the scorer.

Catrakilis gave Province a 24-0 lead when he goaled the conversion.

The string of setbacks brought the best out of Griquas and for a while, when they were reduced to 14 players, they managed to pin Province down in their own 22-metre.

During this time they managed to cross the whitewash but the television match official, Shaun Veldsman, decided against awarding the try.

In the final five minutes of the first half, when Griquas were restored to a full team, they exerted pressure on the Province defence, but could not make it on to the scoreboard by the time the half-time whistle sounded.

When play resumed, Griquas started where they left off and this time they needed only three minutes to open their account.

From a line-out, some 15 metres out, former Province lock Hilton Lobberts broke powerfully around the front before his teammate, Ruaan Lerm, gathered the stray ball and dived over Griquas’ first try, which went unconverted.

Province always looked the more threatening but they seemed to lose their way out on the flanks when there were chances to round the opposition defence.

Griquas, on the other hand, needed to be far more enterprising than trying the run Province off their feet, but they never gave up.

The second-half target for Province was very much a fourth try for the bonus point.

The point would be provided in the 58th minute when Notshe notched his second try.

Three minutes from the end, Province had the crowd on its feet with a move from their tryline to the opposite, when Kolbe touched down in the corner but again, the try was disallowed.

A minute later, Griquas cut loose from the restart and substitute Abrie Griesel scored his second try, and Dean Grant goaled the conversion.

Referee Legoete allowed some four minutes extra-time and Province ran in a fifth try, through Kolbe, and replacement flyhalf Kurt Coleman added the conversion.

Final Score Western Province (24) 36 Griquas (0) 12

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