Province hold on to beat Sharks in Currie Cup

Seabelo Senatla

Western Province held off a late charge to earn a bonus-point 27-37 victory
over the Sharks at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.

Province came up with a game-changing spell just after the break when they
ran two converted tries to turn a 17-10 deficit into a 24-17 lead.

The Sharks were never able to regain the lead and Province surged further ahead
midway through the second half when they scored the bonus-point try.

Sharks flyhalf Joe Pietersen, who boasts an accuracy rate of 85% as a place-kicker
this season, opened the scoring in the match with a third-
minute penalty (3-0).

Province overcame the early setback with a Seabelo Senatla try three minutes
later, flyhalf Robert du Preez, on his Currie Cup debut, converted splendidly
from touchline (7-3).

With both sides particularly enthusiastic on attack, there were a number infringements
on either side, and referee Rasta Rasivhenge awarded a number of penalties over
the next 20 minutes and the Sharks did well to convert two while Du Preez was
on target once (10-9).

Despite being pushed back at the set-scrums, the Sharks managed to protect
their ball and they were rewarded when they worked the ball up to the corner
flag where centre Andre Esterhuizen dotted down help from his captain Marco
Wentzel. Pietersen failed to convert (14-10).

The Sharks made their strong finish at the end of the first half count when
Pietersen added a fourth penalty on the hooter to give his side a 17-10 lead
at the halftime break.

When the teams returned, Province showed a greater sense urgency straight from
the restart, and the Sharks’ defence wilted under the pressure and conceded
two tries in six minutes. Flank Rynhardt Elstadt and wing Dillyn Leyds were
the try-scorers and Du Preez banged over both conversions to open up a 24-17
lead.

Pietersen closed the gap four minutes later with a penalty (24-20) but Province
responded almost immediately with a powerful surge upfield and the sortie ended
with replacement hooker Bongi Mbonambi finishing the move with an acrobatic
touch as he made the touchdown for the bonus point try. Du Preez’s conversion
took the score out to 31-20 for an 11-point lead.

The scoreboard was kept ticking over at a steady rate around the hour mark
as Du Preez goaled a second penalty for Province and fullback Odwa Ndungane
ranged up into the Sharks’ backline to snatch a converted try in the 63rd
minute (34-27).

The Sharks enjoyed plenty possession in the closing stages but they could not
find a way past the Province defence and instead conceded a penalty three minutes
from the end when replacement Demetri Catrakilis put the final result beyond
doubt with the last penalty of the match (37-27).

Catrakilis’ strike also denied the Sharks a bonus point for losing by
seven or less points.

Final Score Sharks 27 (17) Western Province: 37 (10)

Scorers

Sharks
Tries: Andre Esterhuizen, Odwa Ndungane
Conversions: Joe Pietersen
Penalties: Joe Pietersen (5)

Western Province
Tries: Seabelo Senatla, Rynhardt Elstadt, Dillyn Leyds, Bongi Mbonambi
Conversions: Robert du Preez (4)
Penalties: Du Preez (2), Demetri Catrakilis

Match Officials
Referee
: Rasta Rasivhenge

Teams

Sharks: 15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Paul Jordaan,
12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 S’bura Sithole, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Cobus Reinach,
8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Marco Wentzel
(c), 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Gerhard Engelbrecht, 2 Monde Hadebe, 1 Thomas du
Toit.

Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Dave McDuling, 19 Christiaan
de Bruin, 20 Michael Claassens, 21 Heimar Williams, 22 Garth April.

Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johnny
Kotze, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Nic Groom (c),
8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean
Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Jurie
van Vuuren, 20. Jano Vermaak, 21 Demetri Catrakilis, 22 Kobus van Wyk.

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