Western Province reach Currie Cup final

Deon Stegmann gets stopped by Western Province

Western Province stormed into the 2015 Currie Cup final with a 23-18 win over arch-rivals Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Friday evening, after scores were locked nine-all at halftime.

The Province win came off the back of a two-nil try count, courtesy of the superb game-breaking skills of their fullback Cheslyn Kolbe, who scored one try and hand a major hand in the other. He was named ‘Man-of-the-Match’ afterwards.

All the Bulls’ points came off the boot of their flyhalf Tian Schoeman who scored all 18 points from the kicking tee.

Most of first-half play was spent in the Bulls’ half play but Province did not make their territorial advantage count. They were presented with attacking platforms via four line-outs just five metres out from the opposition tryline but they failed to capitalise.

Despite their surfeit of possession Province could not mount attacks to prise open the opposition defence and frequently they went to ground where the Bulls’ physicality won the day.

On their rare first-half sorties into the Province half the Bulls were never threatening but made Province pay for their infringements as flyhalf Tian Schoeman goaled three out of four penalties.

The Bulls also obliged with infringements one of which resulted in a 22nd minute yellow card for prop Pierre Schoeman. Province flyhalf Robert du Preez also goaled three out of four attempts and at halftime the sides changed ends at nine points apiece.

A feature of the first-half was the strong scrum performance by Province who were making good a slight weight advantage at the set-piece but again could convert it to their advantage.

Possession was fairly more evenly distributed when second-half play resumed but defences held out against fairly ordinary attacking plays. One penalty came the way of the Bulls and Schoeman goaled to give the Bulls the lead for the fourth time in the match (12-9).

Province finally came good on attack when they probed the channel out wide in front of the main grandstand and a kick ahead by centre Johnny Kotze was smartly gathered with one hand by Cheslyn Kolbe who ran in to touchdown at the corner flag. Du Preez’s conversion was true and Province led for the first time, 51 minutes into the matc“`h (16-12).

The Bulls responded with a pressure spell and they earned a penalty and Schoeman reduced the deficit to a mere one point in the 56th minute (16-15).

At this stage, the Bulls were dominating but they let Province off by losing a five-metre line-out and then surrendered a turn-over close to the tryline.

A huge clearing kick by Kolbe was taken into touch by the Bulls and Province’s quick throw-in was relayed across the opposition 22m area before replacement scrumhalf Jano Vermaak ran in unchallenged. Replacement flyhalf Kurt Coleman took the Province lead out to eight points with his conversion, with eight minutes’ playing time left (23-15).

A 76th minute penalty, a sixth by Schoeman, turned out to be their final score as they headed for the also-rans 2015 Currie Cup scrapheap (23-18).

Province will now meet the winner of Saturday’s Golden Lions – Free State Cheetahs semifinal clash in Johannesburg

Final Score Blue Bulls 18 (9) Western Province 23 (9)

Scorers

Blue Bulls
Penalties: Tian Schoeman (6)

Western Province
Tries: Cheslyn Kolbe, Jano Vermaak
Conversions: Robert du Preez, Kurt Coelman
Penalties. Robert du Preez (3)

Match Official
Referee: Pro Legoete

Teams

Blue Bulls

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Lappies Labuschagne (c), 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Pierre Schoeman.

Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 William Small-Smith.

Western Province

15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (c), 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: 16 Michael Willemse, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Huw Jones.

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