Western Province overcame a poor first half to pull away from the Eastern Province Kings with a 35-16 victory in their opening Currie Cup rugby match.
The Cape outfit trailed 11-10 at half-time against a fired-up home side, well-led by man of the match Luke Watson, but they never panicked and scored three second half tries to eventually claim a clear-cut victory.
Putting the cherry on the top was a quick tap from a penalty after the hooter had gone which resulted in Cheslin Kolbe darting over for their bonus-point try.
WP were guilty of ill-discipline at times and received three yellow cards during the match, but their defence was outstanding against a Kings team committed to running the ball rather than putting it on the boot.
With time up, the Kings tried desperately to make headway out of the 22-metre to claim more points. But the WP defence never faltered, eventually resulting in the home side conceding a penalty and the final try.
WP opened the scoring as Pat Howard raced through a gaping hole in the Kings defence for their first try, converted by Demetri Catrakilis.
The Kings hit back with two penalties by Scott van Breda, one of which was cancelled out by Catrakilis, and then Watson powered over from a driving maul to give the Kings an 11-10 lead at the break.
In the second half, WP turned up the intensity and at times caught an ambitious Kings side on the back foot when they tried to run the ball out of their 22-metre area.
This allowed the visitors to pile on the pressure and they ran in tries through Nizaam Carr and Michael van der Spuy to stretch their lead to 30-11.
Catrakilis also continued to punish the Kings with the boot and slotted 15 points in all, through three conversions and three penalties.
To their credit, the Kings never gave up trying and lively scrumhalf Kevin Luiters was able to dart over for a try for their only points of the second half.
But that time, though, WP had the game in control and will return to Cape Town delighted with their match haul of five points. – Sapa