Western Province at last recorded a win over Absa Currie Cup rugby frontrunners when they beat the Sharks in a hard fought match at Newlands on Saturday.
The first half belonged to the men in the hooped jerseys and the home team led 16-6 at halftime with the WP loose forwards dominating at the breakdown.
The Sharks were missing their experienced forwards, AJ Venter and Johan Ackermann, and the inexperience showed with the team losing several of their own lineouts.
WP were in a must-win situation following the earlier victory by the Lions over the Blue Bulls in Johannesburg. The win over the Sharks have kept WP in the running for a spot in the Currie Cup playoffs.
Veteran WP winger Breyton Paulse opened the scoring for his team following a storming run by Robbie Diack. WP flyhalf Naas Olivier missed the conversion but scored two telling penalties during the first half.
Sharks scrumhalf Rory Kockott kicked two penalties to keep the visitors in the game.
WP’s prolific try scoring centre, CornÃ© Uys, scored the hosts’ second try to give WP a halftime lead.
The Sharks fullback, Odwa Ndungane, had a good day on the field. He rounded his perfomance off with a long distance try, which started in his own half. Ndungane twisted out of two WP tackles and ran all of 55m to bring his team to within six points.
The day belonged to WP, however, and Peter Grant, who had taken over the goal kicking duties in the second half, added two penalties to WP’s halftime score.
The match ended on a tense note with Kockott having added two more penalties to keep the Sharks within striking distance up to the final hooter.
Province will look forward to next weekends match against the Blue Bulls with confidence. Coach Gary Gold will be feeling very pleased with the role his man of the match player, Francois Louw, had in WP’s win. – Sapa