Province keep semifinal hopes alive

The Absa Currie Cup match between the Valke and Western Province at Bosman Stadium in Brakpan on Friday night was lively and at times, exciting, but it seldom really good.

Western Province won the game 46-23 to keep their slim Currie Cup semifinal hopes alive.

The Cape visitors, seeking four tries to retain some hope of reaching the semifinals in two weeks time, eventually scored six tries, but it took them until the 40th minute to score their first try via number eight Robbie Diack.

That meant that the home side led 13-10 at the break, courtesy of a try by flank Roland Bernard who outran Springbok wing Breyton Paulse after a kick ahead, and eight points from the trusty boot of Jacques Schutte.

Virtually camping in the Valke 22 in the first half, Western Province contrived to squander one opportunity after the other through poor handling, turnovers and a few moments of silly ill-discipline.

Running across field was another of Western Province’s sins, with the result that the Valke forced them to the touchline.

The visitors looked more purposeful after the break, and were rewarded a mere three minutes after the restart when Conrad Jantjes went over.

Leading 17-13, the tide seemed to have turned for a transformed Western Province, and when Jantjes went in for his second try five minutes later, and Breyton Paulse halfway through the second period, they had their bonus point — and the match was won.

For the Valke, flyhalf Len Olivier had a good, solid match. But their star was probably the uncompromising Mike Vermaak. The hardworking number eight drove, tackled and covered tirelessly — epitomising the never-say-die attitude of the entire Valke side. – Sapa

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