WP score solid victory over Griffons
Western Province (WP) laboured to a 51-7 Vodacom Cup victory over the Griffons at Bellville South on Saturday afternoon, after leading 32-0 at the break.
WP needed only two minutes to bag their first of four first-half tries when Conraad Britz streaked in at corner flag after the Griffons failed to halt two early forward surges sprung by the home side.
In the first eight minutes of play, the Griffons twice had a chance to run the ball along their back line, and on both occasions the promising moves broke down short of the try line.
The heavier WP pack had it all their own way in the setpieces and, for most of the first half, WP relied on their forwards to lead the sorties into the Griffons’ half. Three times in the space of 18 minutes the Griffons’ try line was under siege.
When the pressure eventually took its toll on the Griffons defence flanker, Britz went over for his second try.
As half-time closed in, the WP backs got in on the try-scoring act with left wing Terry Jacobs and flyhalf Morgan Newman dotting down to round off WP’s 32-0 half-time score.
It was clear that the match was over as a contest by the time the second half got under way, more so after WP ran in two quick tries by centre PJ Vermeulen and Terry to take a 44-0 lead.
With the match safely in the bag, WP coach Jerome Paarwater made several changes that saw his entire bench having a decent run on the park.
It didn’t lend any cohesion to the WP side and, as a result, they never really threatened again to overrun the Griffons, although they came close to scoring on two occasions after strong counter-attacks, sprung deep inside their own half.
In the final 10 minutes, the youthful Griffons managed to take play inside the WP 22m line and their never-say-die efforts earned them a try through centre Werner Griessel, just minutes ahead of the final whistle.
There was one last hurrah from the home side when Terry ran in to complete his hat-trick, and Charl Weideman added the conversion.
Unconvincing win for Kavaliers
In Wellington, the Boland Kavaliers scored an unconvincing 31-22 win over the Valke in a scrappy match.
The visitors from the East Rand led 15-10 at the interval.
Boland seemed to be the better side for the first 30 minutes, but handling errors cost them dearly at crucial stages.
The Valke slowly but surely started to take control of the match. In the first minute after half-time, they increased their lead to 22-10 after hardworking flanker Warren Perkins raced through to dot down next to the posts.
With the Valke heading for an upset win, flanker Zolani Mofu kept the Kavaliers in the picture with a well-deserved try in the 13th minute, and Boland regained the lead when replacement winger Kobus Meintjes crossed in the 30th minute.
Boland lost flyhalf Lionel Cornelius with a few minutes left, but replacement Elgar Watts impressed with a good break that nearly led to another Boland try.
In the dying seconds, Watts succeeded with a drop goal to put the game beyond doubt. The Kavaliers still have plenty of homework to do, while the new-look Valke side have plenty of guts and determination.
Victory for Leopards
The Leopards ran out a comfortable 32-14 win over Eastern Province (EP) in their opening Vodacom Cup rugby match played at the Adcock Stadium in Port Elizabeth after the scores were level 14-14 at half-time.
EP only really dominated the opening 10 minutes of the match after scrumhalf Marlon Lewis had crossed over for an unconverted try in the first minute. However, it was the Leopards who took control of the match and dominated proceedings for the next 70 minutes.
Fullback Anvor Schooney, who hails from Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape, was the star of the Leopards team. He was responsible for all 14 of his team’s points in the first half, with two tries and two conversions.
The more disciplined Leopards pack took control up front in the second half and this led to tries by number eight Riaan Swanepoel, replacement hooker Pellow van der Westhuizen and finally captain and flank Andre Swanepoel. Schooney added to his first-half tally with a straightforward penalty 20 minutes into the second half.
EP failed to penetrate the rock-solid defence of the Leopards and had to reply on three penalties by flyhalf Ashwell Damons in the first half.
It proved a highly disappointing start for EP, but the Leopards will be pleased to get an away win under their belts and deservedly so.—Sapa