Four-try WP put Sharks to the sword

Date published: September 12 2015

Western Province's recent revival continued when they secured a 37-27 victory over the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

In entertaining affair, which produced six tries, momentum between the two sides initially ebbed and flowed but three tries by WP, during a 10-minute burst shortly after half-time, paved the way to victory.

The Sharks had the better of the exchanges during the first half when WP conceded a plethora of penalties at the breakdown, and held a 17-10 lead thanks to superb goalkicking by ex-WP stalwart Joe Pietersen but the visitors got better as the game progressed although they had to dig deep to thwart a fightback from the home side.

The Sharks took an early lead via a Pietersen penalty in the fourth minute, after WP infringed at a scrum, but the visitors struck back shortly afterwards when Seabelo Senatla crossed for the opening try.

The WP flyer dotted down in the left-hand corner after running onto a long pass from Chris Cloete close to the Sharks' tryline. Robert du Preez, who was a late inclusion for the visitors as a replacement for the injured Kurt Coleman, added the extras but Pietersen narrowed the gap to a point when he slotted another three-pointer from the kicking tee.

Du Preez then added a penalty in the 13th minute which gave WP a 10-6 lead but the hosts struck back with a penalty from Pietersen and a well-taken try from Andre Esterhuizen, after a powerful run down the left flank.

Pietersen then added another penalty, on the stroke of half-time, which meant the hosts went in to the sheds with their tails up.

WP then caught their hosts by surprise as they stepped up a gear after the restart and Rynardt Elstadt, Dillyn Leyds and Bongi Mbonambi all crossed for deserved tries.

Elstadt first showed great strength when he barged through three tackles before scoring and Leyds then rounded off a flowing move under the posts before Pietersen got the Sharks' first points of the half via another penalty in the 50th minute.

Shortly afterwards, Mbonambi got over for his side's bonus-point try, after the impressive Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Senatla combined brilliantly in the build-up, and when Du Preez added the conversion the writing was on the wall for the hosts with score at 31-20 to WP.

The WP pivot extended his team's lead with another succesful penalty but the Sharks struck back when Odwa Ndungane crossed for their second try on the hour mark.

The hosts tried their best to cross the whitewash again but a combination of handling errors and resilient defence from WP kept them at bay.

Demetri Catrakilis added another penalty in the 77th minute which was the final nail in the Sharks' coffin and although Pietersen had a chance to secure a losing bonus point, he pushed his penalty attempt wide with the final act of the match.

The scorers:

For Sharks:
Tries: Esterhuizen, Ndungane
Con: Pietersen
Pens: Pietersen 5

For Western Province:
Tries: Senatla, Elstadt, Leyds, Mbonambi
Cons: Du Preez 4
Pens: Du Preez 2, Catrakilis

Sharks: 15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 S’bura Sithole, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Marco Wentzel (c), 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Gerhard Engelbrecht, 2 Monde Hadebe, 1 Thomas du Toit. 
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Dave McDuling, 19 Christiaan de Bruin, 20 Michael Claassens, 21 Heimar Williams, 22 Garth April.

Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Nic Groom (c), 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff. 
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20. Jano Vermaak, 21 Demetri Catrakilis, 22 Kobus van Wyk.

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge