Centre Huw Jones scored a hat-trick to help Western Province win their first Currie Cup match of the season 36-6 against the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
It was a one-sided match for the most part with the first half much better than the second. The margin of victory could have been even greater had WP not had two tries disallowed in the first 40 minutes.
They head back to Cape Town with a bonus-point victory in the bag and a good boost to their confidence after a poor start to their campaign.
The Kings didn’t do themselves any favours after they were twice reduced to 14 men while they also kicked away too much possession. This result leaves them winless after three games and with little indication that things will change soon as they prepare to play three games in seven days.
After the Kings took an early 3-0 lead through a Kobus Marais penalty, momentum shifted WP’s way. Leolin Zas, who had an excellent game on the left wing, opened the scoring for the visitors. The floodgates opened, but two minutes later Jones had a try disallowed after replays showed Zas’s foot had been in touch before he got the inside pass away.
The disappoinment was short lived when Jones scored the first of his three five-pointers a few minutes later with Zas again playing a pivotal role in the try. WP created space on the left which Zas exploited and in a carbon copy of the previous disallowed try he again managed to get the inside pass away to Jones who had to beat three defenders to score.
With a 12-3 lead after 20 minutes Sevens specialist Werner Kok, making his debut on the right wing, had a try disallowed after the final pass to him was deemed forward. Marais pulled three points with another penalty before Christiaan de Bruin was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle.
Sikhumbuzo Notshe extended WP’s lead after they took advantage of the extra man and opted to scrum on the five metre line of the Kings. Etienne Oosthuizen was sent off two minutes before the break after a breakdown infringement as the visitors took a 17-6 lead into the second half.
Jano Vermaak scored the bonus-point try midway through the second stanza before Jones scored two quick tries late in the half to give his team a convincing victory away from home.
For EP Kings:
Pens: Marais 2
For Western Province:
Tries: Zas, Jones 3, Notshe, Vermaak
Cons: Thomson 3
Eastern Province Kings: 15 Johann Tromp, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 13 JC Greyling, 12 Burton Klaasen, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Kobus Marais, 9 Ricky Schroeder (c), 8 Christiaan De Bruin, 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Vince Jobo, 5 Sebastian Ferreira, 4 Tazz Fuzani, 3 Vukile Sofisa, 2 Mike Willemse, 1 Justin Forwood
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Barend Potgieter, 18 Dylon Pieterse, 19 Luke vd Smit, 20 Brandon Brown, 21 Lungelo Goza, 22 Ganfried May
Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Jurie van Vuuren, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 Chris van Zyl (captain), 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Oli Kebble, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Stefan Willemse, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Robert du Preez
Referee: Lesego Legoete
Assistant Referees: Ben Crouse, Vusi Msibi
TMO: Christie du Preez