Western Province stumbled to their second consecutive Currie Cup defeat on Friday when they crashed to a 29-24 loss to the Cheetahs.
Western Province stumbled to their second consecutive Currie Cup defeat on Friday when they crashed to a 29-24 loss to the Free State Cheetahs.
The result is WP's first loss at home this season after they dominated the ealry staged of the tournament with a six-game winning streak.
WP trailed from start to finish as their poor discipline allowed Cheetahs fly-half Louis Strydom to keep his side ahead.
The Cheetahs produced a telling seventeen-point second-half scoring spree in the space of six minutes to send Western Province crashing.
The Cheetahs led 12-3 at the end of a try-less first half with Strydom outscoring his opposite number Willem De Waal four penalties to one.
The hosts outscored the Free Shaters three tries to one in the second period, but it wasn't enough to stop the visitors from going home with the spoils.
Province took the game by the scruff of the neck straight from the kick-off and after only three minutes' play they managed a turn-over and a line-out steal on their way to the Cheetahs' 22-metre area, where Gio Aplon managed to worm his way down the Railway Stand touchline and score at the corner.
However, Aplon was adjudged to have stepped into touch in his try-scoring effort and the try was disallowed.
Aplon featured among the personnel and positional pre-match changes in the Province starting XV after the withdrawals of centre Tim Whitehead and prop Buhle Mxunyelwa.
JJ Engelbrecht came in for Aplon on the rightwing, while the latter moved the leftwing, in place of Frikkie Welsh, who filled in for Whitehead. On the Province bench, centre Morgan Newman was added to the reserves after Mxunyelwa's withdrawal.
Both sides traded heavily on ball-in-hand running movements and the backlines looked threatening but errors, mainly by way of forward passes allowed defences to stay intact.
The contests at the breakdowns were fiercely contested but not without falling foul of referee Pro Legoete.
As a result, Strydom was on target four times with penalty attempts while Province pivot De Waal steered one through the posts for a 12-3 scoreline after 34 minutes play.
With neither side managing to eliminate the shortcomings from their games the few threatening sorties ahead of the half-time break came to nought by the time the hooter sounded.
Province made a similar start to the second half but this time they were rewarded with an Adriaan Fondse try just two minutes after the restart, and with De Waal adding the conversion the visitors lead was shrunk by seven points (12-10).
In the ensuing minutes Province were poised for another advance but they were overcome by white line fever and four attempts, in quick succession, came to nought at a time when spreading the ball wide seemed the more likelier option.
As the match approached the hour mark the Cheetahs regained their composure and in the space of six minutes enjoyed an incredible 17-point scoring spree to secure a commanding 29-10 lead.
First Strydom goaled a penalty and that effort was followed by converted tries by substitute loosie Kabamba Floors and Jongi Nokwe.
Province responded with converted tries by Aplon and Duane Vermeulen but it was not enough to overcome the telling setback.
The crowd of 24 000 were left leaping from their seats in anticipation as Province made one frantic attempt after the other to salvage the match – to no avail.
For Western Province:
Tries: Fondse, Aplon, Vermeulen
Cons: De Waal 3
Pen: De Waal
For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Floors, Nokwe
Cons: Strydom 2
Pens: Strydom 5
Western Province: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 JJ Engelbrecht , 13 Frikkie Welsh, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Nick KÃ¶ster, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Anton van Zyl (c), 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Wicus Blaauw.
Replacements:16 Deon Fourie, 17 Morgan Newman, 18 JD Moller, 19 De Kock Steenkamp, 20 Pieter Myburgh, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Lionel CronjÃ©.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Philip Snyman, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Hendro Scholtz, 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Kobus Calldo, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 WP Nel, 18 Izak van der Westhuizen, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Tertius Carse, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Riaan Smit.
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Referee: Pro Legoete