Western Province get the better of spirited Pumas

Date published: September 17 2016

Western Province were made to work hard before securing a 31-23 victory over a spirited Pumas side in Cape Town on Saturday.

The home side outscored their visitors four tries to one, which means they secure a try-scoring bonus point, although they had to wait until the 71st minute for that crucial score when Jan de Klerk crossed the whitewash after Werner Kok did well in the build-up.

The result means Province move above the Golden Lions in to fifth spot in the standings although they are just one point ahead of the champions on 18 points from six matches.

The Pumas were fastest out of the blocks and after taking the ball through several phases from the kick-off, Francois Brummer opened the scoring with a well-taken drop goal in the third minute.

Province dominated the territorial and possession stakes during the next quarter but had to wait until the 19th minute for their first points which came via a Robert du Preez penalty.

The home side continued to dominate and shortly afterwards Kok crossed for the opening try after Nizaam Carr and Huw Jones laid the groundwork in the build-up.

The rest of the half was a frantic affair as both sides gave the ball plenty of air but poor execution meant that neither side crossed the whitewash again during this period. The only other points of the half came via a penalty from Brummer in the 32 minute which meant WP led 10-6 at half-time.

WP upped the ante after the break but although Kobus van Dyk went over the try-line shortly after the restart, his effort was disallowed after the TMO ruled that there was no clear evidence that the ball was grounded.

The Pumas suffered a setback when De-Jay Terblanche was sent to the sin-bin for infringing at a ruck close to his try-line but three minutes later the home side were also reduced to 14 men when Stefan Willemse received a yellow card for a high tackle.

Shortly afterwards, Du Preez put Jones in the clear with a delightful offload and the Scotland centre did well to beat a couple of players before crossing for the visitors' second try.

The Pumas struck back almost immediately when JP Lewis got over the whitewash after running onto a pass and, once again, the game was evenly poised with the score at 17-11 to the hosts.

Leolin Zas then dived over, after spotting a gap close to the visitors' tryline in the 68th minute before De Klerk's try sealed the win for the home side.

To their credit, the Pumas didn't surrender and late tries from Tyler Fisher and Renaldo Bothma added some respectability to the score.

The scorers:

For Western Province:
Kok, Jones, Zas, De Klerk
Cons: Du Preez 4
Pen: Du Preez
Yellow Card: Willemse

For Pumas:
Lewis, Fisher, Bothma
Con: Williams 
Pen: Brummer 
Drop goal: Brummer
Yellow Card: Terblanche

Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Werner Kok, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 Chris van Zyl (c), 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Mike Willemse, 1 Alistair Vermaak
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 JP Smith, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Scott van Breda

Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Ruwellyn Isbell, 13 Hoffman Maritz, 12 Hennie Skorbinski, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Emile Temperman 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Brian Shabangu, 5 Jannie Stander, 4 Steph Greeff, 3 Louis Albertse, 2 Frank Herne, 1 Khwezi Mona
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Hugo Kloppers, 19 Carel Greeff, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Heinrich Steyl, 22 Tyler Fisher

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Assistant Referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Francois Pretorius
TMO: Shaun Veldsman