Planet Rugby

Province drown Griquas

26th September 2009 15:52

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Joe Pietersen kicks in rain

Joe Pietersen: 19 points

Western Province took a major step towards securing a home semi-final in the Currie Cup with a 43-3 win over the Griquas at a rain-soaked Newlands on Saturday.

In conditions more suited to water-polo than running rugby, the Western Province pack crashed and splashed the opposition into submission, setting up the five tries and the resulting bonus point.

A rainy day was the last thing the visitors would have wanted as the high-paced game that saw them beat Province on the dusty surface in Kimberley simply wasn't an option.

Australian fly-half Matt Toomua made an impressive debut for the home side, plying an influential role in Province's fourth try and fifth tries after coming on in the final quarter.

Three penalties from Joe Pietersen gave WP a 9-0 lead after 20 minutes as the Griquas struggled to contend with the driving WP pack and the slippery underfoot conditions.

Under constant pressure from the high kicks being delivered from Peter Grant, Dewaldt Duvenage and Pietersen, the Griquas were bleeding penalties for off-side and went further down when skipper Jonathan Mokuena was shown yellow for his team's repeated infringements and Pietersen slotted his fourth goal.

The home side continued to dominate and were first to breach the whitewash. After a long rolling maul from the WP pack and some clever interplay between forwards and backs, prop Brock Harris pounced from a ruck on the Griquas try-line to score the game's first five-pointer.

Naas Olivier replied with Griquas' only points of the half with a penalty at the end of their only sustained period of attack, but WP would move further ahead before the hooter.

Pietersen was the man again as he did well to find his way into the corner with very little space to work with, sliding over to give the hosts a 24-3 lead at the break.

The torrential rain stopped falling in the second half, but with pitch nothing more than a giant puddle, the game was largely reduced to a competition of who could make the least mistakes.

Province hooker Tiaan Liebenberg earned himself a yellow card for a left hook soon after the restart but his absence didn't cost his team any points.

Ricky Januarie made his appearance on the 50 minute mark before Duane Vermeulen continued the rout with WP's third try as the game entered its last quarter. With the home maul rumbling forward again, Vermeulen barged through four defenders in a remarkable show of strength.

The bonus point came with seven minutes left on the clock and was the pick of the tries. The home forwards continued their tireless work to take the ball up to halfway before Januarie fed Toomua. The Aussie import broke the advantage line with a neat step and a hand off before off-loading to Juan de Jongh, who put in a perfectly weighted chip ahead for Frikkie Welsh to dive onto.

Toomua was again involved in the last act of the day, throwing a long pass out to replacement forward Pieter Louw, who cruised over untouched.

The scorers:

For Western Province:
Tries:
Harris, Pietersen, Vermeulen, Welsh, P. Louw
Cons: Pietersen 2, Grant
Pens: Pietersen 4

For Griquas:
Pen: Olivier

Yellow cards:Mokuena ( Griquas - 22nd min - repeated off-side); Liebenberg (WP - 47th min - punch)

Western Province: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga,13 Frikkie Welsh, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Luke Watson (c), 7 Duane Vermeulen, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Anton van Zyl, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Brock Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Wicus Blaauw.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 JC Kritzinger, 18 Pieter Louw, 19 Martin Muller, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Matt Toomua, 22 Sireli Naqelevuki

Griquas: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Trompie Nontshinga, 13 Jaco Bekker, 12 Barry Geel, 11 Dewald Pretorius, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jonathan Mokuena (c), 7 Davon Raubenheimer, 6 Sean Plaatjies, 5 Jacques Lombard, 4 Brendon Snyman, 3 Ruaan du Preez, 2 Rayno Barnes, 1 Albertus Buckle.
Replacements: 16 Andries Kruger, 17 Simon Westraadt, 18 Heinrich Stride, 19 Rohan Kitshoff, 20 Donald Stevens, 21 Wilmaure Louw, 22 Bjorn Basson.

Referee: Paul Marks (Australia)

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