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WP into semis after beating Pumas

15th October 2011 17:52

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bryan habana wp v pumas CC 2011

Bryan Habana: Returned to action for WP against the Pumas

Western Province secured their spot in the semi-finals of the Currie Cup after a 43-18 win over the Pumas in Cape Town.

Boosted by the return of six Springboks from the Rugby World Cup, WP dominated the opening exchanges and scored three early tries to lead 24-8 at half-time.

The impact of their returning internationals was emphasised in the fourth minute when Gio Aplon put captain Jean de Villiers in the clear before the veteran centre raced away to score his side's opening try.

But it was not one-way traffic for the entire match. The Pumas were competitive, particularly in the set-pieces, and their best period of play was rewarded with a try in the 16th minute by Jaco Bouwer, who dived over a ruck close to WP's tryline.

The second half was a more subdued affair and WP initially struggled to add to their lead.

Pumas fly-half Carl Bezuidenhout narrowed the gap with a penalty for his side in the 52nd minute before Siya Kolisi capped a solid performance with the hosts' fourth try, midway through the half.

This was an important moment as it meant that WP secured the bonus point for scoring four tries which moved them above the Blue Bulls in the standings.

A fine individualistic try by JJ Engelbrecht shortly afterwards put WP further in the lead but the Pumas, who will be relegated to the lower tier of the Currie Cup, deserve credit for playing positively for the entire match.

Their enterprising style of play was rewarded with another try by replacement flanker RW Kember 10 minutes before the end.

But WP were not finished, and Springbok speedster Bryan Habana put the final nail in the visitors' coffin when he scored his side's sixth try in the dying moments of the match.

The win moves WP into fourth position on the table with 41 points from 14 matches. They face the table-topping Lions in one of the semi-finals at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg next weekend.

The scorers:

For Western Province:
Tries: De Villiers, D Fourie, De Jongh, Kolisi, Engelbrecht,Habana
Cons: Catrakilis 3, Jantjes 2
Pen: Catrakilis

For Pumas:
Try: Bouwer, Kember
Con: Bezuidenhout
Pen: Bezuidenhout 2

Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 13 Juan De Jongh, 12 Jean De Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nick Koster, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Pieter Louw, 5 Adriaan Fondse, 4 Hilton Lobberts, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 JC Kritzinger.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Tertius Daniller, 19 Schalk Burger, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Jaque Fourie, 22 Conrad Jantjes.

Pumas: 15 MJ Mentz, 14 Deon Scholtz, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Dewald Pretorius, 11 Johan Jackson, 10 Carl Bezuidenhout, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Christo le Roux, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Corné Steenkamp (c), 5 Eduan van der Walt, 4 Willem Serfontein, 3 Ashley Buys, 2 Pellow van der Westhuizen, 1 Dawie Steyn.
Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Brett Nel, 18 JP Mostert, 19 RW Kember, 20 Hendrik van der Nest, 21 Coenie van Wyk, 22 Siviwe Magaba.

Referee: Lesego Legoete

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