Planet Rugby

Top spot for Western Province

08th September 2012 19:58

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Damian de Allende for Western Province

Slippery wing: Damian de Allende

Western Province climbed to the top of the Currie Cup table on Saturday after professionally beating the Free State Cheetahs 29-22 in Bloemfontein.

Tries were scored by Gio Aplon and Marcel Brache but the damage came via the boot of Demetri Catrakilis, who kicked nineteen points.

Aplon's third minute try caught the Cheetahs napping as the full-back chipped over the top before collecting and going over close to the uprights. Catrakilis converted to make it 7-0.

The hosts regained some composure shortly after when wing Nico Scheepers slotted a penalt, before Province showcased some good attacking play and some good defence, with the Cheetahs struggling to get on the front foot.

Scheepers did however close the gap to one point when he kicked another penalty.

The Cheetahs started to put attacking phases of play together, but struggled against a side that is widely regarded as one of the best defensive units in the Currie Cup competition.

The home side let themselves down with regards to discipline and Catrakilis stretched his side's lead to four points.

The hosts got their first try shortly thereafter, when scrum-half Sarel Pretorius rounded off a quick break by flank Davon Raubenheimer, who off-loaded to Lappies Labuschagne. The latter handed to Pretorius who dove over without a Province defender near enough to defend. Scheepers converted to help give his side the lead.

Pretorius's try shifted the momentum somewhat in the Cheetahs favour and Scheepers kicked another penalty before half-time, before Catrakilis answered with one of his own to reduce the deficit to three points.

And again Scheepers retaliated to help the hosts to a lead of 19-13 at half-time.

The visitors produced some good attacking phases and managed to score the first points of the second half via the kicking boot of Catrakilis.

Province's fly-half kicked two further penalties shortly thereafter to give his side the lead.

Scheepers drew the scores level again with 20 minutes left to play, but WP regrouped and scored their second five-pointer after Marcel Brache crossed, with Catrakilis converting.

The teams:

For Free State Cheetahs:
Tries: Pretorius
Con: Scheepers
Pen: Scheepers 5

For Western Province:
Tries: Aplon, Brache
Con: Catrakilis 2
Pen: Catrakilis 5

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Robert Ebersohn (c), 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Davon Raubenheimer, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Ross Geldenhuys, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Hendro Scholtz, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Phillip Snyman, 22 Rayno Benjamin.

Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 Damian de Allende, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Jebb Sinclair, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Deon Fourie (c), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Don Armand, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Deon Carstens.
Replacements: 16 Steven Kitshoff, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 19 Helmut Lehmann, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Patrick Howard, 22 Kurt Coleman.

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan

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