Western Province retained their unbeaten status after notching a 27-14 victory over the Golden Lions in Cape Town on Saturday.
In a match played in front of a relatively small crowd, considering it was between the two top sides on the table, there was plenty of enterprising play from both sides although WP's superior defence secured them victory in the end.
WP made all the attacking during the early stages and after Nizaam Carr and Pat Cilliers were stopped short of the try-line - following a line-out drive inside the Lions' 22 - the ball was spun wide to the backs and Kobus van Wyk ran onto an inside pass from Cheslin Kolbe before crashing over for his first ever Currie Cup try.
Demetri Catrakilis added the conversion and five minutes later Van Wyk got his second five-pointer against the run of play. WP were under pressure inside their 22 but managed to secure a crucial turnover and Catrakilis tried to relieve the pressure with a clearance kick..
The pivot didn't find touch but Van Wyk surprised the visitors by gathering the kick from under the nose of Derick Minnie midway between WP's 22 and the halfway line.
He set off towards the try-line and beat Andries Coetzee with a deft side-step before outpacing the cover defence to score under the posts.
WP kept up the pressure and a breakout from Seabelo Senatla almost produced another try 10 minutes later. The flyer traded passes with Juan de Jongh but a desperate tackle from Ross Cronje on De Jongh saw the WP skipper knocking on, on the edge of the Lions' 22.
Shortly afterwards, the Lions got their first points via a penalty from Ruan Combrinck after Nizaam Carr slowed the ball down cynically at a ruck.
The Lions finished the half stronger and after Willie Britz was bundled into touch at the corner flag in the 37th minute they were eventually rewarded just before the interval when Andries Coetzee crossed over for their only try, after Combrink breached the home side's defence with a strong run in the build-up.
Combrinck missed the conversion which meant the hosts held a slender 14-8 lead at half-time but that try boosted the visitors' confidence as they stepped up a gear after the break.
The Lions narrowed the gap to three points with another Combrinck three-pointer, shortly after the restart, when Cilliers was penalised for illegal scrummaging.
Catrakilis restored the hosts' six-point lead, however, with a three-pointer of his own after MB Lusaseni infringed at a ruck but for the next 20 minutes the improved defensive efforts from both sides seemed to negate each other, even though they were still showing a willingness to attack.
Catrakilis was replaced by Kurt Coleman in the 65th minute and the new pivot made his presence felt with a moment of brilliance in the 72nd minute.
Coleman made a telling break, from close to the halfway line, and was eventually hauled in deep inside the Lions' 22. He tried to get a pass out to a team-mate but his offload was knocked backwards - over his own try-line - by Cronje.
Coleman's fellow replacement Jaco Taute was quickest to react and dived onto the ball and the try sealed the win for the hosts, who now move clear of the Lions at the top of the table.
For Western Province:
Tries: Van Wyk 2, Taute
Cons: Catrakilis 2, Coleman
For Golden Lions:
Pens: Combrinck 3
Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh (capt), 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Stephan Coetzee, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Ruan Botha, 19 Rynhardt Elstadt, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Jaco Taute.
Golden Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Ruan Combrinck, 10 Stokkies Hanekom, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Derick Minnie (capt), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 MB Lusaseni, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Martin Muller, 19 Jaco Kriel, 20 Guy Cronje, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Howard Mnisi.