Western Province won their sixth Currie Cup match in a row thanks to a deserved 34-7 victory over the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.
The match was played in dreadful weather conditions with heavy rain and lightning resulting in the fixture being abandoned at half-time. WP were declared the winners, however, as the competition’s rules states that the side who are leading after 40 minutes, when a match is called off due to bad weather, wins the game.
The result means WP finish at the top of the Currie Cup standings and will host the Blue Bulls in their semi-final at Newlands next weekend while the Sharks and Golden Lions meet in the other play-off in Durban.
The men from the Cape were in a dominant mood and outscored the home side four tries to one with SP Marais contributing 12 points via two penalties and three conversions.
Province made an impressive start and took a 3-0 lead when Marais slotted a penalty in the seventh minute after the home side’s pack were blown up for illegal scrummaging.
WP continued to dominate the scrums and after several indiscretions at the set-piece, close to their tryline, the home side suffered a setback in the 15th minute when their loosehead prop, Matthys Basson, was eventually yellow carded.
At the very next scrum, WP’s forwards shoved their counterparts off the ball and referee Egon Seconds was left with no choice but to award a penalty try to the visitors.
The Bulls continued to infringe and another indiscretion at a scrum was punished by Marais, who slotted his second penalty in the 18th minute which gave his side a 13-0 lead.
Despite their poor start, the Bulls were soon camped inside WP’s 22 and after taking the ball through several phases, Ruan Steenkamp opened their account when he barged over from close range.
WP struck back on the half-hour mark, however, when their pack put huge pressure on their counterparts at a scrum on the Bulls’ five-metre line and when the home side lost control of the ball at the set-piece, Kobus van Dyk gathered it before diving over the whitewash.
Three minutes later, Herschel Jantjies booted the ball upfield before Tinus de Beer failed to gather it behind the home side’s tryline and Sergeal Petersen pounced on his error by diving on the ball for his side’s third try.
And just before half-time, the visitors secured their try-scoring bonus-point when Jaco Coetzee burst through the middle of a lineout drive deep inside the Bulls’ 22 before diving over.
Marais added the extras which was the final act of the game as the officials decided to call off the game as heavy rain continued to pelt down on the waterlogged pitch.
For Blue Bulls:
Con: De Beer
Yellow Card: Basson
For Western Province:
Tries: Penalty try, Van Dyk, Petersen, Coetzee
Cons: Marais 3
Pens: Marais 2
Blue Bulls: 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Franco Naude, 11 Jade Stighling, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 7 Marco van Staden, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Hendre Stassen, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Matthys Basson
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 Ruan Nortje, 19 Nic de Jager, 20 Embrose Papier, 21 Tinus de Beer, 22 Dylan Sage
Western Province: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 SP Marais, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (c), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Ali Vermaak
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 JJ Engelbrecht
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant referees: Jaco Pretorius, Eduan Nel
Television match official: Lesego Legoete