Western Province claim vital victory over Griquas

2013-08-25 14:00

A pair of freakish long-range tries carried defending champions Western Province to a hard-earned away victory against Griquas at GWK Park yesterday.

Skipper Deon Fourie, who this season is concentrating on playing as a flank, raced away from a ruck on his own 10m line to score the first try and Springbok centre Juan de Jongh put the finishing touches on an equally unlikely thrust in the second half to seal it for the men from the Cape.

Video replays showed that Fourie might have lost the ball as he skidded across the line (although you can score if the ball is under your torso) and the second try was also set up from within Western Province’s half.

Replacement hooker Tiaan Liebenberg won a turnover and blindside flank Rynhardt Elstadt made the kick ahead that was chased down by De Jongh.

The two tries gave Western Province a 20-12 lead and the buffer to be able to stay in front when Griquas’ valiant efforts were finally rewarded with a try by fullback PJ Vermeulen after the final hooter had sounded.

In a scrappy, error-ridden match Griquas deserved praise for their positive attitude and determination to run the ball, but the home side paid the price for not having enough variation against the best defence in the competition, and might at times have been better served by resorting to tactical kicking.

That said, though, Griquas’ ball-in-hand strategy meant that Province’s dangerous back three of Gio Aplon, Gerhard van den Heever and the exciting Cheslin Kolbe were unable to get into the game to the extent coach Allister Coetzee might have hoped.

Both teams struggled to come to terms with the new scrum-set sequence and referee Sindile Mayende had his hands full trying to bring some order to this phase of play.

The result meant that Western Province, with a draw and two wins to show for their efforts this season, went to the top of the log.

»?In a shock result at Loftus Versfeld last night, a determined Golden Lions (20) 62 demolished the Blue Bulls (16) 23 in their own back yard. Flanker Derick Minnie scored two of the Joburg team’s eight super tries.

»?In Bloemfontein on Friday night, the Sharks (6) 18 managed to overturn a half-time deficit to score a crucial away win over the Free State Cheetahs (15) 15.

For the second week in a row, the Cheetahs contrived to lose a game that was theirs for the taking.

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