Cape Town - Western Province, the Sharks and the Golden Lions showed that they could be forces to be reckoned with this season as they kicked off their Currie Cup campaigns on a winning note with valuable bonus points.
Defending champions, Western Province, held their nerve in torrid weather conditions in Cape Town to outplay the Free State Cheetahs 32-0, which saw them take top spot on the log on points’ difference in the competition.
In the other matches, the Sharks registered a 26-10 victory against the Blue Bulls in Durban, and a hat-trick by Golden Lions winger Courtnall Skosan and a brace by young No 8 Hacjivah Dayimani steered them to a rewarding 62-41 victory against the Griquas in Johannesburg.
The first half between Western Province and the Free State Cheetahs was slow and error-ridden as the teams tried hard to adapt to the heavy rain and swirling wind at Newlands, and it was no surprise that the only points in the first 39 minutes were two penalty goals by Western Province’s SP Marais.
The hosts, however, made a vital breakthrough on the stroke of halftime as Ruhan Nel crossed the chalk to hand them a 13-0 lead, which they built on in the second half to take their try tally to four, while they denied the visitors a single point.
The Sharks’ effective finishing earned them the 26-10 victory against the Blue Bulls in Durban, who will be rueing the missed opportunities as mistakes at crucial times came at a high price.
The home team scored three first-half tries to one converted try and penalty goal by the Blue Bulls for a 21-10 halftime lead, and this proved important in the end, as the only points scored in the second half was the Sharks’ bonus-point try.
The first half between the Golden Lions and Griquas was tightly-contested with the visitors taking a slender lead despite scoring two tries to the hosts’ three, thanks to two penalty goals by George Whitehead. But two tries in quick succession by the Golden Lions after the break and another four as the match progressed sealed the victory for them. The men from the Northern Cape earned an important bonus point thanks to their five tries.