Griquas hold WP to draw
Cape Town - The untried Western Province combination had to settle for a 26-all draw against Griquas despite enjoying the upper hand for sustained passages of play in their Currie Cup match at Newlands on Saturday afternoon.
It was evident throughout the match that the Province players were battling to strike up cohesion although the never-say-die Griquas offered stout defence for most of the way to further complicate matters for the home side.
Province looked the likelier to score as their pack combined well with the backs in their early upfield surges, which inevitably broke down inside the Griquas 22-metre area. They were not always efficient at protecting the ball at the breakdown points and Griquas weighed in with fierce commitment to ensure three turn-overs in the first 18 minutes of play.
Their third turnover provided them with a platform to pounce for their opening try through leftwing Rocco Jansen who outpaced the Province cover defence.
Earlier, the flyhalves, Gary van Aswegen (WP) and Monty Dumond (Griquas, 2) had been on target with penalties and after converting Jansen's try the Kimberley visitors opened up a 13-3 lead.
Province enjoyed the lion's share of possession for the rest of the half and when scrumhalf Louis Schreuder dummied his marker, he sent in flanker Siya Kolisi for a try next to the posts.
Van Aswegen and Dumond each added another penalty ahead of the halftime break when the teams changed ends with a 16-all scoreline.
Province started the second half by coming close to a try when they suffered a telling setback. Griquas rightwing Richard Lawson turned the ball over virtually on his own tryline before setting off on a counter-attack down the grandstand touchline.
The Griquas support was up to the task as they relayed the ball upfield before Jansen dotted down under the posts for a converted try (23-16).
Province appeared to shake off the setback with ease as they wrested the initiative once again and on the hour outside centre Johann Sadie streaked through for the side's second try. Van Aswegen's conversion made for a 23-23 scoreline.
The flyhalves again exchanged penalties for a 26-26 stalemate, seven minutes from the end.
A minute later, Rohan Kitshoff, the Province substitute loosie, had a gilt-edged try-scoring chance but he lost the ball after Dumond fumbled a pass in his in-goal area.
It proved to be Province's final chance of winning the match.
Western Province: Tries: Siya Kolisi, Johann Sadie. Conversions: Gary van Aswegen (2). Penalties: Van Aswegen (4).
Griquas: Tries: Rocco Jansen (2). Conversions: Monty Dumond (2). Penalties: Dumond (3)
Western Province: 15 Conrad Jantjes 14 Danie Poolman 13 Johann Sadie 12 Tim Whitehead 11 JJ Engelbrecht 10 Gary van Aswegen 9 Louis Schreuder 8 Nick Koster 7 Siya Kolisi 6 Wimpie van der Walt 5 De Kock Steenkamp 4 Hilton Lobberts 3 Brok Harris 2 Deon Fourie (Captain) 1 Wicus Blaauw
Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg 17 Frans Malherbe 18 Adriaan Fondse 19 Rohan Kitshoff 20 Nick Groom 21 Demetri Catrikilis 22 Marcel Brache
Griquas: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Richard Lawson, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Barry Geel, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Monty Dumond, 9 Shannon Rick, 8 Jonathan Mokue¬na (k), 7 Davon Raubenheimer, 6 Justin Downey, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes¬, 1 Steph Roberts.
Substitutes: 16 Matthew Dobson, 17 Jean Botha, 18 Frikkie Spies, 19 Jaco Nepgen, 20 Matt Rosslee, 21 Earl Rose, 22 Fabian Juries.