Vodacom Cup

WP off to convincing start

2012-03-10 18:30
Demetri Catrakilis (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Western Province got their Vodacom Cup campaign of to a convincing start when they beat a spirited Boland side 51-22 at Newlands on Saturday.

Province led 28-19 at the break, and it was only for about 20 minutes during the first half that one believed Boland were capable of upsetting the home side.

The 1 000 or so people attending this match got their money’s worth in the first 40. Both sides played an attractive brand of rugby, with Province’s debutant lock, Mike Ledwidge, scoring the first try in the fifth minute.

Flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis converted and eventually made an impressive contribution of 24 points via the kicking tee.

Though the final score might suggest a one-sided affair, it was all but that during the first 40 minutes.

Boland were physical on defence and had the upper hand in the scrums against a disappointing Province front unit. It was especially the visiting tighthead prop, Ross Geldenhuys, who taught Schalk Ferreira a thing or two about grunting it out in the front row.

Province did however get to a quick lead of 14-6. Boland captain Bolla Conradie made a brave decision in the 20th minute, opting to go for a line-out from a penalty rather than taking the three points at offer.

Franzel September scored Boland’s only try from the resulting maul and the visitors took the lead at 16-14 within five minutes of the try.

But after increasing their lead to 19-14 at the 30-minute mark, Boland slowly lost structure in their play and kicked away a lot of possession from areas where they traditionally would have launched deadly counter-attacks.

A knock-on by Geldenhuys on the Province try-line just before the break spilled over into even more mistakes in the second half.

Catrakilis extended his side’s lead with some decent placekicking. But Province only scored their fourth try for the bonus point in the 78th minute via replacement centre Michael van der Spuy. Pieter Stemmet also got his share of the scoreboard when he scored a try as the hooter sounded.

Boland should be disappointed with their effort in the second half, but all is not lost. Elgar Watts had a good few minutes on the park after a long-term shoulder injury probably spoiled his Super Rugby-ambitions.

And left wing Adam Barlow had an impressive afternoon in the pink jumper after being drafted from Boland’s club structures.


Western Province:
Tries: Mike Ledwidge, Ederies Arendse, Reuben Johannes, Michael van der Spuy, Pieter Stemmet
Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (3), Kurt Coleman
Penalties: Catrakilis (6)

Boland Cavaliers:
Tries: Franzel September
Conversions: Ricardo Croy
Penalties: Croy (5)

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