WP resist late Eagles attack
Kurt Coleman (Gallo Images)
Strand - Western Province had to fend off a late onslaught by the SWD Eagles in their Vodacom Cup match on Saturday to secure a 34-27 (half-time 20-13) bonus point victory over their neighbours in the Strand.
The men from Cape Town led 20-13 at the break and scored two tries in the second half to extend their lead to 34-13 before a last gasped two-try effort secured the Eagles a bonus-point.
Western Province defended well for the duration of the game but slacked in the last few minutes to allow the Eagles to come back into the game.
The Southern Cape team opened the scoring via a penalty by centre Jeff Taljard after a sustained period of attack in the Western Province half.
Minutes later their fullback Alshaun Bock scored the first try of the match after WP-flyhalf Kurt Coleman kicked possession away.
Bock fielded the ball, chipping the defence, collected the ball again and made a dash for the corner. The covering defence was too late to stop the speedster to score, though Taljard failed with the resultant conversion.
Western Province had to wait until the 18th minute of the game to score their first points when Coleman kicked a penalty.
The home team finally found their rhythm and minutes later number eight Rayn Smid went over for his team's first try. Coleman converted to give Province the lead for the first time in the match.
Western Province centre Berton Klaasen scored his try shortly thereafter with Coleman converting to extend Provinces lead.
Cheslin Kolbe, who had an outstanding game at fullback for WP, missed a tackle on the SWD-winger Clinton Wagman who scored to get his team back in to game.
The Eagles had quite a few chances to score in the first half but their handling skills let them down on various occasions.
Both teams scored two tries in a dull second half securing their bonus-points, but it was the late effort by the Eagles against a tiring Western Province outfit that almost took the game from the home-side.
Tries: Rayn Smid, Sikhumbizo Notshe, Berton Klaasen, Kobus van Wyk
Conversions: Kurt Coleman (4)
Penalties: Coleman (2)SWD Eagles:
Tries: Alshaun Bock, Clinton Wagman, Ghafoer Luckman, Christo du Plessis
Conversions: Jeff Taljard (2)