WP retain unbeaten streak
Rohan Kitshoff (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Western Province remain the only unbeaten side in this year's Vodacom Cup after beating the Free State XV 42-31 (half-time 22-14) in Durbanville on Saturday.
It was a hard fought battle which Province only secured three minutes before the end when loose forward Rohan Kitshoff scored his third try.
Though Free State scored the five pointer of the afternoon, Province had an early grip on the match.
With seven minutes left before the break, the home side led 22-7 after tries by Damian de Allende, Rohan Kitshoff and Ghafoet Luckan.
Free State winger Marco Mason was then shown yellow for a dangerous tackle but, for some unknown reason, the Cape Town-based side once again struggled to play well against less players.
Free State scored twice in Mason's absence and he himself scored when he got back on the field to give his side a lead of 28-22.
The visitors' fullback Nico Scheepers kicked well with all three conversions being difficult ones.
A penalty and Kitshoff's second try handed Province the lead again but it was short-lived as Scheepers slotted a tricky penalty.
With just less than 10 minutes to go, Province lock Hilton Lobberts scored a try -- diving like a young Bob Skinstad.
Lobberts had an immense afternoon carrying the ball strongly and tackling like a devil.
The visitors had a few opportunities to hit back in the final minutes and, for the first time this season, Province had trouble defending against a descent attacking unit.
An unforced error in Province's 22, as well as a penalty saw Province progress into Free State's 22.
A lineout and a mall later, Kitshoff got his hat trick to secure Province's seventh consecutive victory this season.
Tries: Damian de Allende, Rohan Kitshoff (3), Ghafoet Luckan, Hilton Lobberts
Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (3)
Penalties: Catrakilis (2)Free State XV:
Tries: Riaan Smit, Inus Kritzinger, Robert van Schalkwyk, Marco Mason
Conversions: Nico Scheepers (4)