WP recapture home mojo

2011-07-30 21:41

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town - It had been an uncertain few weeks at Newlands, but Western Province fans suddenly got more than their money’s worth as the side sparkled in an unexpectedly sound disposal of the Blue Bulls in the Absa Currie Cup on Saturday.

Province, last year’s runners-up, certainly re-announced themselves as likely strong candidates for the trophy all over again in a 35-7, bonus-point victory over the old foes in ideal, mild conditions at the venue.

It was just the tonic long-suffering Capetonian rugby lovers needed, considering that either the Stormers, in the later stages of Super Rugby, or WP had not exactly had things their own way there since early May.

The Stormers did eventually end a praiseworthy second on the overall Super Rugby table ahead of the finals series, but Newlands - a little strangely considering the great gates it tends to get - has not exactly seen plain home-town sailing in the period mentioned.

First the Stormers lost 20-14 to the Crusaders in a “league” fixture on May 7, just ahead of their overseas tour, and then it was the turn of the very Bulls to pip them 19-16 nearer the end of the regular programme.

Having secured a precious home semi-final, the Crusaders then visited the stadium again and basically bombed Schalk Burger’s team off the park.

Plus the opening fixture in the Currie Cup at Newlands more recently saw WP held to a ho-hum draw by moderate Griquas.

So more satisfying service was finally restored for their ever-passionate supporters with this handsome, up-tempo triumph by four tries to one.

It was almost as if someone had slipped a little extra “something” into their breakfast cereal on Saturday because Province were significantly fired-up right from the kick-off with a focused, in-your-face approach from the pack collectively and a fresh desire among the backs to work the ball through hands with intent.

The latter part was an important development, bearing in mind that some critics have not been slow to point out that attacking gusto out wide - a time-honoured Newlands tradition - had appeared to be in some measure of decline.

Province never really eased this grip on things, either, even if both teams’ admirably resilient and organised defences were tested to the full at times.

Hard yards were done at the outset for WP by the likes of Springbok Hilton Lobberts, the utility forward (now finding a more regular home at lock, it seems) who once earned his bread for the Bulls and had seemed to be a waning, injury-plagued force for two or three seasons back in the Cape.

But he has come alive with a vengeance in this year’s Currie Cup and the 25-year-old smashed into contact with relish again on Saturday; he also did his bit to ensure clean lineout ball.

Led by the bellicose example of restored hooker (and captain) Tiaan Liebenberg, most of the other WP tight forwards came to the party as well, and this front-foot situation allowed the likes of Siya Kolisi and Nick Koster, just behind them, to show off their skills as offensive weaponry.
Helping the team dynamic a great deal was another assured and constructive showing from the young UCT pivot Demetri Catrakilis - not only decent off the kicking tee but a snappy distributor and resolute little tackler when required to do some dirtier work.

The Bulls have slipped back toward the nether regions of the table and must now brace themselves for a cross-Hennops derby on Saturday against the unbeaten Lions at Loftus, while WP go to Bloemfontein to play a Cheetahs team smarting from successive, high-scoring losses.

It is a bit of a blessing, considering current angst at national level, that there have been more good features than bad to the first three weeks of Currie Cup activity.

Crowds have been OK and the competition looks like being characterised by better strength versus strength than before in 2011, with even the basement Leopards showing some bottle in the fright they gave the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday before succumbing.

Next week’s programme (home teams first):

Friday: Leopards v Pumas, Griquas v Sharks.

Saturday: Cheetahs v Western Province, Blue Bulls v Lions.


  • BardofAvon - 2011-07-30 22:11

    Well done to Weerprobeer, but I still think that our Pretoria Skoolspan did very well against a provincial team.

      coolio_101 - 2011-07-30 22:23

      Stop moering your wives and start producing rugby players like we do in Cape Town.....

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-30 23:54

      @coolio - we will stop beating our wives and are busy with a new generation of players. Can you toothless guys down there stop killing the tourists?

      Creeky - 2011-07-31 05:33

      VLOU BULLE looked rather out of their DEPTH!

      CliffB - 2011-07-31 07:16

      BardofAvon : And WP is soooooooooooooooooo much more mature , Come on the Bulls came to lose !!!

      Oukoos - 2011-07-31 11:46

      @BARDOFAVON: I challange you: Be an man and name the Blue Bull players that should not have been in the team. I regard it as degrading towards players that did their best but were outplayed in the end. WP also played with a number of 2nd, 3rd and 4th choices, but in the end all those players are proud WP players who also did their best. We will never ever refer to those players as so-called "skoolspan" players

      Pieter - 2011-07-31 18:09

      You must be a Bull supporter Now use crying. As Naas says (Cowboys don't cry), Admit it WP gave you a hiding u wil not forget in a hurry.Sorry/.

  • deanorider - 2011-07-30 22:19

    Well done Province, maybe now the Blue Bull Voodoo will be put to rest!!!

      Dwarslat - 2011-07-31 08:14

      WP is looking good during the early stages. Will they keep the momentum going until the final?

  • coolio_101 - 2011-07-30 22:22

    Thanks for coming BLUE FOOLS!!!! U SUCK BIG TIME....... Groom your own players and stop poaching u suckers!!!!

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-30 23:56

      Coolio - speaking of poaching, where are most of your players from?

      CliffB - 2011-07-31 07:21

      GraemeBB -You love to scrap with me , but you also love to get down & dirty when someone give your team grief , ( All the Blue fools who say STORMBARIANS) Not saying you do , I know it is history , but you love to check facts , check 1989 , 1990, & 1991 , where WP was the only team , and that includes cheetahs to field a completely homegrown team. CHECK ME IF YOU WANT TO ..

      coolio_101 - 2011-07-31 09:46

      Ya and the bulls lost TWICE yesterday.....

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-31 10:27

      CliffB - I do love stats etc, but that is a loooong time ago, and is irrelevant in the year 2011. I have told you many times that if you attack the Bull, I am a Bull. If you attack a particular Bull, then I never get involved. Thats why I rarely make general comments about the Stormers, as some people that I like are Stormers - like you Cliff : -)

      Punani - 2011-07-31 10:41

      GraemeBB and Cliff.....Get a room! This is a rugby site.

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-31 10:53

      Sorry, but I am into punani

      CliffB - 2011-07-31 10:53

      GraemeBB : Ok , but we not getting a room , but I agree , the guys can give a player crap if he plays badly , but not the team THX

      Oukoos - 2011-07-31 12:05

      COOLIO, this a stupid comment. The Bulls did NOT poach Sadie and JJ. The WP management was too stupid to retain two of our future stars

      CliffB - 2011-07-31 15:13

      GraemeBB : Not that type of Punani pleeeeze

  • Bricktop - 2011-07-30 23:08

    Wp's C team really played well against the Bulls B team.

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-30 23:56

      Yes, the Bulls under 21 B team. I like JJ and Sadie!

      Kaapie - 2011-07-31 11:34

      And i suppose that this was a full strength WP team? Jus askin

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-31 16:40

      Kaaipie, good question. Was it your C team?

      jk - 2011-08-01 08:23

      praat jy!! love it!!!

  • Brannas - 2011-07-30 23:29

    As usual the WeePee start of in 5th and top gear and then they end up in reverse gear towards the end when it matters. All the other teams built up to reach their peak at the end, the WeePee starts at their peak and fade at the end, same old same story every year.

      Paddy - 2011-07-31 00:37

      And you are still the no 1 pr$ck here!

      Brannas - 2011-07-31 04:56

      At least I'm no1 in something. Something the WeePee will never be (and thats to be no1 in anything.). Maybe no1 plonkers, but that will be all.

      Kaapie - 2011-07-31 11:37

      It must be lousy when the 'top' provincial unit is one above the Leopards and the everybody else is sitting above you.. To crown it all the u19 and u21 lost to WP.

      Oukoos - 2011-07-31 11:49

      Soos die Bulls opgeboi het gedurende die Super 15 om uiteindelik 'n 7de plek te bereik? Brannas, nou verstaan ek hoe dit werk. As die Bulls nie betyds hul "peak" bereik het nie sou hulle 12de op die S15 log geëindig het?

      Kleinboet - 2011-07-31 13:57

      Brannas, los jou str*nt en wens ons geluk, man! Dan kan jy verwag dat ons jou geluk sal wens wanneer daai groot aanslag van julle teen die end van die seisoen kom - hoop net hy kom betyds! Persoonlik verkies ek punte reeds op die puntelys, eerder as 'n vae hoop op punte wat dalk nie gaan kom nie.

      coolio_101 - 2011-07-31 21:23

      Brannas jou ma is a man.

      jk - 2011-08-01 08:23

      brannas- thats working at the moment boet!!!!

  • GraemeBB - 2011-07-30 23:58

    To the better WP supporters - hope you enjoyed the game. Your boys were looking very good.

      Paddy - 2011-07-31 00:43

      Jy is seker daai poepens parra wat nou die dag hier in Auckland rondgeloop het.Moet jul nog ordentlike SA mense in NZ en Aus se name ook vergat soos in SA? Stig af en speel in die Orania liga in 2012.

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-31 10:35

      Sorry Paddy, I come in peace. Your physical discription sounds like a friend of mine Petras, but I will send him your regards.

      Kleinboet - 2011-07-31 14:02

      Thank you, GraemeBB, felicitations gracefully accepted! Sorry for Paddy, but some people just have to fight to try and show their superiority! I hope I will also have the grace to congratulate other teams when they pull off a win.

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-31 16:45

      @Kleinboet - lol. It is freaking hard to accept when your team is down, but I saw good rugby, and so I say so.

  • Witsand local - 2011-07-31 00:08

    Off the topic but yet still on it. If the Bulls make Boks what the FUDGE is Basson. #worstbokever.

  • Paddy - 2011-07-31 00:41

    Hahahahaha die Blou Bulletjies is in 7de plek nes hul S15 poging!Waar is jul trofeekas nou?Jul kan bly wees daai useless spul "Sitbokke" van jul het nie gespeel nie anders was die score dalk 40-7! Bulle f@k Bok rugby op met dom onnosele spelers.Jacobregop Steyn en Spiertjies Spies moet Edgars poppe raak want daar sal hul dalk beter doen.Poefters van Snorcity!

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-31 10:56

      Good grief Paddy old chap, did the Bulls pull a train on your chick that makes you hate so much? Lets make all the Stormers Bokke I say. They were murdered by the Saders at home, but atleast Paddy can relax a bit.

      Ace Frehley - 2011-07-31 12:35

      Paddy, moenie jou soos 'n poephol gedra nie, man. Jy maak ons WP en Stormers ondersteuners skaam

      Paddy - 2011-08-01 05:45

      ACE gaan rol n mielie in Hatfield se Mall. Ou Graeme jy is so toe soos n kleios se g@t.Kry vir julle julle spul kanaalbarbers.Jy is reg ek haat daai spul safaripakdraende brandewynsuipende voortrekkers.Chick?Dis so Pretoria as wat jy kan kry.Hou eerder daai goed van julle dop.As jul verloor m@er julle hulle as julle wen steek die besoekende span se ondersteuners hulle!

  • saliem - 2011-07-31 08:05

    Trappe van vergelyking... Bokke, Bulle, Swakste :P

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-31 11:04

      Trappe van verlyking - AB - choke, Proteas - choking, Stormers - choked.

  • christine - 2011-07-31 09:45

    en wat se die blou bulls supporters nou --dood stil---lol lol lol lol

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-31 11:00

      Ons se hallo Christine. Ons het jou nog nie ontmoet nie. So, wat doen jy Vryday? Ja, ons weet nie waneer om optegee nie, maar dis nou maar hoe ons is.

      BlueRaven - 2011-08-01 11:59

      Geluk aan WP, goeie wen. CC is nog lank Christene :) Bulls forever

  • wolverine - 2011-07-31 10:57

    die weer probeer spelers van die kaap sal julle nulle volgende jaar leer rugby speel

  • Gavin - 2011-07-31 11:01

    Guys, I'm a Sharks supporter and what I saw in this game yesterday was a WP team full of mostly youngster that REALLY wanted to win. They threw themselves into tackles and rucks and gave it everything. In the end, they won convincingly. It was a joy to watch the future stars of the game giving it everything they had. Well done WP! This team can do well, really well. Sharks had better be wary....

      Kaapie - 2011-07-31 11:39

      GAv and the Bulls supporters are crying that they played a B team against a full strength WP team. Amongst the backline the players have just stepped up from Varsity cup and u21 and the bulls are complaining !!

      Oukoos - 2011-07-31 11:53

      GAVIN, thanks for your kind words towards the WP team. However it will take a lot of effort to repeat yesterday's performance against the Sharks - the current champs and surely the favourates to retain the cup.

      Gavin - 2011-07-31 12:17

      Guys, I still think the Sharks are going to whip your butts :-) What I am saying is I loved watching the way the youngster from Varsity Cup came through and really wanted to play. The Sharks did enough to get ahead yesterday and then went to sleep just going through the motions.....Those youngsters are going to give the Sharks a Big fright...

  • Hein - 2011-07-31 11:37

    Congratulations to the bergbokkejane - you really rocked yesterday and gave the Blue Bulls a deserved hiding. Enjoy your victory and good luck for the rest of the season. Once a Blue Bull, always a Blue Bull. Go Blue Bulls.

  • David - 2011-07-31 12:40

    WP jou lekker ding!!!!!! Wish I could have witnessed the ''slaughter" but I'm sitting on an oil rig in Brazil at the moment. Keep it up Province!!!!!

  • Kleinboet - 2011-07-31 13:47

    Well, I said before the game that I would be here to either gloat or eat humble pie. Thanks, WP, for saving me from the latter! I was unsure whether our team would be able to 'gel' and play as a unit so early in the season. I also feared that the famous Blue Bulls resergence might undo our inexperienced youngsters. The end result was fabulous, invigorating and august! My papsak wine was turning sour after the Boks' collapse; but after this little masterpiece I believe it miraculously turned sweet and palatable again! Whatever the case, that papsak only just lasted until after the braai! I now have bragging rights for at least the next week.

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