Cape Town - Western Province toppled the Golden Lions 27-14 in their the top-of-the-table third-round Currie Cup clash at Newlands on Saturday evening.
After leading 14-8 at the break, WP added a third try late in the match to sign off in grand style in front of just under 15 000 spectators.
Both teams ran the ball at every opportunity in the early exchanges. There were several half-chances to score, mainly because clearing kicks were charged down at either end, but the defences remained intact.
In the 11th minute, however, WP threatened several times after a maul from a lineout five metres out but their three-quarters made the breakthrough when right wing Kobus van Wyk rounded off, before flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis added the conversion (7-0).
Lady Luck smiled on WP four minutes later when Van Wyk gathered a poor Catrakilis clearance kick from virtually on his own goalline and ran the length of the field to snatch a second converted try (14-0).
Referee Craig Joubert punished WP for a breakdown infringement and left wing Ruan Combrinck goaled the 40-metre penalty to open the Lions' scoring in the match (14-3).
The Lions staged a fightback in the final 10 minutes of the half but WP absorbed the pressure with ferocious tackling in their own 22-metre territory and looked set to retain their lead. But then a minute ahead of the half-time whistle, Andries Coetzee, the Lions' fullback, found an inviting opening out wide and dotted down his side's first try, which went unconverted (14-8).
The Lions looked strong at the start of the second half but they made no headway against a stubborn WP defence. Their early second-half territorial advantage proved handy when Combrinck goaled a penalty, but the advance was blanked out three minutes later by a Catrakilis penalty, which restored WP's six-point lead (17-11).
The Lions continued to apply pressure for a 10-minute spell but they had to rely on another Combrinck penalty to keep the scoreboard ticking over. However, WP struck back four minutes later with a second Catrakilis penalty (20-14).
By the time the second half reached the halfway stage, WP seemed to find their early rhythm again. They did enough to record a third try but lost possession twice when the tryline was at their mercy. On both occasions, the Lions responded with counter-attacks from their in-goal area but the WP cover-defence scrambled well enough to rescue the situation.
Seven minutes before the end, WP ran the Lions ragged in a move initiated on their own 22-metre line and, despite several excellent tackles, substitute Jaco Taute was handily placed to take a scoring pass and crash over for his side's third try.
Substitute pivot Kurt Coleman added the conversion to stretch the lead to 13 points.
Taute's try effectively put the match beyond the never-say-die visitors and, with their 13-point defeat, they surrendered the top spot on the Currie Cup log.Scorers:
Tries: Kobus van Wyk (2), Jaco Taute
Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (2), Kurt Coleman
Penalties: Catrakilis (2)
Try: Andries Coetzee
Penalties: Ruan Combrinck (3)
15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Kobus van Wyk, 13. Juan de Jongh (captain), 12. Michael van der Spuy, 11. Seabelo Senatla, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Michael Rhodes, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Manuel Carizza, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Stephan Coetzee, 1. Alistair Vermaak
Substitutes: 16. Neil Rautenbach, 17. Brok Harris, 18. Ruan Botha, 19. Rynhardt Elstadt, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Jaco Taute
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Ruan Combrinck, 10 Stokkies Hanekom, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Derick Minnie (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 MB Lusaseni, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe
Substitutes: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Martin Muller, 19 Jaco Kriel, 20 Guy Cronjé, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Howard Mnisi