Bloemfontein - DHL Western Province have claimed their second win in the new provincial tournament by beating the Toyota Free State XV 36-31 at the CUT stadium in Bloemfontein on Friday afternoon.
SuperSport reports that two tries from centre Daniel du Plessis ten minutes after the start of the second half put the visitors on the front foot and in the end helped them to their second victory of the competition after beating the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Newlands two weeks ago.
Free State started well, eager to build on the victory they got over the Namibian Welwitchias last week. And it started well for the hosts as fiery hooker Joseph Dweba crossed as early as the 4th minute for the first try of the game.
Twenty minutes after the start of the first half and after numerous attempts, Province claimed the lead via a good five pointer by lock Jurie van Vuuren, with fly half Scott van Breda converting. The hosts however had the best of the first half as winger Mosolwa Mafuma crossed for the first of two five pointers to give Free State a slender 10-7 halftime lead.
Three quick tries within 10 minutes after the start of the second half gave Province a healthy lead. Centre Du Plessis proved his worth as he jotted down twice, with replacement Justin Philips also coming into five points as the Free State defence showed major cracks.
The hosts reclaimed some momentum with scrum half JP Smith scoring in the 55th minute and fly half Sias Ebersohn kicking another conversion to lessen the gap. A missed penalty by Van Breda in the 65th minute was followed by a successful attempt by Grant Hermanus before flanker Luke Stringer jotted down to make it 36-17 in favour of the visitors.
Credit must go to the Free State side as they continued playing to the very end. First replacement hooker Tiaan Liebenberg scored before Mafuma claimed his second of the afternoon a minute before fulltime. Ebersohn converted both, but a deficit of five points gave Province the spoils.
DHL Western Province 36 (7): Tries: Daniel du Plessis (2), Jurie van Vuuren, Justin Philips, Luke Stringer. Conversions: Scott van Breda (4). Penalty: Grant Hermanus.
Toyota Free State XV 31 (10): Tries: Mosolwa Mafuma (2), Joseph Dweba, JP Smith, Tiaan Liebenberg. Conversions: Sias Ebersohn (3)