Cape Town - Fullback Grant Hermanus landed a penalty on the stroke of full time as DHL Western Province snatched a dramatic 27-24 victory over the Xerox Golden Lions at DHL Newlands on Saturday.
According to SuperSport.com, Hermanus, who was guilty of being yellow carded by referee Rasta Rasivhenge earlier in the second half, redeemed himself with the winning penalty after the Western Province forwards earned a powerful scrum-penalty late in the match.
Province earned their halftime lead thanks to tries from both their wingers, Sibahle Maxwane and Khanyo Ngcukana as well as hooker Mike Willemse with Hermanus only converting Ngcukana’s try at the end of the first half while flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff was only able to slot one penalty while missing one midway through the first period.
The Lions were rocked with their own yellow card when scrumhalf Ricky Schroeder was sin-binned for tripping the Province fullback but that did not deter the visitors as they managed to cross the line for their first try through fullback Sylvian Mahuza which Boshoff converted to reduce the deficit to seven points.
But the Lions allowed the home side to get straight back onto the attack with a poor retake from the kick-off with the ball popping out of the ruck and the WP captain, Chris van Zyl, darted around, picked up the ball and fed Willemse, who dived over the line for his second try, which Hermanus converted to take the lead back out to 14 points.
Shortly thereafter and Rasivhenge whipped out his yellow card, sending Hermanus to the bin and the Lions didn’t need to wait for a second invitation to get back into the game. Mahuza gathered a clearance kick at the back and ran at the home side’s defence, beating two defenders and waltzing over for his second try which replacement flyhalf Shaun Reynolds converted.
Flyhalf Scott van Breda had the chance to push WP’s lead out to 10 points but missed a penalty with 15 minutes left on the stadium clock. The flyhalf then dropped a simple chance inside his 22m area which allowed the Lions to put some pressure on the home side. Van Breda, in an attempt to clear the ball from the scrum, had his kick charged down and the Lions were awarded a 5m scrum.
Reynolds received the ball from the scrum and produced a beautiful dummy and sauntered over the line for an easy try, which he converted himself to draw the score level with just six minutes remaining. But a handling error inside their own 22m gave possession to the home side and their forwards pounced, putting the Lions’ forwards under pressure, resulting in the winning penalty.
DHL Western Province – Tries: Mike Willemse (2), Sibahle Maxwane, Khanyo Ngcukana; Conversions: Grant Hermanus (2); Penalty: Hermanus.
Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Sylvian Mahuza (2), Shaun Reynolds; Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff, Reynolds (2); Penalties: Boshoff.
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