Cape Town - Fullback Cheslin Kolbe inspired an impressive fightback by Western Province as they turned a 10-point deficit into a 21-13 victory over Griquas in their Vodacom Cup quarter-final at Newlands on Saturday.
Griquas made all the early running and built up a 10-0 lead five minutes before half-time on the back of a penalty by flyhalf Pieter-Steyn de Wet and flank Marnus Schoeman's converted try.
Schoeman's five-pointer came after Griquas had played just about all the rugby in WP's territory.
But the diminutive Kolbe kick-started a tremendous fightback that resulted in an ultimately comfortable victory.
Kolbe scored under the posts two minutes before the interval, and shortly afterwards he was lifted and bundled onto his back by the Griquas defence. Griquas No 8 Leon Karemaker was sin-binned for the transgression.
Province kicked for touch and Griquas infringed on the lineout drive. Flyhalf Kurt Coleman then slotted the penalty and within a few minutes the home side had turned an apparently perilous position into parity at half-time.
With that the momentum had shifted. Province came back out of the tunnel confidently and Kolbe landed another big blow inside the first minute of the restart.
This time Griquas paid the price for kicking the ball down his throat. Kolbe turned on the afterburners to beat the first two defenders on their outside and then swerved his way through to the try-line.
While Coleman couldn't convert, he landed two more penalties to edge Province further ahead as they sealed the win.
Tries: Cheslin Kolbe (2)
Conversion: Kurt Coleman
Penalties: Coleman (3)
Try: Marnus Schoeman
Conversion: Pieter-Steyn de Wet
Penalties: De Wet (2)