Province pups maintain momentum

Western Province remain on course for a place in the Craven Week final after their 18-17 beating of the Lions.

SARU’s Communications manager Rayaan Adriaanse compiled all match reports.

WP (12) 18 Lions (11) 17

Despite wet and windy conditions, WP played an expansive game to neutralise the strong Lions pack and come away with a nail-biting 18-17 win. A penalty three minutes from time by WP flyhalf Jurgens Visser was the difference between the two sides, who produced an entertaining contest in less than ideal conditions. Two well-taken tries in the first half saw WP take a narrow 12-11 lead into the break. WP captain Nick Koster was prominent in both scores, the first came after he picked up at the base of a scrum on the Lions 22 to put centre Johann Sadie through the gap, and the second when he ran a great angle off a forward drive to beat three defenders and deliver the pass to fullback Leigh Bruinders to score. Flyhalf Visser converted one of the tries. The second score came soon after the Lions had taken an 11-7 lead through a try by fullback Damien Janse van Rensburg, after some solid build up play. Earlier, flyhalf Justin Botha had kicked two penalties for the Lions. The Lions reclaimed the lead with a penalty by Botha in the 46th minute but less than two minutes later WP struck back with a second Visser penalty to restore the one-point cushion. WP showed a willingness to run the ball, despite wet conditions and they twice came close to breaching the Lions defence as the game entered its final quarter. It was the Lions, however, who scored next with Botha holding his nerve to slot a 35-metre penalty into a strong wind. WP were by far the better side in the closing stages and their incessant attacks at the desperate Lions defence forced the final penalty, which Visser slotted to seal the win.

KZN (7) 22 SWD (10) 20

Kwazulu-Natal scored a try in the last movement of the game to record a narrow 22-20 win over SWD in an entertaining encounter. Flanker Brynard Stander was the hero for KZN, weighing in with two tries in the final six minutes. The young Eagles led 10-7 at the break after a tight first half in which both sides sought to move the ball around. Wing Jean Pierre Lourens opened the scoring for SWD with a try in the 10th minute with flyhalf Gerhard Nortier adding the conversion to give SWD a 7-0 lead. KZN drew level within five minutes when prop Dale Chadwick drove over for a five pointer. Fullback Patrick Lambie added the extra two points. Nortier gave his side the lead again with a penalty two minutes later. Both sides missed penalty attempts before the break. KZN drew level again with a penalty by wing Mnqobi Mkhize in the 42nd minute but SWD replied soon after with a try by number eight Christiaan Stander which was converted by Nortier. The flyhalf added a penalty three minutes later to put SWD 20-10 in front. The KZN comeback began in the 64th minute when Stander got his first try, which was converted by Lambie to put KZN five points adrift. With the rain pelting down and only seconds remaining, KZN controlled possession to send Stander over in the corner for the match winning score. Lambie’s conversion hit the upright but is did not matter as the final whistle brought the curtain down on a great encounter.

Griffons (14) 24 Boland (0) 5

The Griffons continued their winning form following Monday’s win over EP with a deserved 24-5 win over Boland. It was a disappointing result for Boland who suffered their second consecutive loss after going down to the Lions on Monday. The Griffons put their stronger pack to good use to run in two first half tries for a 14-0 halftime lead. The first try was scored by fullback Gert van Zyl who pounced on a loose ball after a Boland error to run in at the corner. Prop Franco Mateus got the second try with flyhalf Wynand Pienaar converting both scores. The Griffons extended their lead in the 43rd minute via a try by lock Jan Marais. Pienaar converted to make it 21-0. Boland pulled back a try 15 minutes from the end to narrow matters to 5-21 but the Griffons had the final say with a penalty by Pienaar four minutes from the end.

EP (10) 20 Leopards (6) 16

EP bounced back from their defeat on the opening day to record a narrow 20-16 win over the Leopards. It was a contrast of styles with the Leopards looking to gain forward ascendancy with their heavier pack and EP seeking to spread the ball to bring their talented backs into play. EP led 10-6 at the break. The Leopards getting two first half penalties via centre Luan Steenkamp and EP scoring a try, by winger Riaan Arends, and a penalty and a conversion by flyhalf Louis Kruger. It was a fairly even second half with both sides looking to seal the win. The Leopards narrowed the gap to one point soon after the break with Steenkamp kicking his third penalty. A well taken try by number eight Philip van der Walt, converted by Kruger saw EP go 17-9 ahead with 20 minutes to play. Kruger kicked his second penalty in the 66th minute to make it 20-9 before the Leopards scored a consolation try by scrumhalf Francois Wolvaart, which was converted by Steenkamp.

Fixtures for Thursday 12 July

10h10 Namibia vs Border CD
11h30 Border vs Zimbabwe
12h50 Griquas vs Limpopo
14h10 Blue Bulls vs Valke
15h30 Free State vs Pumas