Catrakilis boots WP to victory

Demetri Catrakilis kicked 23 points in WP’s 28-26 win over the Lions at Newlands.

It was déjà vu for WP as they trailed the Lions 26-25 after 74 minutes at a wet Newlands. Last Saturday, it was Frederic Michalak’s late penalty that sealed the Sharks’ 21-19 win in similar conditions and it seemed the hosts would lose another tight game after Elton Jantjies slotted his third three pointer of the night with 72 minutes on the clock.

However, the visitors conceded a late penalty that proved costly. Catrakilis stepped up and finished off a flawless kicking performance, converting his eighth goal attempt from the left touchline for a valuable win – one that pushed WP up to third place on the log while it also ended the Lions’ five-match winning streak.

Head coach Allister Coetzee will lament his side’s first half performance as they trailed 17-9 at the break. His players displayed a static attack and struggled to build any sort of momentum with ball in hand. They kicked well tactically initially, but this was marred by several aimless up and unders from Dewaldt Duvenage. The only reward they received was through Catraskilis’ boot as the 22-year-old flyhalf slotted three penalties.

Individual errors also saw WP concede two tries. JJ Engelbrecht’s struggled under pressure whilst securing a scrappy chip and a loose pass was pounced on by Alwyn Hollenbach for the opening try. Lionel Mapoe then stretched the visitors’ lead with a 95m intercept try moments later. Elton Jantjies’ two conversions and penalty secured the eight-point advantage.

WP started off the second stanza strongly, with Catrakilis the main man in the team’s comeback effort. He finished off with 28 points via six penalties, one drop goal and a conversion from Johann Sadie’s try. Jantjies had the opportunity to win the game with a last-minute penalty from 52m out, but his kick fell well short.