RORY KEOHANE saw Western Province snatch a 25-20 victory from a spirited Griquas outfit despite trailing at the break.
Tries to lock Ligtoring Landman and winger Wilmaure Louw propelled Griquas to a 12-point lead in the first 15 minutes of the match, but wing Ederies Arendse revitalised Province’s challenge in a first 40 that resembled the last 40 of last weekend’s home defeat against the Sharks.
WP coach Alistair Coetzee earlier in the week emphasised a return to the basics but the visitors were poor and the hosts frankly were not much better, even though they dominated field position.
Marcel Brache, among the success stories of the Varsity Cup in the last two seasons, inspired Western Province’s second half comeback and he was equally impressive in the first half.
Province settled midway through the second half and tries by JP du Plessis and Steven Kitshoff gave them the lead for the first time.
No team was dominant in the final quarter, although it was the hosts who were the more desperate as they chased the game. They were denied a try by the TMO but scored in the closing stages to get a losing bonus point.
Griquas traditionally are a difficult side to beat in Kimberley and while Coetzee won’t be pleased with the quality of the performance he will be delighted with the win.
Province earlier this year beat Griquas in Kimberley in the final of the Vodacom Cup.