Gio Aplon was among the stars in Western Province’s thumping Currie Cup semi-final win against the Golden Lions.
Province won 33-16 after leading 18-9 at halftime.
Province, who are unbeaten in this year’s competition, will host the final next weekend.
The hosts scored two tries to one and totally outclassed the Lions.
Aplon and left wing Cheslin Kolbe were brilliant on attack, Jean de Villiers was again a massive presence, and in the pack Eben Etzebeth and Duane Vermeulen were the busiest and best.
The Lions were ill-disciplined, especially at the breakdown, and Demetri Catrakilis and Kurt Coleman kicked seven penalties.
Catrakilis scored 22 points but Aplon was deservedly named man of the match.
Western Province – Tries: Demetri Catrakilis, Gio Aplon. Conversion: Catrakilis. Penalties: Catrakilis (5), Kurt Coleman (2).
Golden Lions – Try: Warren Whiteley. Conversion: Marnitz Boshoff. Penalties: Elton Jantjies (3).
Western Province – 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Jean de Villiers, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Deon Fourie (c), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Subs: 16 Frans Malherbe, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Michael Rhodes, 19 Schalk Burger, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Juan de Jongh.
Golden Lions – 15 Marnitz Boshoff, 14 Chrysander Botha, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Andries Coetzee, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Derick Minnie (c), 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 CJ van der Linde.
Subs: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Willie Britz, 20 Warwick Tecklenburg, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Robert de Bruyn.
Run of play – as it happened
80 Full time score: 33-16 to WP. The home side played like champions today with a complete performance. The forwards were lethal at the breakdown and in their ball carrying. The backs were dangerous when given space as well with Aplon’s solo effort try being the highlight of the match. The Lions pitched up and didn’t actually play that poorly, they were just outclassed on the day by a better side. The visitors often attacked well but just weren’t able to hold onto possession long enough to make it count.
80 PENALTY, WP, COLEMAN, 33-16. Coleman slots the kick and that’s the end of the match! WP win and are through to the final which will be played at Newlands!
79 WP keep ball in hand well taking it through 10 phases before being awarded a penalty. Willie Britz was penalized for not rolling away. Th is should be the last play as Coleman lines up the kick.
77 PENALTY, WP, COLEMAN, 30-16. Coleman’s first kick is good!
75 WP have won a penalty just outside the 22m in the right corner. Coleman the replacement fly half will have a shot at goal.
74 CONVERSION, LIONS, BOSHOFF, 27-16. Boshoff makes easy work of the kick.
73 TRY, LIONS, WHITELY, 27-14. The Lions persistence and determination pays off! A well deserved try as their ball carriers work hard and get rewarded!
72 The Lions are definitely not giving in as they show some good signs on attack again. Willie Britz runs strongly close to the tryline but gets bundled into touch. The ref has given Scarra Ntubeni a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Rob de Bruyn the Lions replacement. The Lions kick for the corner to set up a line out.
71 PENALTY, WP, CATRAKILIS, 27-9. Demetri slots in straight through the middle. can’t see the Lions coming back from here.
70 The Lions attack comes to nothing again. WP get into the Lions half and win a penalty straight in front, about 30m out. Catrakilis will have a shot.
67 Catrakilis kicks the ball out on the full and Lions have a line out just outside WP’s 22m.
66 Once again WP turnover! They kick down field and Lions are in possession again. They need points soon.
64 Lions on attack looking good. They make their way into the home sides 22m beofre the ref blows his whistle…seems to be some foul play. The ref is chatting to Etzebeth for a late tackle on Volmink. The incident happened way back on the half way and thats where the Lions will have a penalty. Boshoff finds touch inside the 22m to set up an attacking line out.
62 WP kick strategically through Kolbe who grubbers through just outside the Lions 22m. WP will be happy to just play in the Lions half for the rest of the match. Schalk Burger makes his way on to the pitch!
57 Lions on the attack again, but again WP turnover Aplon chips into space and WP win the ball back! They go wide to Scarra Ntubeni in space, but he doesn’t have the gas to go all the way and gets bundled into touch.
54 Lions attack with intent as they move close to the try line! Great work again from the WP pack in Vermeulen to win a penalty and bring the play to an end. Jeepers Vermeulen has got his timing spot on at the breakdown.
51 PENALTY, WP, CATRAKILIS, 24-9. Starting to look ominous for the visitors.
50 WP break through via that man Aplon again! kolisi and Fourie are in support as they surge into the Lions 22m! They build pressure and win a penalty. This is relentless stuff from the home side! Should be three more points.
49 PENALTY, WP, CATRAKILIS, 21-9. Demetri makes no mistake.
47 Lions will need to make sure the keep some possession. If they defend like this for too long, they will definitely tire out and Kolbe and Aplon will take advantage.
47 The line out throw was skew from Wepener and WP have a scrum. A bit of ping pong ensues before van den Heever decides to run! They find a bit of space out wide and gain some momentum! They keep possession of the ball well building many phases. They’ve gone through 20 phases before WP get a penalty and will have an easy shot at three. Good defense from Lions.
42 And we’re under way in the 2nd half! Possession changes hand a few times before Lions win a penalty at the breakdown through Derek Minnie. Jantjies finds touch in WP territory.
40 Half time score 18-9 to WP. The home side have definitely been the dominant force of the two sides so far. The boks in Etzebeth, Vermeulen and Jean De Villiers have all had big games and made an impact. The duo of Kolbe and Aplon have been absolutely frightening and the visitors need to make sure to not give them space. At this stage the Lions seem to be hanging in their and its a positive sign that Jantjies is kicking well. They will need to deprive WP of ball in the next half and make sure they don’t do the majority of defending otherwise they will tire out quickly against this WP pack.
40 PENALTY, WP, CATRAKILIS, 18-9. Great kick from Demetri as he gives his side a 9 point lead going into half time.
40 The Lions have collapsed a maul started by WP and have given away a penalty. WP will have a shot at goal for the last move of the half.
39 Catrakilis puts in a great tactical kick deep into the Lions 22m and just trickles out. Lions manage to take it quickly and Jantjies clears but doesn’t find touch. WP on attack again. Aplon grubbers through but Boshoff is there to pick up and clear.
38 Catrakilis misses the conversion.
37 TRY, WP, APLON, 15-9. Newlands erupts as the Province flyers try is allowed! A must watch for the highlights!
36 Aplon gets the ball and cuts the line! He shows impressive speed and change of direction to beat the remaining defense to go over in the corner for an epic individual try! The ref is once again looking at some foul play from earlier…will be a shame if it prevents this great try!
35 A promising play from the Lions comes to an end as WP counter ruck close to their 22m to win the ball. A bit of ping pong ensues before Chrysander Botha has a run and does well! But eventually the lose the ball again!
33 Lions turnover the ball again and Jantjies kicks deep. Aplon is there to clean up and puts it out bring another franatic passage of play to an end. This is a humdinger of a semi-final!
32 Kolisi finds space on the left as WP surge into Lions territory! He gets tackled by the last line of defense – maybe should have looked to pass. Lions win the ball and kick to Kolbe. He shows incredible footwork, stepping half the Lions players to get the home side back on the front foot! WP looking dangerous!
30 PENALTY, LIONS, JANTJIES, 10-9. Jantjies is on song with the boot as he makes it 3 from 3!
29 WP get penalized at the breakdown for no clear release fro Kolisi. Lions have a chance to reduce the deficit to 1.
28 WP are looking very aggressive on attack using their ball carriers effectively! Lions make a good steal in their 22m and Jantjies clears into WP’s half. The Volmink chase was good and they win the line out!
26 Illegal scrummaging from CJ van der Linde this time and WP win a penalty. They are deep inside their half and Catrakilis brings them some relief.
24 CONVERSION, CATRAKILIS, 10-6. The WP 10 makes no mistake with the simple kick.
23 TRY, WP, CATRAKILIS, 8-6. Great try from WP. They attack well off the scrum, with boks Jean De Villiers and Duane Vermeulen having strong runs! The Lions defense was all over the show and Demetri ran a great line off Schreuder to go over under the poles!
22 Lions looking confident with ball in hand opting to run from deep inside their half. They knock on around the half way and WP will have the put in.
21 PENALTY, LIONS, JANTJIES, 3-6. Jantjies puts his side in front with a great kick!
20 Lions have won a penalty at scrum time. Pat Cilliers has been penalized for illegal binding. Jantjies will have a shot to get the lead back for the visitors.
18 PENALTY, WP, CATRAKILIS, 3-3. He makes no mistake.
17 The crowd can’t believe it! The pass to aplon from Schreuder has been called forward! They were playing with advantage and will have a shot at goal to level the scores
17 Ooooeff! Schreuder puts in a big box kick, Boshoff catches and gets smoked by Etzebeth! The whole crowd felt that! WP get the ball back and Kolbe does great work to almost put Aplon away! A few phases later Aplon goes over the line after running a great line off the ruck! TMO being referred to here to check for a forward pass.
15 Jean de Villiers intercepts!!! Volmink is after him and catches him around the 22m! De Villiers attempted an offload but loses possession. Lions have the ball on attack now.
13 Hands in the ruck from Jean de Villiers and gives away a penalty. Jantjies sets up a line out on WP’s 22m
12 WP have been penalized at the scrum and Boshoff puts in a good touch finder to get the visitors out of trouble!
11 Catrakilis misses his first attempt! The Lions try run it from their own line but end up knocking the ball on in the process, giving WP an attacking scrum 10m out!
10 And Lions have been caught offside! Catrakilis will have a shot from the left hand corner to level the scores.
8 Vermeulen continues his form, doing great work on the breakdown to win a penalty! Province have an attacking line out just outside the Lions 22m.
6 PENALTY, LIONS, JANTJIES, 0-3. Jantjies off to a great start!
8 The Lions put in a big shove and win a penalty which should result in three points.
7 The Lions win a scrum just outside home sides 22.
4 Marnitz Boshoff misses the penalty from 53 meters out.
3 Deon Fourie plays the ball off his feet concedes a penalty just inside the Lions half.
1 Here we go! Elton Jantjies kicks us off at Newlands in fantastic conditions. It didn’t go ten so WP will have a scrum on the centre spot.
0 Golden Lions coach Johan Ackermann has made seven changes to his starting XV: CJ van der Linde returns to the starting side at loosehead prop. Robbie Coetzee is promoted from the bench at hooker and Ruan Dreyer is also called up to the starting 15 at tighthead. Meanwhile, Jaco Kriel returns at flank. The back-line changes see Ross Cronje start at scrum-half. Elton Jantjies will start at fly-half, having recovered from injury. Chrysander Botha switches to wing and Marnitz Boshoff will play at full-back.
0 Team news: Jean de Villiers will start at outside centre for Western Province, replacing Michael van der Spuy in the only change to the WP line-up that defeated the Sharks by 17-13 in Durban last Saturday.
0 Hello and welcome to Newlands for our coverage of the first Currie Cup semi-final between Western Province and the Lions. No doubt about who the favourites are today…WP are unbeaten this season and look near-unstoppable on home soil.