The first game of the ABSA Currie Cup between DHL Western Province and the EP Kings was at least a start, not a great one but a start none the less.
WP scored a very well deserved 35-16 bonus point win away from home.
WP had a good start with a disallowed try in the first 5 min and then going over for the first points 5 min later with Pat Howard that pick the perfect gap in the Kings defence.
After the first seven pointer WP was on the back foot as they got penalised for slowing down the game and playing negative rugby according to referee Jaco Peyper. They got in two yellow card in 20 minutes of the first half which gave Luke Watson and his men the change to turn things around and score a try from a driving maul and took the lead just before halftime.
WP would have been bitterly disappointed in their discipline of the first forty. A decision from referees and coaches alike that they will clamp down on negative play in this year’s Currie Cup.
WP started the second half as the first and were first to cross the over for a second try by Carr which saw WP take the lead back at 17-11.
Demetri’s kicking was on par again and he helped WP extend the lead with some ill-discipline from the Kings.
Van der Spuy scored WP third try after the Kings was making mistakes in their own 22 more and more. One felt that the Kings should have just turned back to basic rugby and build their way back but kept trying to run everything out of their own twenty two.
Referee Jaco Peyper was not done with his yellow cards as he gave another yellow to WP Senatla for repeatedly being offside on the Kings attack.
WP held off the Kings until Luiters scored his side’s second try in the corner. This took the score to 30-16 with a few minutes to go.
The kings tried in the last minute with about 16 phases to get out of their own twenty two but conceded a penalty which WP took quickly and send Kolbe over for their bonus point try 3 min after the hooter.
A win that WP will take in their first outing but the skills level and decision making was poor not just from WP but from the Kings as well. Nobody expect everything to go a 100% in the first game but both teams will have to work on the handling in the contact situation.
The EP Kings
Tries: Watson, Luiters
Pens: Van Breda 2
Tries: Howard, Carr, Van der Spuy, Kolbe
Cons: Catrakilis 3
Pens: Catrakilis 3
Yellow Cards: Manuel Carizza – Western Province (19 min, repeated infringements at the breakdown) Patric Cilliers – Western Province (27 min, high tackle) Seabelo Senatla – Western Province (64, repeatedly offsides)