Western Province continued with their brilliant start to the Currie Cup season when they thrashed the Pumas 57-14 in Nelspruit on Friday.
As the scoreline suggests, the champions delivered a dominant display as they controlled proceedings from start to finish and they eventually outscored their hosts by eight tries to four with Sergeal Petersen leading the way with a deserved brace after a superb all-round performance.
The visitors made their intentions known from the outset as they ran the ball from all areas of the field and they opened the scoring courtesy of a try from Kobus van Wyk, who ran onto a pass from Jano Vermaak inside the Pumas’ 22 after the ball went through several pairs of hands in the build-up.
Western Province continued to dominate and extended their lead in the 15th minute when Sergeal Petersen crossed for his first try in Western Province colours. This, after after Jano Vermaak and Ruhan Nel did well to trade passes close to their 10-metre line before Vermaak offloaded to Petersen, who had an easy-run in.
Shortly afterwards, Petersen turned provider when he got a pass out to Nel, who stepped past a couple of defenders before crossing for the men from the Cape’s third try.
SP Marais converted all three those tries which meant Western Province were cruising with the score 21-0 in their favour. And in the 27th minute, Province went further ahead when Marais gathered a long pass from Damian de Allende before crossing in the left-hand corner to a bonus point for his side.
To their credit, the home side did not surrender and on the half-hour mark they opened their account when Chris Smith did well to draw in Marais before offloading to JP Lewis, who dotted down.
Five minutes later, the home side narrowed the gap when Le Roux Roets barged over from close quarters for their second try. Province finished the half stronger though and Marais added a penalty on the stroke of half-time which gave his side a 29-14 lead at the interval.
Ten minutes after the restart, Petersen did brilliantly to gather a high ball, just outside the Pumas’ 22, before passing to Ernst van Rhyn, who crossed for his side’s fifth try.
The visitors continued to hold the upper-hand and in the 55th minute they caught the Pumas napping when Scarra Ntubeni lobbed a ball to Sikhumbuzo Notshe at a lineout on their opponents’ five-metre line before the Springbok crashed over the tryline with a couple of defenders on his back.
And in the 62nd minute, Province went further ahead when De Allende stabbed a grubber kick through which Petersen gathered before crossing for his second try which Marais converted to bring up a half century of points for his side.
With the game in the bag, Province rung the changes but lost their defensive shape in the process which allowed the Pumas to score tries through Trompie Pretorius and Chris Smith but Province finished in style when Herschel Jantjies crossed for their eighth try to seal an emphatic win.
Tries: Lewis, Roets, Pretorius, C Smith
Cons: C Smith 4
For Western Province
Tries: Van Wyk, Petersen 2, Nel, Marais, Van Rhyn, Notshe, Jantjies
Cons: Marais 7