Griquas halted by six-try Province
Western Province scored six tries to win 45-21 against Griquas at Newlands on Saturday, bringing an abrupt end to the visitors' recent winning streak.
Province had wrapped up the try bonus-point with just 33 minutes played in Cape Town and proved to be a class above the outfit from Kimberley.
Early tries from Joe Pietersen, Gerhard van den Heever, Marcel Brache and Deon Fourie set them on their way before Scarra Ntubeni and Jebb Sinclair crossed after the break in a result that opens up a gap between third and fourth spot.
In reply, Griquas scored a first-half try via Marnus Schoeman before a Penalty Try was awarded and then Rocco Jansen was given a free run to the line after a no-look pass from Willie le Roux.
WP's first try came courtesy of quick thinking from scrum-half Louis Schreuder, who found a waiting Pietersen open on the left wing for the score. Demetri Catrakilis sent over the conversion from the touchline to give Province a 7-0 lead.
Griquas needed to find their feet and did just that soon after when flanker Schoeman ran in unchallenged from 25 metres out. Francois Brummer converted to level the score at 7-7.
In the next 20 minutes, Province took the match by the scruff of the neck and ran three in three unanswered tries to record a rare first-half bonus-point. The three-try burst followed concerted Province pressure, both on defence and attack.
Wing Van den Heever and centre Brache scored after interceptions, and flanker Fourie dotted down after a rolling maul. Catrakilis was in splendid form with the boot, succeeding with all three attempts from the touchline to crown the 21-point burst. WP were now 31-7 up.
Griquas held a territorial advantage early after the break and managed several surges into the Province 22-metre area where they managed one particularly good scrum in the 53rd minute which resulted in a penalty try. Brummer converted to reduce the deficit to 31-14.
Province managed to put the setback behind them and despite several substitutions their game started to flow again and their efforts were rewarded when the hardworking hooker Ntubeni snatched up the ball from broken play, ran in from 25 metres out and dotted down in the corner. Again Catrakilis converted splendidly, this time to make it 38-14.
Canadian number eight Jebb Sinclair powered over close to the end, with Catrakilis adding the conversion to round off Province's scoring in the match. But it was to be Griquas with the final say as wing Jansen scored a converted try in the final minute of the match.