CAPE TOWN – Western Province’s five-try first-half scoring spree laid the foundation for a 45-14 victory over the Pumas in their Women’s Day Currie Cup match at Newlands on Saturday afternoon.
The final score was never in doubt after WP ran up a healthy 31-7 halftime lead even though the visiting Pumas scored the first try of the match.
The opening 20 minutes was an arousing affair as both sides showed a willingness to run the ball from the get-go.
WP looked the more dangerous on attack in the opening minutes in front of 8 000 spectators.
However, the visiting Pumas were first out of the blocks with a seventh-minute try through centre Alwayno Visagie who ran in unchallenged through a huge midfield gap opened in the opposition defence after his side had secured line-out ball on the WP 22m line.
Flyhalf Chris Smith added the extras to give the Pumas a 7-0 lead.
Undaunted by this early setback, WP responded with several penetrative sorties which eventually took its toll twice in the space of four minutes.
First winger Sergeal Petersen dived over in the 14th minute and then No 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe followed suit later with WP’s second try.
Josh Stander, the WP flyhalf failed with both conversion attempts (10-7).
In the 22nd minute, rightwing Seabelo Senatla streaked downfield after an intercept and dotted down under the posts. Stander’s conversion pushed out the scoreline to 17-7.
In remaining first-half play, WP ran in further tries through Justin Phillips and another by Senatla. Stander converted both tries and at that stage, the bonus point was well and truly in the bag ((31-7).
WP captain Siya Kolisi who returned to action after a long lay-off because of a knee injury left the field early in the second half after a fairly workmanlike showing.
WP was not quite up to speed when second-half play resumed and they needed some 12 minutes before they scored try No 6 through loosie Ernst van Rhyn.
Substitute Jean-Luc du Plessis goaled the conversion (38-7).
The Pumas waged a strong attack down the right channel and looked good for a try but replays showed winger Morné Joubert went into touch before diving over with Senatla on his back.
But the momentum remained with the Pumas and although they crossed the whitewash again seven minutes from time, the TMO Joey Klaaste-Salmans ruled that lock Le Roux Roets had infringed.
Smith scored his side’s second try which he converted (38-14).
In the final minute centre Ruhan Nel broke through for WP’s seventh try which was converted (45-14).
Scorers: Western Province 45 (31): Tries: Sergeal Petersen, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Seabelo Senatla (2), Justin Phillips. Ruhan Nel. Conversions: Josh Stander (3), Jean-Luc du Plessis (2)
Pumas: 14 (7): Tries: Alwayno Visagie, Chris Smith. Conversions: Smith
African News Agency (ANA)