Flyhalf Damian Willemse scored a brace of tries as Western Province beat Boland 41-20 at the U18 Craven Week on Monday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
In a high-octane Western Cape derby, Boland started off brightly as they raced out to a 14-point lead, but the defending champions, with their mob of returning Craven Week and SA Schools stars, fought back in typical attacking fashion to start their 2016 campaign on a winning note.
Gianni Lombard from Paarl Boys’ and Willemse from Paul Roos were at the forefront of WP’s triumph, with the former scoring a brace, four conversions and a penalty, and the latter also grabbing a double. Inside centre Anton du Toit had a strong game for Boland, kicking two penalties and as many conversions.
Boland’s opening try was fortuitous, with lock Albert Liebenberg reacting well to Willemse’s charged-down kick. But it was Boland’s excellent line speed in defence that kept WP behind the gainline, forcing the free-running Willemse to make the clearance kick that cost his side seven points.
Three minutes later and Boland had breached their opponents’ line again, with this time outside centre Shandrey Pietersen dotting down.
WP, whose lineouts were a bit iffy, were dominant in the scrums and it was from one such set piece that Willemse danced his way through to get his team on the board.
Du Toit extended Boland’s lead to 10 points when WP captain lock Salmaan Moerat was penalised for a breakdown infringement, but Province landed a blow to gain the ascendancy just before the break.
Hooker Daniel Jooste scored a wonder try after his schoolmate Manie Rass made the initial burst down the right flank. The ball was recycled quickly and Jooste finished off in the left-hand corner. Next to capitalise was Lombard, whose grubber kick was fumbled by Boland and the fullback needed no second invitation to pounce and score.
The early stages of the second half were more evenly contested, as both teams started off cautiously. WP succeeded with an early penalty goal, but Boland responded with two from the boot of Du Toit.
However, that proved to be their last points as WP, with Willemse marshalling their attack, seized control.
Province started to run the ball from all over the park, an approach that saw Lombard and Willemse both complete their brace, before athletic No 8 Khanya Ncusane bust his way through a couple of tacklers to wrap up the win.
Western Province – Tries: Damian Willemse (2), Daniel Jooste, Gianni Lombard (2), Khanya Ncusane. Conversions: Lombard (4). Penalty: Lombard.
Boland – Tries: Albert Liebenberg, Shandrey Pietersen. Conversions: Anton du Toit (2). Penalties: Du Toit (2).
Western Province – 15 Gianni Lombard, 14 Mike Mavovana, 13 Manie Rass, 12 Henlo Marais, 11 Muller du Plessis, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Vusile Dlepu, 8 Khanya Ncusane, 7 Muller Uys, 6 Charl Serdyn, 5 Salmaan Moerat, 4 Jessie Johnson, 3 Tristan Leitch, 2 Daniel Jooste, 1 Andre Booysen.
Subs: 16 Liam Larkan, 17 Ben-Jason Dixon, 18 Johan Neethling, 19 Quan Eymann, 20 Reece Bezuidenhout, 21 Athi Magwala, 22 Deon Carstens, 23 Lubelo Scott.
Boland – 15 James Mao-Cheia, 14 Bradley van Turha, 13 Shandrey Pietersen, 12 Anton du Toit, 11 Caleb Dingaan, 10 Keenan Williams, 9 Rick Jordaan, 8 Charlie Gerber, 7 Charl Schoeman, 6 Broniee Mouries, 5 Albert Liebenberg, 4 Stiaan Basson, 3 Cohen Kiewit, 2 Niel Burger, 1 Kayden Kiewit.
Subs: 16 Henry Hagen, 17 Igne Erasmus, 18 Gerrit Bester, 19 Jan-Ernst Terblanche, 20 Michael Goodall, 21 Hannes van Zyl, 22 Lloyd April, 23 Berto le Roux.
Photo: Petri Oeschger/Gallo Images