The Western Province got their Currie Cup campaign off to a stellar start with a 20-5 win over the Blue Bulls at Newlands on Saturday.
It was certainly a very physical encounter and a very impressive defensive display by the Western Province.
The Cape Town side managed to keep the visitors to just one try and scored three of their own in front of 11 355 faithful supporters.
The home side got on the front foot early on, but the Blue Bulls struck first as a ball was knocked loose in the 22 and given to scrumhalf Embrose Papier who raced away to score in the corner.
Western Province had a clear ascendency at scrum-time and a series of powerful scrums resulted in penalties which moved them into attacking position.
The pressure eventually told as some good support play from wing Seabelo Senatla and fullback SP Marais saw outside centre Ruhan Nel get over for a try.
Both teams scrambled impressively on defence and would go into the half-time break deadlocked at 5-5.
The hosts took the lead early in the second half as Juarno Augustus scored out wide after a Jean-Luc du Plessis kick over the top had been chased down.
Another monster scrum on the halfway line saw Western Province awarded a penalty and Marais stepped up to thump it over and take their lead out to 15-5.
The final try came after the hooter as replacement Craig Barry collected a cross-kick from Josh Stander to score out wide and seal the win.
Man of the match: Blue Bulls Johnny Kotze made a couple of noteworthy runs. While for the Western Province Juarno Augustus and Corne Fourie were the standout performers. However, for his tremendous work rate at the setpieces, our nod goes to Western Province lock Salmaan Moerat.
For Western Province:
Tries: Nel, Augustus, Barry
For Blue Bulls:
Western Province: 15 SP Marais, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 Chris van Zyl (captain), 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Corne Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Josh Stander, 23 Craig Barry.
Blue Bulls: 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Wian Vosloo, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Ruan Nortjie, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima.
Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Matthys Basson, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Dylan Sage.
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Jabian Jeftha
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans
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