Werner Kok scored a brace of tries and gave away a possible third as DHL Western Province scored eight tries in thumping the Tafel Lager Griquas 55-27 (halftime 24-13) in the Currie Cup at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday evening.
Left wing Kok scored his tries either side of halftime and could have had wrapped his hat-trick on 65 minutes but decided to hand the ball to replacement lock Johan du Toit under the poles for the lock to score his maiden Currie Cup try.
Griquas suffered a plethora of injuries which did not help the cause while both sides had to play with 14 men after Province’s tighthead prop, Wilco Louw and Griquas’ replacement hooker, AJ le Roux, both spent time in the sin-bin in the second half. Province though used their one-man advantage better than the visitors as they scored two tries as opposed to Griquas who only managed one.
Despite only having 19% of possession midway through the first half, the men from Kimberley found themselves 13-3 ahead thanks to an intercept try from right wing Ederies Arendse. Flyhalf George Whitehead had opened the scoring in the third minute with a penalty before his opposite number, Damian Willemse, levelled matters shortly thereafter.
Whitehead regained the lead for the visitors with his second penalty attempt before Willemse failed to level matters again just moments later. Willemse then turned villain as he tried to float a pass out to Kok on the wing but sent the ball straight to Arendse, who sprinted the length of the field to score. With Whitehead converting, Griquas opened up a 10-point advantage.
But the home side gained some composure and used their forwards, who were dominant all evening, to good effect, driving up to the tryline with flank Cobus Wiese forcing his way over. Willemse converted to bring Province to within three points of the visitors.
With their tales up, Province continued to use their forward-dominance to good effect as they mauled their way towards the line with hooker Chad Solomon controlling the ball at the back and scoring after 26 minutes to give Province the lead for the first time in the match.
With Province swamping all over the Kimberley-based side, Province moved the ball left after a good scrum and fullback Dillyn Leyds floated the ball over to Kok on the touchline. The pass was a touch high for the flowing-haired sevens player but Kok snatched the ball, ducked under the tackle of Arendse and then burst through the defensive effort of scrumhalf Renier Botha to score his first try as the hosts ended the first half 24-13 up.
But Kok produced the best moment of the match just 40 seconds after the restart, with the winger being tackles twice, releasing the ball and then picking up on both occasions, to burst through and score under the uprights to the jubilation of the crowd. Willemse converted the bonus-point try with Province crossing the 30-point mark.
But then Springbok prop Louw lost the plot and went diving into a ruck, leading with the shoulder and referee Cwengile Jadezweni had no option but to send the prop to the sin-bin. With Province down to 14 men, Griquas fought hard and were rewarded with their second try of the night through Botha. The scrumhalf took a quick-tap penalty and burst through the line to score, and with Whitehead spot on with his efforts at the poles, the visitors trailed by just 11 points.
Yet, straight after Louw returned to the field, Jadezweni had to produce another yellow card, this time to Griquas Le Roux who had tried to kill the ball at ruck time with Province just short of the tryline. The card resulted in more sorrow from the Griquas as Province drove for the line with replacement hooker, Dean Muir scoring. Province needed to wait just two minutes to score their sixth try and it was a moment of pure unselfishness.
Kok again popped up into space with ball in hand, bursting through some Griquas defenders and race clear to the line but with Du Toit following up, Kok slowed down, turned and gave the ball to the tall, lanky lock to score his first in the Currie Cup. Province were seemingly out of sight but the visitors never gave up and shortly after Le Roux’s return to the field, the visitors scored their third try – another brilliant individual effort.
Centre Tertius Kruger collected the ball on Province’s 10m line and beat two defenders before out-sprinting Seabelo Senatla and Leyds to score under the poles. Fullback Eric Zana converted but then the killing blows rained down as Province finished the game with a flurry.
With just five minutes remaining on the stadium clock, replacement prop Caylib Oosthuizen found himself in the right place at the right time – twice – scoring his first two tries in his Currie Cup career as Griquas relented to remain bottom of the Currie Cup log.