Johan Tromp scored two of his side’s six tries as the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias cruised to their first Currie Cup First Division victory of the season, beating Eastern Province 51-25 (halftime 23-8) at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek on Saturday.
Right wing Tromp scored his team’s second and final try on a proud day for the men from the Namibian capital while inflicting a second-consecutive defeat on the men from Port Elizabeth, who have most of their first team playing in the European Pro 14 competition for the EP Kings.
The visitors though were out of the blocks first, thanks to an early penalty from scrumhalf Sonwabo Majola after tighthead prop Adel de Klerk had been sent to the sin bin in the 10th minute. But the Welwitschias hit back within minutes with the first try of the game from Number 8, Christo van der Merwe, which was converted by flyhalf Theuns Kotze, who had an excellent day with the boot.
But EP were not to be outdone and produced an excellent move which saw right wing Riaan Arends diving over in the corner to help his side regain the lead despite Majola missing the conversion from a tight angle.
When De Klerk returned to the field midway through the first half, the home side took control and scored their second try of the afternoon with Tromp finishing well on the right hand side of the field. Kotze was pin-point with the conversion and then proceeded to add three penalties to help his side to a comfortable 15-point advantage at the break.
The Welwitschias needed just three minutes after the restart to extend their lead when flank Rohan Kitshoff forced his way over with some good leg power, handing Kotze a simple conversion from close to the poles.
The lead was extended further to 29 points when Thomasau Forbes barged his way over, showing his fellow flank Kitshoff that he too can generate a good leg drive. But Eastern Province hit back immediately when flank Zingisa April beat several defenders with some great footwork after the kick-off to score, giving his team some go forward. Majola converted the try to reduce the deficit to 22 points.
EP were not done yet and hit back with another try, this time thanks to determined work from left wing Ivan-John du Preez, breaking inside to avoid the cover defence and score in the lefthand corner. The tight conversion from Majola was unsuccessful which left the Eastern Cape side trailing by 17 points with 20 minutes to go.
But Tromp’s second try and a scintillating try from outside centre Lesley Klim, both of which were converted by Kotze, left Eastern Province with the wind knocked out of their sails. EP though managed to sneak in their fourth try, giving them a solitary bonus-point to take home, when lock Anele Lungisa crossed the whitewash from a lineout but Majola failed to convert again from a tight angle.
The victory lifts the Welwitschias up into fourth spot on the First Division log with seven points from two games while EP remain rock-bottom on two points.