WP finish strongly against EP Elephants
DHL Western Province produced a strong second half performance to earn a hard-fought 27-13 (halftime 10-13) Supersport Rugby Challenge victory over Multisure EP Elephants at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.
The home side, unbeaten in this year's competition, scored three tries through replacement centre David Brits, prop Kwenzohuhle Blose and flank Chris Massyn while flyhalf Abner van Reenen slotted three conversions and two penalties.
The Elephants, quick out the blocks, suffered two yellow cards in the second period with lock Giant Mtyanda and flank Jurie Van Vuuren both spending 10 minutes in the sin-bin.
The visitors took the lead after a quiet first quarter with centre Ntabeni Dukisa slotting two penalties to give the visitors a six-point advantage before local flyhalf Abner van Reenen halved the deficit with the first of his two penalty goals.
But with six minutes remaining in the first period, the visitors crossed the whitewash for the first try of the match, with left wing Riaan Arends rounding off a good move to put the visitors into a positive frame of mind, with centre Dukisa landing the extra two points, giving the men from Port Elizabeth a 10-point cushion.
But DHL WP were not to be outdone and finally found some rhythm on the stroke of halftime as David Brits, on for inside centre Lyle Hendricks due to a blood injury, broke through the visitors defence to score the home side's opening try. Van Reenen landed the conversions to reduce the deficit to just three points at the halftime break.
The home side took control of the second stanza with prop Kwenzo Blose bargin his way over for DHL WP's second try, which was converted by Van Reenen to give the home side the lead for the first time in the match.
With EP Elephants having given away their lead, their discipline started to wane as well and just five minutes later, Mtyanda was shown a yellow card. Van Reenen lined up for a shot at goal and split the poles to give the hosts a seven point lead heading into the final quarter of the game.
The PE side kept themselves in the contest despite being down to 14 men and only seven points adrift but with just three minutes left on the stadium clock, flank Van Vuuren was given his marching orders much to the delight of the home fans.
The home side used their numerical advantage this time round and scored their third try with Chris Massyn scoring from the resulting penalty which his pack drove towards the line. Van Reenen landed the conversion to give Province a more-than comfortable looking 14-point victory.
The Elephants will be disappointed by their performance, especially after they trounced the Border Bulldogs 52-3 last weekend and remain mid-table in the South Section while DHL Western Province move to 24 points from a possible 25 after five rounds.
DHL Western Province - Tries: David Brits, Kwenzo Blose, Chris Massyn; Conversions: Abner van Reenen (3); Penalty goals: Van Reenen (2).
Multisure EP Elephants - Try: Riaan Arends; Conversion: Ntabeni Dukisa; Penalty goals: Dukisa (2).
- Report courtesy of https://springboks.rugby/