EP Elephants fall to Western Province
Mistakes cost EP against Western Province
Giving away an easy try and a misfiring set piece proved costly for the EP Elephants when they slipped to a 27-13 defeat against Western Province, disappointed EP skipper Lubabalo “Giant” Mtyanda said.
Needing a win to keep their slim hopes of a SuperSport Rugby Challenge playoff berth alive, the Elephants were sunk by two late tries at Newlands in Cape Town.
The defeat left the Elephants in fifth place on the South Section log, while Western Province bolstered their position at the top of the standings with a fifth consecutive win.
“We always knew this would be a tough game at Newlands against an unbeaten WP side,” Mtyanda said.
“EP needed to win, but there were small moments that cost us and we gave them an easy try.
“Our set piece was a problem and our mauling.
“Those are the things we need to fix.
“We were in the game for most of the time, and in the 60th minute we were only one try behind.
“But in the last minutes WP scored two tries with their driving maul.
“I can’t fault the effort of the boys and everyone put their hands up. We had them on defence and attack, it is just that we need to finish off our good moments.”
Mtyanda said his team would regroup after the defeat against WP and prepare for their next home game against the Sharks at the Wolfson Stadium in Kwazakhele on Sunday.
Despite trailing at the break, WP hit back in the second period to keep their challenge for the Rugby Challenge title on track.
They were made to work hard for it by the Elephants, but eventually outscored them by three tries to one.
The opening 20 minutes were fiercely contested but scoreless, with both teams testing out the opposition defence without breaking through.
The visitors opened the scoring with two consecutive penalties from centre Ntabeni Dukisa before Western Province responded with a penalty of their own when flyhalf Abner van Reenen booted the ball over from the halfway line.The Elephants scored the first try of the game via hardrunning wing Riaan Arendse, who finished off a counterattack.Western Province had the final say in the first half when replacement centre David Brits was put through by some slick handling on the halftime hooter to reduce EP’s lead at the break to 13-10.The start of the second half was tense, but eventually the breakthrough came for Western Province when No 8 Marno Redelinghuys forced his way over from close range for the second try.The conversion by Van Reenen gave them the lead for the first time in the match and the flyhalf extended it to 20-13 shortly afterwards with a penalty.The third and final Western Province try came at the death as flank Chris Massyn went over after a maul to seal the win.The start of the second half was tense, but eventually the breakthrough came for Western Province when No 8 Marno Redelinghuys forced his way over from close range for the second try