Western Province moved closer to booking a possible home semi-final when they beat the Cheetahs in a crunch Currie Cup clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
CAPE TOWN – Western Province survived a second-half comeback from the Cheetahs in their Currie Cup crunch match in Bloemfontein to move closer to a home semi-final winning the game 31-29.
Heading into this match, the standings were tight with the Bulls, WP, the Lions, Sharks and Cheetahs all in the running to secure a play-off berth, with the Capetonians slipping to third for a moment after the Lions overcame the Pumas earlier in the day. That made the match even more important for WP.
While John Dobson will be disappointed with how they allowed the opposition back into the contest after holding a 23-9 lead after 55 minutes.
A thrilling battle ensued as the hosts produced a stunner of a comeback, but WP flyhalf Tim Swiel showed something BMT when he connected a penalty in the 81st minute to seal the deal for the visitors.
Two quick tries and some proper goal kicking from Frans Steyn got the Cheetahs, who have now have the lights dimmed on their play-off hopes, got them back in the game, and they went on to hold a one-point lead until the final minutes.
The first half was physical, but there were also no shortage of errors, which Swiel – who had a solid afternoon from the tee – was all too eager to convert to points.
After another penalty was kicked to the corner (after Swiel had converted four to set the score at 12-9), loose forward Jaco Coetzee burst over after a line-out drive to score and hand Procince an eight-point lead at the break (17-9).
Swiel added two more penalties in the second half before Cheetahs hooker Wilmar Arnoldi broke from the back of a maul to crash over.
Shortly afterwards, Rosko Specman dotted down under the posts, drawing the scores level going into the final quarter.
The ever-reliable boot of Steyn slotted a penalty thereafter to give the Cheetahs the lead for the first time in the game, but it wasn’t too long before WP gained a penalty advantage and kicked to the corner.
WP kicked rocks the corner and scored through hooker Bongi Mbonambi, again from a line-out drive, but it wasn’t over.
The Cheetahs won a scrum penalty later on and Steyn added a fifth penalty kick take back a narrow lead, but Swiel made sure that WP made this trip to Bloem a victorious one.
Cheetahs 29: Tries: Wilmar Arnoldi, Rosko Specman. Conversions: Frans Steyn (2). Penalties: Steyn (5).
WP 31: Tries: Jaco Coetzee, Bongi Mbonambi. Penalties: Swiel (7).