Late Kitshoff score helps WP sink Griquas
Steven Kitshoff scored the decisive try with 14 minutes to play as DHL Western Province came from behind to oust GWK Griquas 25-20 (half-time 7-12) in their Absa Currie Cup Premier Division encounter at GWK Park in Kimberley on Saturday.
The Cape side made a wretched start to the game in gusty conditions with early tries by Rynard Landman and Wilmaure Louw putting the host
12-0 ahead early on.
But Ederies Arendse scored in the dying minutes of the half, before JP du Plessis and Kitshoff completed the turnaround, which gave Allister Coetzee’s side a first win of the season.
But it would not have been the script they wanted after being given an almighty scare by the plucky home side.
They began like a house on fire and went ahead in just the seventh minute after a flowing move down the left saw lock Landman collect a quick pass from winger Rocco Jansen on the left and power his way over.
Fullback Francois Brummer missed the conversion, but five minutes later the lead was doubled when wing Louw dived over on the right for a converted score after Stefan Watermeyer had initially set up the move with a strong carry down the middle.
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The visitors were being played right out of the game at that stage, finding the conditions and Griquas’s determination difficult to contend with.
Flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis did have one shot at goal in the opening quarter, but dragged his attempt wide.
The possession stakes read 73%-27% in favour of the hosts after 25 minutes and they continued to dominate until the final minute of the half when Arendse ran 35 metres to score, the try coming as a result of a brilliant Marcel Brache off-load on the left.
It was a real blow to the Griquas cause, but to their credit, they hit back via a Brummer penalty straight after the interval.
Catrakilis missed a drop-goal attempt and the Province forwards wasted front-foot ball through an attacking five-metre line-out over the next
10 minutes, but the men from Kimberley also missed their chance to extend their advantage when their number 15 missed another shot at goal.
And centre Du Plessis capitalised for the Capetonians by scoring in the left corner, flyhalf Catrakilis again wayward with his radar.
However, he was on target in the 63rd minute to draw the scores level after Marnus Hugo failed to release in the tackle.
With the clock fast running down, Kitshoff scored the decisive try when he collected in the centre and ran through a gap to score under the post.
Catrakilis converted and added another penalty, points that also proved crucial, before a consolation score from Jaco Nepgen in the closing minute as the visitors held on.
GWK GRIQUAS –Tries: Rynard Landman, Wilmaure Louw, Jaco Nepgen.
Conversion: Francois Brummer. Penalty: Brummer.
WESTERN PROVINCE – Tries: Ederies Arendse, JP du Plessis, Steven Kitshoff. Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (2). Penalties: Catrakilis (2).