WP crush outgunned Valke
Western Province went on a scoring rampage in clocking up an 86-14 (halftime 43-0) victory over the Valke in a Vodacom Cup match played at the Barnard stadium in Kempton Park on Saturday.
The home side lost heavily away to Free State (55-19) in their opening match last week and on the basis of this performance, at home on a hot afternoon, it’s going to be yet another long, hard season for the battling East Rand outfit.
WP, meanwhile, continued a tradition of starting the competition strongly, only to lose a crucial match at the business end of the season in a tournament they have never won.
Looking at this display, however, one can only assume that the men from the Cape will be strong contenders once again, with head coach John Dobson, the former UCT Varsity Cup trainer, having a talented squad with which to work.
For the visitors, fullback and man of the match Lionel Cronjé was a revelation away from his usual position of flyhalf. Cronjé, who appears out of favour with the Stormers, put his money where his mouth is by scoring a try and kicking nine conversions and a penalty for a personal haul of 26 points.
It was almost twice as many points as the entire Valke team could manage -- they scored tries through wing Kyle Hendricks and Coert Cronjé, both converted by replacement Dillon Laubscher, but in truth there was only ever one team in this encounter.
WP started off in measured fashion with a penalty from Cronjé in the sixth minute but thereafter, once they had smelled the blood of their red-jerseyed opponents, racked up a quickfire six tries before the break for a 43-point lead.
Things didn’t get any better for the Valke after the break, WP making it 50-0 after 47 minutes when exciting eighthman Siya Kolisi danced over for Cronjé to convert.
Another six tries followed in the final 25 minutes as the Valke, despite showing plenty of guts as they crossed the line twice themselves, ran out of puff against what is a very well-drilled team.
Valke 14 – Tries: Kyle Hendricks, Coert Cronjé. Conversions: Dillon Laubscher (2).
WP 86 –
Tries: Sidney Tobias, JJ Engelbrecht (2), Nick Groom, Tim Whitehead, Wimpie van der Walt (2), Siya Kolisi, Hilton Lobberts (2), Marcel Brache, penalty try, Lionel Cronjé.
Conversions: Lionel Cronjé (9). Penalties: Cronjé.