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Rugby | Vodacom Cup

Tertius Daniller © Gallo Images

WP see off game Welwitschias



Western Province remained unbeaten in the Vodacom Cup with a 56-9 (halftime 24-6) victory over a game but outclassed Namibia Welwitschias team at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday.

At this level, and in this competition, teams should ideally be more evenly matched but the truth is that there was only ever one team in this one.

The hosts, who have never won the Vodacom Cup, picked up four tries, and the bonus point that comes with it, before the break before continuing in the same vein in the second half with another five touchdowns.

“I’m quite happy with that performance,” said winning captain JD Möller. “They put us under quite a bit of pressure at the breakdown and we need to sort that out, but I’m excited about this competition.”

The limited but game visitors tried their best, which in turn saw WP produce patchy play at times. But the streeptruie were, to use the old cliché, too big, too strong, too fast -- put simply, too professional for amateur opponents who have now lost three on the trot this year.

Among the few false notes from WP apart from the breakdowns was their goalkicking, with fullback Lionel Cronjé, who kicked nine conversions and a penalty against the Valke last week, succeeding with only five from 10 this time around.

But despite his radar being on the blink, the classy and unruffled Cronjé still managed to cross for two opportunistic tries and slot four conversions and a penalty for a not-too-shabby haul of 21 points.

WP coach John Dobson, wily coach that he is, would not have been fooled by the lopsided scoreline and there will no doubt be some hard work in store on the training ground in the coming week to eliminate the basic errors from his young side, mistakes which will be punished by better teams in the weeks to come.

But give credit to the Namibians for staying in the faces of their opponents for the entire match, and credit too to WP for producing some excellent tries, especially those by jinking centre Johann Sadie on the half hour and long-legged left wing JJ Engelbrecht with 15 minutes left.

For all their effort, however, the Namibians never looked like scoring a try against a very organised defence, where centre Paul Bosch stood out, and they had to be content with three penalties from fullback Chrysander Botha to avoid a scoreboard whitewash.

“Our defence left us in the lurch,” said losing captain PJ van Lill. “We need to be stronger in that department and also be sharper.”

Scorers:

WP 56 – Tries: Lionel Cronjé (2), Shuaib Samaai, Johann Sadie, Wimpie van der Walt, Louis Schreuder, JJ Engelbrecht, Alistair Vermaak, Marcel Brache. Conversions: Cronjé (4). Penalty: Cronjé.

Welwitschias 9 – Penalties: Chrysander Botha (3).

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