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Rugby | Vodacom Cup

Lionel Cronje © Gallo Images

WP remain unbeaten



Western Province maintained their unbeaten streak in this year’s Vodacom Cup as they beat the Pumas 27-14 (halftime 24-14) in a keenly-fought match at Newlands on Saturday.

The home side got off to a terrific start with two tries in the first eight minutes. JJ Engelbrecht scored the first thanks to a terrific angled run with which he beat several defenders in the first minute, and then Michael van der Spuy finished as the visitors paid the price for some half-hearted defence.

At 12 -0 up after just eight minutes the odds appeared to be good that WP would score a runaway victory. However, they were punished when they got a little over-elaborate, with Pumas scrumhalf Shaun Venter scoring an intercept try.

After that WP relied on flyhalf Lionel Cronjé’s boot to settle the match. He added three penalties to give the home side a commanding 21-7 lead.

The Pumas got a sniff when centre Tiaan Meyer scored a try as WP let their guard down on defence. Former WP under-21 star Coenie van Wyk converted to draw them within seven points.

However, Cronjé stretched the lead to 10 points with another penalty before the break.

There was little to write home about in the second half as the quality of the rugby degenerated. The Pumas worked hard to try and find a way back, but WP defended with Stormers-like resolve to repel them.

Cronjé added another penalty in the 66th minute to underline the home side’s superiority on the day.

Scorers:

WP 27 – Tries: JJ Engelbrecht, Michael van der Spuy. Conversion: Lionel Cronjé. Penalties: Cronjé (5).

Pumas 14 – Tries: Shaun Venter, Tiaan Meyer. Conversions: Coenie van Wyk (2).

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