DHL Western Province ran in seven tries as they thumped the South Western Districts Eagles 45-11 (halftime 21-6) at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Friday in their SuperSport Rugby Challenge encounter.
It was Western Province’s fourth consecutive win in the tournament, placing John Dobson’s troops firmly atop the standings of the South Pool with a full house of 20 log points.
The winless Eagles meanwhile are languishing in fifth place on the South Pool standings, with just five points.
The home team dominated proceedings from the outset, enjoying the lion’s share of possession, with their silky backs cutting the Eagles’ defence to shreds as the SWD men slid off a number of tackles.
SWD opened the scoring with a Leighton Eksteen penalty, before Craig Barry profited from a Godlen Masimla quick tap to ghost in unopposed for a 20-metre try in the 22nd minute.
Grant Hermanus converted, before Eksteen hit back with his second to narrow the gap to just one.
However, Western Province’s persistent waves of attack eventually opened the flood gates as they scored two further converted tries in the first half.
First, Hermanus sniped round from a ruck from a few metres out to go in under the sticks, before Barry barged his way over the chalk having taken a quick tap.
21-6 was the halftime tally, with Western Province full value for their lead.
The visitors’ woes were compounded inside the first 10 minutes of the second half as hooker Chad Solomon crashed over for a brace – the second of which came from a driving maul.
SWD hit back in the 58th minute when winger Charles Radebe danced his way through two would-be tacklers after superbly catching a Johnny Welthagen skip pass in the right-hand corner.
Unfortunately, the comeback was short lived as replacement scrumhalf Justin Philips sniped over from close range three minutes later to take the score to 38-11.
Matters went from bad to worse for the Eagles when flanker Loodewyk Uys was red carded for striking Rynardt Elsdtadt in the face with his elbow in the 66th minute.
SWD were reduced to just 13 men a few moments later as Freginald Afrika was shown a yellow for a cynical infringement close to the Province line.
The ensuing penalty from the Afrika yellow card yielded a penalty try to Province for a scrum collapse and it was to be the last score of the match.
Western Province emerging as the resounding winners with a 45-11 victory.
Grant Hermanus was named Man-of-the-Match, with fellow wingers Khanyo Ngcukana and Craig Barry also enjoying wonderful matches, proving lethal on the counter attack in particular.
DHL Western Province – Tries: Craig Barry (2), Grant Hermanus, Chad Solomon (2), Justin Philips, Penalty Try; Cons: Hermanus (4)
SWD Eagles – Tries: Charles Radebe; Cons: Johnny Welthagen; Pens: Leigthon Eksteen (2)