DHL Western Province fought hard but went down 44-34 in their Currie Cup clash against Tafel Lager Griquas in Kimberley on Wednesday.
Despite scoring five tries, DHL Western Province were reduced to 14 men for 20 minutes due to two yellow cards in a match dominated by the referee’s whistle.
It was a first half of two halves as first the hosts raced out to a 17-3 advantage before DHL Western Province clawed their way back to reduce the deficit to 17-15 at half-time.
With the wind at their backs, the Tafel Lager Griquas opened the scoring with an early penalty and they followed that up with a try from prop Liam Hendricks after DHL Western Province scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage was shown a yellow card.
The visitors got on the scoreboard with a penalty from flyhalf Kurt Coleman, but the home side hit back with another try as right wing Ederies Arendse burst through to score.
DHL Western Province found themselves up against it, but kept their composure admirably and it was not long before they had their first try as No.8 Nizaam Carr crashed over from a powerful scrum.
They showed impressive commitment to take the game to the Tafel Lager Griquas well after the hooter had sounded for half-time and they were rewarded as Bjorn Basson went over in the corner to make it a two-point lead for the hosts at the break.
The visitors took the lead for the first time in the match at the start of the second half as Seabelo Senatla ran a great line to claim a pop pass from Carr and score under the poles.
However, Tafel Lager Griquas were back in front before long as scrumhalf Renier Botha finished off their third try to make it 24-22.
The see-saw nature of the match continued as DHL Western Province took the lead back with the bonus-point try from Coleman who threw a huge dummy to ghost through the defence.
DHL Western Province had the momentum and they took advantage as the ball was worked out to fullback SP Marais who straightened and accelerated away to score.
However, Marais was not on the field for much longer as he was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle and Tafel Lager Griquas took advantage by scoring their bonus-point try through Tiaan Dorfling.
The home side were back in front as flank Wendal Wehr ran in a long range try, to give them a 38-34 advantage with just over 15 minutes left to play.
Two penalties from George Whitehead sealed the win for the home side.
For DHL WP:
Tries: Carr, Basson, Senatla, Coleman, Marais
Cons: Coleman 2, Willemse
For Tafel Lager Griquas:
Tries: Hendricks, Arendse, Botha, Dorfling, Wehr
Cons: Swarts 5
Pens: Swarts, Whitehead 2