DHL Western Province claimed a 33-16 win over the MTN Golden Lions on Saturday, as they booked a home Absa Currie Cup Final - the first since 2001 - at DHL Newlands next Saturday.
31,719 fans packed into DHL Newlands to watch the in-form and unbeaten Province team march into a second successive Currie Cup Final, with tries by Demetri Catrakilis and Gio Aplon inspiring the home side to their ninth victory – along with two draws – of the season.
Coach Allister Coetzee said all week that previous form counted for nothing for the defending champions ahead of the 2013 play-offs, but he would have been more than happy with his team's performance. (See a FULL photo gallery HERE!)
Catrakilis weighed in with a hefty 22 points on the day, whilst Aplon – the official Absa Currie Cup Man of the Match, and deservedly so - continuously dazzled the Lions defence with his pace and footwork from the fullback position.
Having had an earlier try disallowed due to a forward pass, Aplon's try shortly before half-time helped his team into an 18-9 half-time lead and it could just end up being the Try of the Season as he evaded defender after defender, initially from a midfield break and then with the left-hand corner beckoning as he notched up his fourth try of the season.
Catrakilis kicked three more penalties in the second half, as WP were not troubled by the Lions in the second forty minutes – despite a few breakaways by the visitors as play threatened to open up a bit at times.
However, two late Kurt Coleman penalties – after replacing Catrakilis in the final ten minutes – put the result beyond doubt, as the defending champs took one step closer to keeping the Currie Cup in the Cape.
DHL WP will thus host the 2013 Absa Currie Cup Final, with one of the curtain-raisers set to feature the Western Province Under-21 side, the latter having recorded a heart-stopping 44-41 extra-time win over the Lions in their semifinal a bit earlier today.
For DHL Western Province:
Tries: Catrakilis, Aplon
Pens: Catrakilis 5, Coleman 2
For the MTN Golden Lions:
Pens: Jantjies 3
DHL Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Jean de Villiers, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Frans Malherbe, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Michael Rhodes, 19 Schalk Burger, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Juan de Jongh.
Golden Lions: 15 Marnitz Boshoff, 14 Chrysander Botha, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Andries Coetzee, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Derick Minnie (captain), 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 CJ van der Linde.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Willie Britz, 20 Warwick Tecklenburg, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Robert de Bruyn.
Referee: Marius Jonker
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The Down Touch Griffons and Cell C Sharks XV picked up big wins in the first round of the 2014 Vodacom Cup, with DHL Western Province also picking up a victory in their opening fixture.
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