A young and experimental DHL Western Province side grabbed a hard-fought 32-28 win over their Simba XV opponents at Nairobi’s RFUEA Grounds on Saturday.
DHL Western Province opened the scoring courtesy of a Robert du Preez penalty goal, but Brian Nyikuli’s try and Kenny Andola’s conversion put the Simba XV 7-3 up.
Centres Pat Howard and Michael van der Spuy then crossed for five-pointers in quick succession for the visitors, Du Preez converting Howard’s try, as DHL WP bounced back to lead 15-7.
Simba replacement Martin Owila, on for Tony Owuor, scored off a rolling maul, Adola’s conversion making it 15-14, but Sikhumbuzo Notshe hit back for Province as the Cape side took a 20-14 lead into half-time.
Jerome Paarwater made wholesale changes for the hosts, throwing on 14 new players for the second half – amongst them Andrew Amonde, Collins Injera and James Kang’ethe.
These changes saw Simba dominate the possession stakes, as the hosts took the lead with tries by Injera and Patrice Agunda, with Lyle Asiligwa converting both scores to make it 28-20 to the Kenyans.
DHL WP lost star centre Van der Spuy with a neck injury, but a late rally saw Stephan Coetzee and Notshe cross for tries, replacement No.10 Gary van Aswegen converting the final score to make it 32-28 as the visitors won the Lafarge Cup which was donated by sponsors Bamburi Cement Limited.
DHL WP coach John Dobson told www.wprugby.com: “It was an amazing day and the stadium was packed.
“Like I said earlier this week, we’ve been looked after so well here and the support for WP Rugby in Kenya is incredible and humbling.
“The match itself was a tough one, but we’re happy to come away with the win against a much-improved Simba XV.”
Next week DHL Western Province will travel to Windhoek to take on the Namibian national team at the Dr Hage Geingob Stadium (on Saturday, June 14).
The DHL Western Province scorers:
Tries: Howard, Van der Spuy, Coetzee, Notshe 2
Cons: Du Preez, Van Aswegen
Pen: Du Preez
The DHL Western Province team: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Chevandre van Schoor, 13 Pat Howard, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Devon Williams, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dylon Frylinck, 8 Rayn Smid (captain), 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Lungelo Chonco, 5 Jean Kleyn, 4 Ruan Vermaak, 3 Justin Ackerman, 2 Stephan Coetzee, 1 Sti Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Digby Webb, 18 Ian Groenewald, 19 Carel du Preez, 20 Jan Uys, 21 Freddie Muller, 22 Gary van Aswegen, 23 Craig Barry.