DHL Western Province beat Vodacom Blue Bulls 35-32 after extra time in their semifinal to book a home Currie Cup Final against Cell C Sharks at DHL Newlands next week.
The teams had ended deadlocked at 32-32 after 80 minutes, with a single penalty from wing SP Marais enough to seal the narrow victory in extra time and continue their unbeaten run this season.
DHL Western Province made a determined start, taking the ball deep into opposition territory where SP Marais was able to open the scoring with two consecutive penalties.
The visitors took the lead with the opening try as flank Ruan Steenkamp forced his way over and they followed that up with a second from right wing Duncan Matthews, who finished off a counter-attack.
The teams then traded penalties, with Marais’ fifth successful kick at goal bringing his team within two points at half-time as they trailed 17-15 at the break.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls struck first in the second half, with a try from flyhalf Manie Libbok taking their lead out to 24-15.
DHL Western Province needed something special and they got it with two quick tries to take the lead back.
The first came following a strong maul from the forwards, with the the ball sent down the backline and Dillyn Leyds offloading to put Marais over for the try.
The second came from their own 22 as replacement hooker Scarra Ntubeni claimed an overthrown line-out and got it away to flyhalf Damian Willemse who kicked long. It was chased down by wing Sergeal Petersen who went close before replacement scrumhalf Paul de Wet darted over.
The conversion from Marais was followed up with another penalty to give them a 32-27 advantage with 20 minutes to play and the DHL Newlands Faithful getting louder.
DHL Western Province were forced to defend heroically in the finally stages, but a late try from Vodacom Blue Bulls centre Dylan Sage levelled the scores at 32-32 and took the game into extra time.
Neither side scored in the first half of extra time, but DHL Western Province edged in front again just after half time with a seventh penalty from Marais which was enough to seal a dramatic win.
For DHL Western Province:
Tries: Marais, De Wet
Cons: Marais 2
Pens: Marais 7
For Vodacom Blue Bulls:
Tries: Steenkamp, Matthews, Libbok, Sage
Cons: Libbok 3
DHL Western Province: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 SP Marais, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Josh Stander, 23 JJ Engelbrecht.
Vodacom Blue Bulls: 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Dylan Sage, 12 Johnny Kotze, 11 Jade Stighling, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (captain), 7 Marco van Staden, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Hendre Stassen, 3 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Trevor Nyakane
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Frans van Wyk, 18 Conrad de Beer, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Nic de Jager, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Tinus de Beer, 23 Franco Naude.