DHL Western Province scored six tries on their way to a thrilling 38-32 victory over Border at City Park on Saturday which saw them claim a third straight SA Rugby Women’s Interprovincial title.
It was a classic battle between the two teams who have now contested the last four finals, but DHL Western Province did enough in the end to retain their national title on home turf and make it an unbeaten season.
DHL Western Province opened the scoring through right wing Kimico Manuel, to the delight of an enthusiastic home crowd at City Park.
However, Border took the lead with a try from centre Chumisa Qawe, which was converted by her twin sister Chuma.
DHL Western Province flyhalf Kirsten Conrad had a shot at goal which was pulled wide and Border were next to score through Qawe’s centre partner Aphiwe Ngwevu, which took their lead out to 12-5 after 20 minutes.
Manuel showed some serious pace out wide to go over for her second try and reduce the gap to just two points, following some slick handling to put her in space.
Border would take a 17-10 lead into half-time, with right wing Nosiphiwo Goda scoring just before the break.
DHL Western Province levelled it up at 17-17 early in the second half as they ran it from their own half, with fullback Vuyo Maqholo finishing it off and centre Selladean Pietersen adding the conversion.
Border went back in front straight away, with replacement Akhona Dotwana scoring out wide, but DHL Western Province took the lead back with a try from scrumhalf Felicia Jacobs, who raced through a gap on the 22 to score.
The seesaw battle continued as Border prop Xolelwa Diliza powered her way over to put her team 27-24 up, but DHL Western Province responded with two quick tries as Jacobs got over for her second before lock Zandiswa Xozwe crossed the whitewash as well.
Border got a late consolation try from scrumhalf Unam Tose, but it was not enough as DHL Western Province held on for the win and their third straight national title.
For DHL WP:
Tries: Manuel 2, Maqholo, Jacobs 2, Xozwe
Cons: Pietersen, Conrad, Maqholo 2
Tries: Qawe, Ngwevu, Goda, Dotwana, Diliza, Tose
DHL Western Province Women: 15 Vuyolwethu Maqholo, 14 Kimico Manuel, 13 Shanique Hess, 12 Selladean Pietersen, 11 Courtney Groener, 10 Kirsten Conrad, 9 Felicia Jacobs, 8 Charmaine Kayser, 7 Nokubonga Siko, 6 Lihle Mzimkhulu, 5 Azisa Mkiva, 4 Zandiswa Xozwa, 3 Bubele Caku-Caku, 2 Roseline Botes , 1 Babalwa Latsha.
Replacements: 16 Annique Geswind, 17 Anelisa Nzuzo, 18 Yonella Pokolo, 19 Banele Makwezela, 20 Alicia Willemse, 21 Megan Kannemeyer, 22 Mtshazi Sesethu.