The DHL Western Province Under-19s took a giant step towards a home semifinal in the 2015 Absa Provincial Under-19 competition with a top-notch 53-20 win over the Blue Bulls’ Under-19s at DHL Newlands.
The hosts ran into a 17-0 lead after just 15 minutes, through tries by scrumhalf Paul de Wet and right-wing Duncan Saal, before a mini-fightback from the visitors saw them trail by 17-13 after 24 minutes.
However, a stunning two-try blitz before half-time, left-wing Edwill van der Merwe showing great feet and pace and then outside centre Eduan Keyter running a great angle for excellent tries, both converted by Tiaan Swanepoel, saw them go into the break at 32-13.
That 14-point blitz seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Bulls, who did manage the first points of the second half – a self-converted try by JT Jackson – before the hosts ran in two more fantastic tries to make it 46-20 going into the final five minutes.
Scrumhalf De Wet was the two-try hero up until then, but he was not to be outdone, with speedster Saal finishing brilliantly in the corner three minutes from full-time to bring up the half-century.
Flyhalf Aidynn Cupido, who had earlier crossed for Province’s sixth try, stroked over a brilliant touchline conversion of Saal’s try to make it 53 points to the hosts and 2014 champions at full-time.
Whilst De Wet and Saal both managed try doubles on the day, fullback Swanepoel once again proved his worth for the DHL WP U19s with a points-haul of 16, missing just one shot at goal and impressing with ball in hand, as well as with his kicking out of hand.
For DHL Western Province Under-19:
Tries: De Wet 2, Saal 2, Van der Merwe, Keyter, Cupido
Cons: Swanepoel 5, Cupido
Pens: Swanepoel 2
For Vodacom Blue Bulls Under-19:
Tries: Van den Berg, Jackson
Cons: Jackson 2
Pens: Jackson 2
DHL Western Province Under-19: 15 Tiaan Swanepoel, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Eduan Keyter, 12 Edrich Venter (vice-captain), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Aidynn Cupido, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Jaco Coetzee (captain), 7 Daniel Maree, 6 Saud Abrahams, 5 Eduard Zandberg, 4 Jaco Willemse, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Jacques van Zyl, 1 Ruben Terblanche.
Replacements: 16 Brenton Greaves, 17 Derrick Marais, 18 Nathan Meilhon, 19 Gary Porter, 20 Charl-Francois du Toit, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Justin Heunis, 23 Gerard Pieterse.
Blue Bulls Under-19: 15 Brendan Owen, 14 Coneree Poole, 13 JT Jackson, 12 Franco Naude, 11 Tshepiso Mahasha, 10 Kurt Webster, 9 Stephan Enslin, 8 Luigy van Jaarsveld, 7 JD Fourie, 6 Justin Meintjies, 5 Eli Snyman (captain), 4 Aston Fortuin, 3 Jaco Holtzhausen, 2 Alandré van Rooyen, 1 Gavin van den Berg.
Replacements: 16 Jungqo Hennings, 17 Madot Mabokela, 18 Wynand de Necker, 19 Sam Mitchell, 20 Salmon van Huyssteen, 21 Dale Hendricks, 22 Ruan de Beer, 23 Curtly Prins.
Referee: Quinton Immelman