DHL WP go down fighting in the rain

PUBLISHED: July 7, 2024

DHL Western Province fought hard to secure two bonus points in a 30-25 defeat against the Vodacom Bulls in their Carling Currie Cup opener at DHL Stadium on Sunday.

Two late tries saw the blue and white hoops salvage something from a game that had been played in very wet conditions.

Despite outscoring the Pretoria outfit by four tries to three, it was a frustrating defeat at home for DHL Western Province in the end.

The visitors opened the scoring with a long-range penalty from flyhalf Jaco van der Walt and DHL WP responded with the opening try.

Following a powerful maul in the corner, Jean-Luc du Plessis took a quick tap and slid over to put his side 5-3 up.

The Vodacom Bulls hit back with a maul try and a second penalty from Van der Walt, which saw them take a 13-5 advantage into the half-time break.

The Pretoria side were first to score in the second half with another Van der Walt penalty, but DHL WP responded with a try and a penalty of their own to bring them right back into it.

Gary Porter forced his way over from close range and they stormed back into the 22 immediately, with Jurie Matthee kicking an easy penalty to make it 13-16 after 55 minutes.

The Vodacom Bulls were back out to a 10-point lead when wing Devon Williams scored in the corner on the hour mark, with Chris Smit adding the touchline conversion.

They followed that up with a third try shortly afterwards, but it was the home side that finished strongest with two late tries securing two bonus points.

Angelo Davids got on the end of a grubber from Du Plessis to score in the corner and Wandisile Simelane forced his way over for the fourth try just before the hooter.

The scorers:

Du Plessis, Porter, Davids, Simelane
Con: Du Plessis
Pen: Matthee

For Vodacom Bulls:
Van Zyl, Williams, Gumede
Cons: Van der Walt, Smit 2
Pens: Van der Walt 2

DHL Western Province: 15 Luke Burger, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Jurie Matthee, 9 Imad Khan, 8 Willie Engelbrecht (captain), 7 Connor Evans, 6 CJ Velleman, 5 Gary Porter, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 JJ Kotze, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Vernon Matongo, 18 Corne Weilbach, 19 Hendre Stassen, 20 Paul de Villiers, 21 Louw Nel, 22 Labib Kannemeyer, 23 Damian Markus.