DHL Western Province scored five tries and fought hard until the final whistle, but went down 48-31 in their Carling Currie Cup semifinal against the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
The defending champions scored six tries of their own in a high-scoring play-off match which saw both teams cross the whitewash regularly.
The Vodacom Bulls got off to a commanding start, scoring four of their tries in the first half to take a 38-12 advantage into the half-time break.
DHL Western Province scored two tries in the first half, with wing Edwill van der Merwe and No.8 Hacjivah Dayimani both crossing for five-pointers.
The visitors came out after half-time very determined to get back into the game and would cross for three more tries in the second 40 minutes, with Van der Merwe rounding off a hat-trick and hooker Andre-Hugo Venter scoring from a maul.
However, it was not enough as the Vodacom Bulls proved too strong on their home ground, where they will play the final next week.
For DHL WP:
Tries: Van der Merwe 3, Dayimani, Venter
Cons: Swiel 3
For Vodacom Bulls:
Tries: Hendricks 2, Goosen, Botha, Mapoe, Coetzee
Cons: Goosen 6
Pens: Goosen 2
DHL Western Province: 15 Sergeal Petersen, 14 Ruhan Nel, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Marcel Theunissen, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Johan du Toit, 4 Ernst van Rhyn (captain), 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Leon Lyons.
Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Justin Basson, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Rikus Pretorius, 23 Tristan Leyds.
Vodacom Bulls: David Kriel; Cornal Hendricks, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Madosh Tambwe, Johan Goosen, Zak Burger; Elrigh Louw, Arno Botha, Marcell Coetzee (captain), Ruan Nortje, Janko Swanepoel, Mornay Smith, Schalk Erasmus, Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Simphiwe Matanzima, Jacques van Rooyen, Jacques du Plessis, WJ Steenkamp, Keegan Johannes, Chris Smith, Stravino Jacobs.