A late penalty goal by fullback Damian Willemse allowed DHL Western Province to pip the Vodacom Blue Bulls 46-45 (halftime 17-19) in their Currie Cup match at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday afternoon.
The Blue Bulls outscored their opponents by seven tries to six but it was WP that scored two quick tries in the opening seven minutes courtesy of lock JD Schickerling and flyhalf Robert du Preez. The latter converted both tries.
The home team responded in the eighth minute as fullback Warrick Gelant crossed the tryline. His efforts were followed up by no.8 Nic de Jager and hooker Edgar Marutlulle.
Marutlulle’s five pointer was extra special as he scored in his 50th Currie Cup match with two minutes left of the first half which saw the Blue Bulls go into the break with a slender 19-17 lead.
WP retook the lead minutes into the second half as no.8 Nizaam Carr crashed over for a try but his effort was nullified by scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl who snuck around the ruck to score a converted try moments later.
WP struck again in the 53rd and 54th minute as inside centre Huw Jones and wing Seabelo Senatla scored two great tries to give the visitors a comfortable 26-38 lead.
The men from Pretoria tightened up on defence and attacked hard in the final quarter as wing Duncan Matthews scored in the corner.
Senatla ran in his second try shortly after as the Blitzbok continued to show that he is just as effective in the 15-man game as he is in the shorter version.
Two converted tries by inside centre JT Jackson and replacement utility back Ulrich Beyers gave the Blue Bulls the lead with the clock fast running out but Willemse put paid to a win for the home team as he nailed his penalty attempt to give the men from Cape Town a hard-fought 46-45 win.
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Warrick Gelant, Nic de Jager, Edgar Marutlulle, Ivan van Zyl, Duncan Matthews, Ulrich Beyers, JT Jackson; Cons: Marnitz Boshoff (3), Tony Jantjies (2).
DHL Western Province – Tries: JD Schickerling, Robert du Preez, Nizaam Carr, Huw Jones, Seabelo Senatla (2); Cons: Du Preez (5); Pens: Du Preez, Damian Willemse.