DHL Western Province produced a passionate display of running rugby to demolish the Vodacom Blue Bulls 42-6 in their Absa Currie Cup match at the DHL Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday.
In a game which was incredibly one-sided and hardly the showdown that many were waiting to see, Province capitalised on several unforced errors and produced some scintillating play with a plethora of ball to score five tries to none and simply beat their opposition into submission.
The win moves Province into second while the Bulls drop to fifth of six teams in the competition, and proves how important home advantage is, and how long a week in a strength versus strength competition can be.
Those last few words seem to be less worthy on the evidence shown at Newlands. On the night where it was supposed to be a massive battle, there was simply only one team on the park.
After Louis Fouche missed an opening penalty for the visitors, the home side swooped into a 10-point lead thanks to a penalty by Dimitri Catrikilis and Nic Groom’s outstretched hand from close distance.
Fouche managed to bring the Bulls six points through penalties, but it was the last the visitors were to see the scoreboard ticking over on their side as Province stamped their authority on the game and simply took control.
For the Bulls, they made several unforced errors, kicked away some good ball and simply didn’t have the penetration thanks to some superb Province defence. On top of that, their forwards were butchered by the Province pack, as the Bulls simply had no answer to the onslaught they faced.
The scoreline moved further away when the Province pack went for the corner, and drove the ball over, with captain Deon Fourie claiming the score after pushing their way through the Bulls' brittle defence.
After the break, Marcel Brache crossed the line after a superb offload from the impressive JP du Plessis, taking Province out to 24-6 and that scoreline was extended by flyhalf Catrikilis shortly afterwards with another penalty.
The Bulls tried to throw caution to the wind, but their only good attacking platform for the night was wasted as Fouche tried a drop goal, which sailed left of the posts, and Province simply moved up a gear.
Province received some help from the TMO with Damian de Allende’s try, after it seemed there may have been a forward pass from Gio Aplon before the sideline sprint, but it wouldn’t have mattered much in the larger scope of things on the evening.
Du Plessis finished off the rout with a try of his own and ensured that while derbies are normally close, all the honours stayed with the home team on a night that belonged truly to Province in a comprehensive victory.
DHL WP – Tries: Nic Groom, Deon Fourie, Marcel Brache, Damian de Allende, JP du Plessis. Conversions: Dimitri Catrikilis (4). Penalties: Catrikilis (3).
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Penalties: Louis Fouche (2).