A late try by Jody Reyneke and a superb conversion under pressure by Gary van Aswegen earned DHL Western Province a hard-earned 17-17 draw in an entertaining Vodacom Cup match against the Regent Boland Cavaliers at Victory Park in Ceres on Saturday.
It looked as if the hosts had sealed a popular win in front of a passionate crowd of 7 000 people when their captain, Ashton Constant, scored a try in the 73rd minute after sustained pick-and-go-attacks.
Jacquin Jansen converted to give the Cavaliers a 17-10 cushion.
But Western Province equalised when Reyneke burst over in the 77th minute.
Van Aswegen handled the pressure-kick with aplomb to earn WP the draw.
The match was characterised by enterprising play by both backlines.
Boland’s heavyweight pack edged WP in the tight exchanges and gave them a slight territorial advantage after the break.
But a never-say-die-attitude by the visitors resulted in Reyneke’s late try.
WP made a promising start in the fifth minute when Chris Cloete rumbled his way over the line from a lineout.
The Cavaliers struck back in the ninth minute when Chris Noble crossed the line after sustained pressure and excellent running by Zandé Jordaan and Albert Trytsman. Ricardo Croy converted.
Devon Williams gave Western Province the lead in the 21st minute with a try after a devastating outside swerve, excellent acceleration and a 35-metre burst, as he outsprinted Jansen (fullback) and Johnathan Francke (outside centre).
The Cavaliers showed glimpses of brilliance, and the right wing, Cheslyn Roberts, was prominent with two electrifying runs. Both movements broke down with the tryline beckoning.
Although they were full of enterprise, the hosts let themselves down through a lack of accuracy and some ill-discipline at the breakdowns where they were heavily penalised.
Trytsman was yellow-carded in the 50th minute after another offense at the breakdown.
The numerical advantage hardly made a difference, as Boland’s heavyweight forwards started to assert themselves in the second half.
Jansen equalized in the 61st minute with a penalty.
Regent Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Chris Buckle, Ashton Constant. Conversions: Ricardo Croy, Jacquin Jansen. Penaly: Jansen.
DHL Western Province – Tries: Chris Cloete, Devon Williams, Jody Reyneke; Conversion: Gary van Aswegen.