GWK Griquas will host DHL Western Province, in their first Vodacom Cup final, in Kimberley after the two top sides from the North and South Sections won their semi-finals this weekend.
The two best sides in the competition deservedly advanced to the final. DHL Western Province have not lost once this season, while GWK Griquas – along with the MTN Golden Lions the most successful Vodacom Cup side ever with four titles each – only lost one game in the league phase.
GWK Griquas advanced to their seventh Vodacom Cup final when they were simply too good for the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Kimberley on Friday, winning the first semi-final by 30-17.
It was only the second time in 11 Vodacom Cup semi-final appearances that the Vodacom Blue Bulls lost, but this time they simply could not get going. Despite dominating territory and possession in the first half, the visitors were still behind at the break, by 15-5, as GWK Griquas made better use of their opportunities, Leon Karemaker and Rocco Jansen scoring tries.
The home side were supreme in the scrums and also defended very well. The Blue Bulls pulled back late in the first half when Sampie Mastriet scored, but then went further behind again when their former team-mate Francois Brummer crossed the chalk.
Midway through the second half, Jan Serfontein and Daniel Adongo scored to close the gap and set up a thrilling end to see the Vodacom Blue Bulls behind by only 17-22 with ? minutes to play, but Griquas kept their composure and sealed the win at the death when Jean Stemmet scored their fourth try.
On Saturday, DHL Western Province beat the Ford Pumas, who finished second in the North Section, by 33-20 at DHL Newlands in Cape Town.
Province flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis had another good afternoon with the boot, slotting seven from eight for a personal haul of 18 points as the Capetonians progressed to their first-ever Vodacom Cup final.
DHL WP led by 23-12 at the break and controlled the game from the outset, setting the platform upfront for the backs to show their skill.
But early in the second half, the gap closed to 23-17 as JW Jonker, captain of the Ford Pumas, capitalised on a mistake by the home team.
Hooker Sidney Tobias, left wing Ederies Arendse, both in the first half, and loose forward Nic Fenton-Wells, who is also their captain, scored DHL WP’s tries.
In the end, DHL WP’s defence, a hallmark of the rugby produced in Cape Town recently, coupled with errors by the Ford Pumas, were the main features of this game.
Note: The date and time for the Vodacom Cup final will be confirmed by the South African Rugby Union in due course and will appear on www.sarugby.co.za.
All the scorers:
GWK Griquas 30 (15) Vodacom Blue Bulls 17 (5)
GWK Griquas – Tries: Francois Brummer, Jean Stemmet, Leon Karemaker, Rocco Jansen. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (2). Penalty goals: Boshoff (2).
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Sampie Mastriet, Jan Serfontein, Daniel Adongo. Conversion: Tony Jantjies.
DHL Western Province 33 (23) Ford Pumas 20 (12)
DHL Western Province – Tries: Sidney Tobias, Ederies Arendse, Nic Fenton-Wells. Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (3). Penalty goals: Catrakilis (4).
Ford Pumas – Try: JW Jonker. Penalty goals: JC Roos (5).