Western Province put on a show for the away crowd as talismanic Flanker, Chris Cloete, ran in a hat-trick to put away the EP Kings 43-18 (halftime 31-18) at the NMMU stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday night.
Lock, Ruan Botha, opened Western Province’s account as he stormed over the line six minutes into the game. His team then effectively wrapped up the match by scoring all five of their tries in the first half.
The men in red and black simply had no answer to the carnage, as Boetie Britz was their only player to cross the chalk after forty minutes. Wesley Dunlop was the other player to add to the King’s tally in the first half, with his opening penalty kick making it through the uprights.
After Cloete’s three hard earned tries, Kolby was the final scorer for Western Province in the 36th minute as he dotted down after a good team effort.
Tim Swiel, of Western Province, didn’t have his best performance with the boot; however, three out of five conversions were three more than the Stormers needed to stay ahead.
The match was played in front of a feeble crowd, uncharacteristic of the NMMU stadium of late, but Mpho Mbiyozo still managed to open the second half with a well-worked move to put some more points on the board for EP.
Mbiyozo’s brace meant that the Kings had scored two tries in the space of less than five minutes, however, this was not enough to get the ball rolling as their only other points came from Dunlop’s conversion and subsequent penalty in the 54th minute.
After that the fate of the match was left in the hands of Gary Van Aswegen, as after coming off the bench to open with a drop goal, he nailed three successive penalty kicks to seal the victory.
With seven changes to the starting line-up for the men in blue, John Dobson must have been desperate for the turn in fortune that he handsomely received. The bonus point win puts Western Province one point above EP, with the rest of the weekend’s games to determine the log for round three.
EP KINGS: Tries: Britz, Mbiyozo Con: Dunlop Pens: Dunlop (2)
WESTERN PROVINCE: Tries: Botha, Cloete (3), Kolby Cons: Swiel (3) Pens: Van Aswegen (3) DG: Van Aswegen