Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
3 minute read
15 Jan 2022
7:10 pm

Davids the big star as WP edge young Lions in Currie Cup opener

Ross Roche

The team from Joburg consisted mainly of junior players, with the seniors set to feature in the United Rugby Championship from next week.

WP captain Nama Xaba runs with the ball during his team's Currie Cup match against the Lions in Cape Town on Saturday. Picture: EJ Langner/Gallo Images

Western Province started their Currie Cup campaign with a bang powering to an impressive 48-36 (halftime 29-15) win over the Lions in an absolute try fest at the Cape Town City Stadium on Saturday evening.

The home side outscored the visitors seven tries to five in a result that was expected after Western Province named an experienced side to take on a very youthful Lions team that featured 13 debutants in their match 23.

However it was the impressive fight from the Lions that didn’t allow Western Province to run away with the match, despite the hosts being in control of the match from the opening minutes of the game.

Springbok sevens star Angelo Davids, having recently signed full time with the union, ran in a hattrick for Western Province, while former Lions eighthman Hacjivah Dayimani put in a superb showing to deservedly be named man of the match.

The match kicked off with the hosts on the front foot, immediately kicking a penalty into the Lions 22m, setting up a maul which was stopped short, before a few pick and drives ended with lock Adre Smith crashing over for the opening score and Tim Swiel adding the extras.

The Lions then hit back in the 11th minute as they set up a 5m line out, set up the maul and powered over in the left hand corner with hooker Dameon Venter dotting down an unconverted score.

Swiel and Lions flyhalf Vaughen Isaacs then traded penalties in the 15th and 22nd minutes with the score 10-8 to the hosts.

Western Province then started to pull away as Davids first in the 24th minute, was followed by a maul try to Chad Solomons in the 32nd, with Swiel missing the second conversion as they moved into a 22-8 lead.

The Lions then hit back with their own converted maul try to flank Mark Snyman in the 38th minute, but then allowed the hosts go straight back up the other end for Davids to score in the corner to make it 29-15 at the break.

The second half was then a back and forth affair that saw Western Province score and the Lions respond three times, with the visitors winning the entertaining half 21-19.

First Dayimani dotted down from a good counter attack, before Lions left wing Zeilinga Strydom went over, with both tries converted and the score 36-22.

Davids then rounded out his hattrick dotting down an unconverted score from a good Tristan Leyds grubber, with the Lions then putting in a grubber of their own to end with right wing Boldwin Hansen crashing over to score a converted try, making it 41-29 after 67 minutes.

Western Province replacement Deon Fourie then forced his way over under the poles from close range for a 70th minute try, with another replacement Chris Schreuder adding the extras.

The Lions however had the final say as another strong maul effort just before the end saw replacement hooker Darnell Osuagwu go over in the right hand corner, with Isaacs slotting the conversion out wide.

In the other match on the day the Cheetahs claimed a 30-20 win over the Griquas in difficult conditions at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein.

Scorers

Western Province:

Tries: Adre Smith, Angelo Davids (3), Chad Solomons, Hacjivah Dayimani, Deon Fourie

Conversions: Tim Swiel (4), Chris Schreuder

Penalty: Tim Swiel

Lions

Tries: Dameon Venter, Jarod Cairns, Zeilinga Strydom, Boldwin Hansen, Darnell Osuagwu

Conversions: Vaughen Isaacs (4)

Penalty: Vaughen Isaacs