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Johannesburg – Western Province earned a hard-earned draw through a defiant late try from substitute Jody Reyneke and a pressure conversion by Gary van Aswegen as the Vodacom Cup match between Boland Cavaliers and Western Province ended in a 17-17 stalemate in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.
Boland must have felt they had sealed it when Ashton Constant, their captain, rounded off sustained forward attacks in the 73rd minute to score. Jacquin Jansen converted to give the hosts a 17-10 cushion.
The visitors were not to be denied, however, and struck back in stylish fashion five minutes later in front of a passionate crowd of 7 000 fans.
Province led 10-7 at the break after an enterprising first half in which the visitors scored two tries.
Chris Cloete rumbled his way over the line after a lineout to give WP the early lead.
Boland struck back immediately when Chris Noble went over for a try. The Cavaliers made several half breaks in the lead-up to the try and Zandre Jordaan and Albert Trytsman broke through the first line of defence with superb runs. Ricardo Croy converted Noble’s try.
Devon Williams displayed his electrifying pace in the 21st minute when his outside swerve and acceleration enabled him to beat Jansen and Johnathan Francke on his way to arguably the try of the match.
Excellent solo runs by Cheslyn Roberts had WP in disarray on two occasions, but both movements broke down close to the tryline due to a lack of support.
After the break, Boland’s forwards gave them the territorial advantage as Province struggled to keep them at bay.
But Boland’s lack of discipline at the breakdowns and sloppy execution allowed WP to escape.
Trytsman was yellow-carded in the 50th minute after a breakdown offence, but Province could not use their numerical advantage, as Boland’s tight forwards started to assert themselves and had the visitors on the back foot.
Jansen’s penalty shortly after the hour mark earned the Cavaliers the equaliser.
The final topsy-turvy 10 minutes had the crowd on their feet, but Constant’s excellent try was not enough to carry the Cavaliers to victory.
Boland Cavaliers: Tries: Chris Buckle, Ashton Constant. Conversions: Ricardo Croy, Jacquin Jansen. Penaly: Jansen.
Western Province: Tries: Chris Cloete, Devon Williams, Jody Reyneke. Conversion: Gary van Aswegen. – Sapa