Cape Town – Western Province marched into the 2013 Currie Cup final in emphatic fashion with a 33-16 win over the Golden Lions at Newlands on Saturday afternoon.
Province turned in a rousing first-half display to set the tone for the match and the Lions' willingness to run with ball in hand at every opportunity made for a crowd-pleasing spectacle.
The Capetonians managed to cross the whitewash three times in the first half but only two efforts were approved after the TMO ruled a forward pass with their first attempt.
Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies and his Province counterpart Demetri Catrakilis opened the scoring in the match with penalties in the opening 11 minutes.
Province fullback Gio Aplon crashed through the Lions defence for a 17th minute touchdown but it was not awarded.
The hosts' exuberance proved too much to contain and as a result Catrakilis and Aplon ran in tries, one of which was converted. Catrakilis added a late first-half penalty to wrap up a 15-point haul.
At the other end of the field Jantjies added two more penalties to keep his side in the match, as the teams changed ends with Province leading 18-9.
There was more of the same when the second half got underway and the Lions were under the cosh for sustained periods.
Province ran the ball fluently to both sides of the park but could not find a way through after 20 minutes of sustained attacking.
Instead, they settled for an additional six points courtesy of Catrakilis whose two penalty strikes took extended their lead to 24-9 for a comfortable 15-point advantage.
From around the 66th minute Province seemed to take the foot off the pedal after their bench, including Schalk Burger, joined the fray.
It may have cost the home side some momentum while at the same time the Lions managed to transfer play to the Province half.
They made little headway and eight minutes from the end Catrakilis struck his fifth penalty in the match to stretch the lead to 27-9.
Moments later Province hooker Scarra Ntubeni was yellow carded for dangerous play and no sooner had he left the field when the Lions snatched their first try through eighthman Warren Whitely, with Marnitz Boshoff converting (27-16).
Substitute Kurt Coleman put the final result beyond doubt with two penalties for the hosts in the final two minutes.
Scorers: Western Province 33 (18): Tries: Demetri Catrakilis, Gio Aplon. Conversion: Catrakilis. Penalties: Catrakilis (5), Kurt Coleman (2).
Golden Lions 16 (9): Try: Warren Whitely. Conversion: Marnitz Boshoff. Penalties: Elton Jantjies (3).– Sapa