CAPE TOWN - Make it a hat-trick of SuperSport Challenge wins for Western Province and a return to the top of their regional pool with maximum points after their narrow 35-28 derby victory over Boland in Velddrif on Saturday.
Province remain unbeaten having previously picked up bonus-point wins over Eastern Province (30-18) away and the Border Bulldogs (50-34) at home.
Credit must go the way of Boland for putting up a fight, and while they remain winless and in last place on the standings, things can only improve.
Province won the try count five to four but lost the second half 22-7 after enjoying a healthy 22-point lead at the break.
The visitors were first to score as hard-running inside centre Scott van Breda intercepted the ball on his tryline and raced away to score.
Boland replied with two penalties from the boot of fullback Divan Nel.
Province soaked up the pressure well before initiating a trademark driving maul that send hooker Dean Muir crashing over the whitewash.
Then came some smart play from Province newbie Craig Barry. The leftwinger raced down the touchline, then chipped into space for Ruben de Villiers to gather and dot down.
Try number four just before half-time was set in motion by flyhalf Brandon Thomson who put in a well-weighted grubber behind the defence that was gathered up by rightwinger Valentino Wellman.
But Boland came out after the restart with intent and netted two tries, the first by flanker Kenan Cronje, and then Sergio Torrens’ solo effort reducing the deficit to 12 points.
Province responded through a try from close range by lock Eddie Zandberg, only for the hosts to hit back with a goaled try five minutes into the final quarter.
With Zandberg picking up a yellow card with 10 minutes remaining, there was a lifeline for Boland albeit a slim one.
Replacement Ludio Williams went over to cut the deficit to 35-28, but Province had done enough for the victory.
Tries: Kenan Cronje, Sergio Torrens, Christopher Bosch, Ludio Williams. Conversion: Divan Nel. Penalties: Nel (2).
Tries: Scott van Breda, Dean Muir, Ruben De Villiers, Valentino Wellman, Eddie Zandberg. Conversions: Brandon Thomson (5).