Cape Town — Western Province got their 2022 Currie Cup campaign off to a winning start as they ran in seven tries to the Lions’ five at Cape Town Stadium.
With the Currie Cup and the United Rugby Championship running concurrently, both sides had a healthy dose of youngsters.
Province got off to a strong start and showed good intent as they turned down a shot at posts to go for the try, and they were rewarded for their ambition when Adre Smith crossed over for a converted score (7-0).
Dameon Venter added a try for the visitors later in the opening quarter (7-5), but WP flyhalf Tim Swiel stretched the hosts’ lead when he added a penalty conversion to take the score to 10-5.
The Lions closed in on the margin with a penalty by Vaughan Isaacs (10-8), but Province’s attacking intent saw standout performer and Sevens star Angelo Davids - who recently returned full time after making both his Stormers and Western Province debut in 2020 after having focused more on Sevens in 2021 - ran in a well-worked converted try early in the second quarter to stretch their points advantage to 17-8.
Experienced hooker Chad Solomon added his name to the try-scoring list when he went over for the Cape side’s third five-pointer (22-8).
The Capetonians went one man down when Smith was shown yellow, and the Lions capitalised on their numerical advantage when Mark Snyman ran their second try (22-15).
Davids made sure that Province remained in control of the scoreboard, however, when he bagged his brace after some superb work on the outside by No 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, who produced a superb Man-of-the-Match performance 29-15).
Playing their first match in front of a crowd since 2019, with 2000 fully vaccinated spectators allowed to attend according to government Covid-19 protocols, Jerome Paarwater’s side made better use of their opportunities overall in the opening half, and they were first to score after the break when Dayimani added a converted try to make their lead a more commanding one (36-15).
The Lions did well to fight back in the second half and their maul continued to work a treat. Zeilinga Strydom contributed a converted try for the Johannesburg side (36-22), but Davids got his hat-trick at the start of the final quarter to take the score to 41-22.
The visitors managed another try through Boldwin Hansen, but Deon Fourie added WP’s seventh.
Darnell Osuagwu bagged a late try for the Lions, but Province had done enough to secure a convincing win in an entertaining Round One encounter.
Western Province — 48: Tries: Adre Smith, Angelo Davids (3), Chad Solomon, Hacjivah Dayimani, Deon Fourie Conversions: Tim Swiel (4), Chris Schreuder Penalty: Swiel
Lions — 36: Tries: Dameon Venter, Mark Snyman, Zeilinga Strydom, Boldwin Hansen, Darnell Osuagwu Conversions: Vaughan Isaacs (4) Penalty: Isaacs