Western Province Tries:
Juan de Jongh (2), Scarra Ntubeni, Kobus van Wyk
Cheetahs Tries: Willie du Plessis, Joubert Engelbrecht, Pieter Labuschagne, Francois Venter
A crucial error with two minutes to go deflated a brave Free State effort as a pass that went to ground let Province wing Kobus van Wyk race away for his team’s bonuspoint try.
Both teams scored four tries, but Demetri Catrakilis’ accurate goalkicking made the crucial difference.
In Durban on Friday night, the Lions slipped up in their bid for a home semifinal when they lost 26-23 to the Sharks at Kings Park. The Lions were hammered at the breakdown by referee Pro Legoete as substitute Fred Zeilinga, who came on after Paul Jordaan was injured in a late tackle, goaled seven penalties to boost the defending champions’ bid to keep alive a slim chance of a home semifinal.
The Lions outscored the Sharks by two tries to one but couldn’t overcome the intermittent increments of three points off Zeilinga’s boot.
In Mbombela, the Bulls whipped the Pumas 37-6; and in Kimberley yesterday, the Griquas thrashed the hapless Kings 45-25.
Several scenarios could still play out in the final round of league fixtures:
Western Province on 39 points have qualified top of the log no matter what the outcome of their final match against the Sharks.
The Lions on 31 points have to beat the Cheetahs at Ellis Park on Saturday night for a home semifinal.
The Sharks in third place on 29 points are assured of qualification, but playing Province ahead of the Lions at Newlands will want to put pressure on the Joburgers and perhaps still finish second.
The Bulls in fourth place on 23 points need to win against the Griquas to qualify, but can no longer earn home advantage.
Demetri Catrakilis (3), Kurt Coleman (1)
Du Plessis (1)