After an absolutely dominant first 50 minutes, DHL Western Province had to hold on in the end to clinch a dramatic 25-21 bonus-point win over the Novavit Griffons in their Currie Cup clash in Welkom on Friday afternoon.
The visitors were good value for their 25-0 lead early in the second half, only for the hosts to mount a brilliant comeback to bring them within four points with eight minutes to go, but they were unable to steal what would have been another famous win this season.
It was a scrappy start to the match that led to a scoreless opening quarter, with Western Province particularly guilty of butchering a number of early chances.
The visitors finally got on the board with a penalty to fullback Clayton Blommetjies in the 23rd minute, followed by their opening try of the match seven minutes later.
Another few botched opportunities finally ended with Province attacking from a lineout in the Griffons 22m, and going through a few phases before the ball was popped to flank Jarrod Taylor to crash over for an unconverted score and 8-0 lead.
A big mistake from the Griffons at their own lineout in their 22m with two minutes to go till halftime then allowed Province in for their second as the tapped loose ball was picked up by hooker Andre-Hugo Venter to power over and give them a solid lead at the break.
Province got off to a flying start in the second half to secure the bonus point within the first 10 minutes.
Straight from the kick-off they attacked into the Griffons 22m, going through the phases until the ball was offloaded to flyhalf Jean-Luc du Preez to saunter over untouched, with Blommetjies conversion giving them a 20-0 lead after 42 minutes.
In the 49th minute another Griffons mistake cost them as they tried to attack from a scrum in their own half, only for a poor pass to see the ball go loose, with scrumhalf Thomas Bursey hacking the ball ahead and picking it up and going over for their fourth try.
This seemed to shock the home team into action as they enjoyed their best spell of the game with some good play in the Province 22m.
A number of penalties then led to a team warning, followed by a yellow card to Province prop Kwenzo Blose in the 57th minute.
The Griffons used their man advantage straight away, setting up the lineout and attacking, going through the phases until a skip pass out to wing Domenic Smit allowed him to go in at the corner, with scrumhalf Jaywinn Juries adding the extras to make it 25-7 after 59 minutes.
A double strike from the hosts then stunningly brought them right back into the contest, the first seeing them attack from a lineout in the Province 22m, with the ball popped to outside centre CJ Coetzee to hit a gap and go over for the converted try in the 68th minute to make it 25-14.
Three minutes later another Griffons lineout in the visitors 22m saw them set the maul and power it over the line for replacement hooker HP van Schoor to dot down, however Juries conversion proved to be their final points of the match as they fell just short.
Novavit Griffons:Tries- Domenic Smit, CJ Coetzee, HP van Schoor; Conversions - Jaywinn Juries (3)
DHL Western Province: Tries- Jarrod Taylor, Andre-Hugo Venter, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Thomas Bursey; Conversion - Clayton Blommetjies; Penalty - Blommetjies