Swanepoel, who made his Carling Currie Cup debut for the Johannesburgers at fullback, scored five penalty goals – many of them from quite far out – as the home team snuck through for their second successive win.
The game was on a knife’s edge for most of the 80 minutes before that moment as the two packs went hammer and tongs against each other, not giving away any free inches in an energy sapping affair upfront.
Two moments of brilliance from speedsters Seabelo Senatla (DHL Western Province) and Stean Pienaar (Xerox Lions) brought some life to the game, in which both teams lacked some accuracy at times and made too many mistakes, mostly due to great defence.
DHL WP’s Tim Swiel and Swanepoel kept the score board ticking over before the break, with the Capetonians’ flyhalf slotting three penalty goals to the two from the home team’s fullback which saw the visitors lead 9-6 at the break.
Swiel added a fourth penalty goal early in the second half, while Swanepoel missed one but added his third with half an hour left on the clock.
That was when Senatla stepped up, hitting a gap down the left hand short side, linking up with his former Blitzbok team-mate Ruhan Nel who then put the speedster away for the first try of the match.
With Swiel adding the extras, DHL WP were looking in control with a 10-point lead in the 54th minute.
Moments later Burger Odendaal raced away from an intercept, but the Xerox Lions midfielder was called back as the visitors didn’t get enough advantage from a knock-on by the home team.
But the Xerox Lions were finding their groove on attack and were threatening to break the blue and white wall. Then Nel made another telling play by effecting a steal on the hour mark with the home team pounding away at the Capetonians’ try-line.
Swanepoel added his fourth penalty goal a few minutes later and all of the sudden the Xerox Lions were back within reach at 19-12.
Then it was Pienaar’s turn for some magic, with the Xerox Lions wing rounding off a brilliant individual try as he caught the visitors napping from a tapped penalty 25m out, racing away for a try next to the uprights.
Xerox Lions captain Elton Jantjies’ conversion meant the scores were tied at 19-19 with just over five minutes left on the clock, but the hosts were in control at this stage and it was apt that Swanepoel had the last and most important say in the match on the stroke of full time.
Xerox Lions 22 (6) – Try: Stean Pienaar. Conversion: Elton Jantjies. Penalty goals: Tiaan Swanepoel (5).
DHL Western Province 19 (9) – Try: Seabelo Senatla. Conversion: Tim Swiel. Penalty goals: Swiel (4).