After losing their last two Premier Division matches, the Capetonians were with their backs against the wall, but they responded well to beat the tough Lowvelders at Mbombela Stadium, grabbing a try-scoring bonus point in the process.
DHL WP played tactically well, were more clinical in their execution and their defence also stood firm. They conceded two tries from driving mauls – a penalty try late in the first half, and a score by Simon Westraadt (hooker) towards the end of the match – as well as a late five-pointer, when the result was all but sealed.
The New Nation Pumas will be wondering where things went wrong. Despite conceding too many penalties, many of them for ill-discipline, their pack also failed to gain any form of ascendancy in the match.
Heavily penalized – especially in the first half – the hosts failed to build any form of momentum, despite an early disallowed try for a forward pass when they found space on the right and DHL WP seemed to relish getting involved in an arm wrestle.
With the hosts’ captain, Pieter Janse van Vuren, in the sin-bin for a high tackle the visitors got the first points of the game, a Tim Swiel penalty goal, which was cancelled out by a long-range effort by Gerrie Labuschange, before the WP flyhalf added his second three-pointer.
Minutes after Janse van Vuren returned to the field, the New Nation Pumas seemed to be caught asleep when they launched a high ball. Leyds caught the ball on the halfway line and the DHL WP wing sped away untouched for the first try of the game.
Swiel added the extras and a third penalty goal to put the visitors 16-3 up, but shortly before the break the New Nation Pumas were awarded a penalty try for a collapsed maul, with DHL WP prop Sazi Sandi shown a yellow card in the process.
The Lowvelders closed the gap to three points with a Niel Marais penalty goal in the 46th minute, but in the 20 minutes after that, it was only DHL WP as they scored three tries – by Paul de Wet (scrumhalf), Leyds and Evan Roos (No 8) – to increase their lead from three to 24 points, almost in the blink of an eye.
The last two came with Westraadt in the sin-bin – the Lowvelders' second yellow card of the game – and although the experienced New Nation Pumas hooker redeemed himself a bit later with a maul-try, which was followed by an injury-time try by Eddie Fouche, the damage was done and the win all but sealed for the visitors.
New Nation Pumas 23 (10) – Tries: Penalty try, Simon Westraadt, Eddie Fouche. Penalty goals: Gerrie Labuschagne, Niel Marais.
DHL Western Province 37 (16) – Tries: Tristan Leyds (2), Paul de Wet, Evan Roos. Conversions: Tim Swiel (4). Penalty goals: Swiel (3).