WP scrum to victory

As is its want, despite the bruising it has taken in the professional era, the Currie Cup delivered a large dose of drama in the opening weekend, with an upset in Durban, a come-from-behind humdinger in Johannesburg and a typically tough North/South derby in Cape Town all part of the buffet.

In the final match of the weekend, the Western Province pack offered up a scrumming lesson that all but decimated the Blue Bulls’ chances in a hard-fought encounter, won 20-5 by the Capetonians at Newlands.

Instead of saying “Thanks for the game”, the men from Pretoria should have been asking “How much do you want for that lesson?”

Loosehead prop Corne Fourie was especially dominant in the first half, and as such, the home side won all 12 of their scrums. And while only winning one heel against the head, it was the 8 scrum penalties that put paid to any sort of Bulls momentum.

Happy to survive on less territory and possession, WP also made fewer metres with ball in hand from close on 30 fewer carries. Bucking the current trend, though, the home side made 2 fewer kicks. They did, however, carve off more metres via the boot, and used an aggressive defence to make more tackles than the Bulls, while missing 6 fewer than the visitors.

A look at the match stats from Newlands:

Match information:

  • Points: WP 20-5 BUL
  • Tries: WP 3-1 BUL
  • Penalty goals: WP 1-0 BUL
  • Goal kicking %: WP 40% – 0% BUL
  • Possession: WP 46% – 54% BUL
  • Territory: WP 43% – 57% BUL
  • Ball in play: 28 minutes

Attacking stats:

  • Ball Carries: WP 88-115 BUL
  • Metres run: WP 529-660 BUL
  • Line breaks: WP 3-4 BUL
  • Tackle breaks: WP 4-3 BUL
  • Passes: WP 108-163 BUL
  • Good Passes: WP 90-122 BUL
  • Offloads: WP 16-15 BUL
  • Rucks won: WP 57-82 BUL
  • Rucks lost: WP 4-0 BUL
  • Mauls won: WP 0-1 BUL
  • Turnovers conceded: WP 12-16 BUL

Defensive stats:

  • Tackles made: WP 136-123 BUL
  • Tackles missed: WP 14-20 BUL
  • Tackle success: WP 92% – 87% BUL
  • Tackle turnover: WP 6-3 BUL
  • Dominant tackles: WP 13-7 BUL
  • Turnovers won: WP 3-4 BUL

Kicking stats:

  • Kicks from hand: WP 14-16 BUL
  • Metres kicked: WP 368-343 BUL

Error stats:

  • Handling errors: WP 21-18 BUL
  • Penalties conceded: WP 4-12 BUL
  • Penalties conceded (scrum): WP 1-8 BUL
  • Yellow cards: WP 0-0 BUL

First phase stats:

  • Lineouts won: WP 11-10 BUL
  • Lineouts stolen: WP 0-1 BUL
  • Scrums won: WP 12-6 BUL
  • Scrums lost: WP 0-1 BUL
  • Own kickoff won: WP 0-0 BUL
  • Own kickoff lost: WP 2-4 BUL

- Tank Lanning

Let's chat

  • Nick

    Really felt sorry for the Bulls tighthead. How bad can it get? With groot Lood scrumming behind you nogal that was some scrum pasting! Ouch…

    • Herman

      Maybe Lood wasn’t putting his back into it to save some energy for his comeback game. If that was the case he did himself or the team no favours. Was pretty good at taking the ball up though. But for me the team comes first. Cheers.

  • Herman

    That’s only half the story. If the Bulls had a half decent flyhalf and a ‘smart’ backline they would have done far better. Sure a retreating scrum added to the problem but they still had more territory and possession to use intelligently. Skill levels from both sides still pretty average. The writer obviously a snorfest DDD fan.

    And now for my Lions punt. Corne Fourie polished up brilliantly at the Lions, Sadie as well. In fact all the Franchises should send their smarter young players to the Lions for a year or so to develop properly under a progressive coaching team.

    The Bulls, Stormers and Sharks collectively this past weekend 5 tries. Lions 6 tries. Enough said. Cheers.

    • John Comyn

      Ya well the Bulls & Stormers were not playing against a 2nd tier province. By all accounts the “cublets” were lucky to sneak a 1 point win.

      • Herman

        Like the Griquas you mean ? Stormers also the worst performing SA SR team in recent years and also you haven’t played the Pumas yet. Going by the skills scarcity last Saturday you guys will need to up your game old chap. Cheers.

    • Herman

      Oops sorry for Lions I meant to say Cublets being those even younger than cubs. Cheers.

  • John Comyn

    Not sure what is going on at The Sharks but something is amiss. I can understand losing to Griquas in Kimberly but getting hammered at home is embarrassing to say the least.

    • Barry

      John, in my view expect more of the same.

      Everett is a good coach, but he has a major task on his hands and little in the way of assistance. Nick Easter is from UK and is coaching forwards. Tactically, the Sharks forwards were poor during SR. Breakdown technique was poor, not looking after the Ball and driving mauls. They got buy on individual skills and brute force. The problem is that the brute force has largely moved on – Akker, Thom D Toit, Botha, D Preez x2, Philip Van der Walt.

      The forwards are led by Tera Mtembu – we tried that two seasons ago and it didn’t go well. So what has changed?

      Dave Williams is in charge of attack. It is no secret that the Sharks couldn’t get their attack going during Super Rugby, so again, what has changed?

      We can but hope that Everett can spin some magic, but we have to face it, he had a huge task in front of him!

    • Chris Mouton

      I tell you what is wrong. There’s no respect for the ball. These guys might make a big deal about the humidity making the ball slippery, but they train in that climate every day for goodness’ sake! Back in the day when I still played we had to run a 400m for every ball dropped during practice. Two things happened, our fitness improved immensely at first and then our ball skills improved beyond recognition, due to us being fitter as well. You followed that ball to the ground if it was a bad pass, because you cannot play without the ball. I think the Sharks should start running…

  • Nick

    With respect Herman, Fourie does not exactly send shivers down the spines of any props he opposes. He also drops the pill just about more than any other player.

    • Herman

      Mmm Man of the Match ?. Cheers

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