Western Province all but booked their place in the Currie Cup semifinals on Friday night with a hard-earned 52-31 win over Griquas in Kimberley.
The six-try display earned Province the bonus-point win they so desperately needed to remain in charge of their destiny in the tournament and also lifted them into the playoff positions.
With one match left – against Boland at Newlands this coming weekend, coach John Dobson’s charges now look a shoo-in to get to the knockouts.
At one stage during the action, though, things looked like they weren’t going according to plan for the Capetonians.
It was Griquas that came out guns blazing and did all the play early in the match – earning a 10th minute try via JW Jonker (7-0).
Province finally managed to break their duck in the 25th minute when Springbok centre Juan de Jongh rounded off for the visitors (7-7).
Cheslin Kolbe then conceded a penalty after fielding a high ball, with Griquas scrumhalf Rudi van Rooyen taking a a quick tap penalty before darting over for their second try (14-7).
Van Rooyen got injured in that move and had to be replaced.
Province fought back and scored their second try via another released Springbok in Bongi Mbonambi to draw level again five minutes from the break.
With centre Clinton Swart having left the field after a clash of heads with Huw Jones, his replacement Andre Swarts scored the hosts’ third try of the match, with Robert du Preez adding a penalty for visitors to make it 21-17 in favour of Griquas at half time.
The injuries to Van Rooyen and Swart didn’t help Griquas’ cause, as Province ran away with the match in the second half.
Tries from Jones, Werner Kok, Nizaam Carr and Leolin Zas made sure it was the Capetonians that left GWK Park the happier of the two teams.