Western Province flyhalf Robert du Preez kicked his team to a 34-27 win over his dad’s unbeaten Sharks at Newlands on Saturday.
WP coach John Dobson said in the build-up to the match that he is yet to see a dominant performance by a flyhalf – with Du Preez and Brandon Thomson having shared the duties at the start of the season.
Du Preez knew he had to step up and with his dad coaching the opposition and his brother, Jean-Luc, opposing him, Robert stepped up big time – having a hand, or boot, in no fewer than four of the hosts’ tries.
Province struck as early as the third minute of the encounter, with Du Preez doing a switch with midfielder Jonny Kotze, who ran a beautiful angle to dot down under the posts.
A Curwin Bosch penalty broke the Sharks’ duck, before Du Preez chipped a clever ball that landed in the hands of impressive right wing and Sevens convert Werner Kok, who ran in the hosts’ second try of the match (14-3).
After a few penalties each way, Du Preez’s brother, Jean-Luc, scored for the Sharks in the corner to make it 17-14.
Two more penalties from Bosch saw the Sharks entering the break with a 20-17 lead.
Then, like they did early in the first half, Province again struck not long after the restart.
This time it was a brave crosskick from Du Preez five metres from the Sharks’ tryline that landed in the hands of EW Viljoen, who dotted down.
Province then got their fourth try through flanker Kobus van Dyk, before the Du Preez/ Viljoen combo struck again – this time with a neat little grubber that saw Viljoen dot down under the sticks.
Up 34-20, the win was basically in the bag for Province.
The Sharks, though, gave themselves a chance to draw the match with a try by replacement Rhyno Smith 12 minutes from time, but Province held out for the win and the Sharks’ first defeat of the tournament.
Meanwhile, Province look set to lose Scarra Ntubeni for a while after the hooker left the field with an Achilles tendon injury.