It wasn’t all plain sailing for the visitors though, as the Capetonians doggedly hung on and refused to hand the momentum to the Vodacom Bulls after losing their Springbok hooker, Scarra Ntubeni, to a red card shortly before the break.
Despite being on the backfoot after that, DHL WP refused to be pushed off the saddle by the visitors from Pretoria, who had to work very hard for the win, only recording their fourth try towards the end of the match.
The men from Pretoria’s defence was solid though as they conceded only one try – in the opening minute – while scoring four.
The hosts were on the board after only 45 seconds when scrumhalf Paul de Wet crossed the whitewash after a great run by flanker Johan du Toit, but the scores were tied three minutes later with a converted try by Vodacom Bulls wing Richard Kriel, after a clever lineout move and perfect skip pass by Johan Goosen (flyhalf).
Minutes later, WP flyhalf Tim Swiel added a penalty goal to his successful conversion earlier to put the Capetonians back in the lead, but it was short-lived once again when Johan Grobbelaar went over for the Vodacom Bulls’ second try after capitalizing on a poor lineout throw by Ntubeni in his own 22.
It was just reward for a great performance by the Vodacom Bulls’ livewire hooker, who walked away with the Champion of the Match award.
Goosen, another to deliver a great performance, made it three from three with his first penalty goal in the 25th minute to stretch the visitors’ lead to 17-10, but Swiel cut it back to four points two minutes later with his second three-pointer.
However, the biggest moment in the first half came in the 35th minute when Ntubeni was red carded for a dangerous tackle on Zak Burger (scrumhalf).
Despite playing the entire second half with one player less, the men from the Western Cape refused to give up and made their opponents work hard for their tries.
Burger crossed for the Bulls' third try in the 50th minute after selling the WP defence the perfect dummy, Goosen added another penalty goal to keep the score-board pressure up, and Cornal Hendricks (wing) delivered the bonus point try - also after a deft little show-and-g0 - with five minutes left in the match.
DHL Western Province 13 (13) – Try: Paul de Wet. Conversion: Tim Swiel. Penalty goals: Swiel (2).
Vodacom Bulls 34 (17) – Tries: Richard Kriel, Johan Grobbelaar, Zak Burger, Cornal Hendricks. Conversions: Johan Goosen (3), Chris Smith. Penalty goals: Goosen (2).