The scores were tied 13-13 at the break, but in the 54th minute, the hosts led by 35-13, courtesy of great tries by Celimpilo Gumede, Fez Mbatha and Marnus Potgieter, to ensure they remain unbeaten after two matches.
The first half was a proper arm-wrestle on a very humid evening in Durban, that led to a host of handling errors from both teams. The half-time score-line reflected the evenness of the contest – each side scored a converted try and two penalty goals, and were shown a yellow card apiece.
It was 3-3 – with flyhalves Tim Swiel and Curwin Bosch trading penalty goals – when Inny Radebe (fullback) went over for the hosts in the 26th minute after a period of sustained pressure. Five minutes later, Cell C Sharks wing Yaw Penxe was yellow carded for a high tackle with Godlen Masimla racing to the tryline.
The resultant Swiel penalty goal closed the gap to 10-6, but DHL WP took the lead in the 34th minute when their flyhalf and captain put in a perfect cross-kick to Leolin Zas (wing) where Penxe was supposed to defend, with the converted try putting the visitors ahead on the scoreboard.
Bosch levelled the scores on the stroke of half-time when Swiel was sin-binned for a high tackle, setting up 40 crucial minutes in Durban.
Gumede's try in the 43rd minute - after the Cell C Sharks had their opponents under pressure - set the tone for what was to follow, and when Mbatha went over from a rolling maul six minutes later, which came after a superb 50/22 kick by Bosch, things were looking good for the hosts.
Potgieter's try in the left-hand corner five minutes later, which started with Penxe winning a contestable kick, Sikhumbuzo Notshe setting off on a great run down the right-hand touchline before they sent the ball quickly to the left, it was basically over for WP.
Although the exciting young flyhalf Kade Wolhuter, back from a long-term injury, scored a second try for DHL WP, exploiting some weak Sharks defence late in the match, it was the hosts who ultimately made the most of their opportunities, grabbed a try-scoring bonus point in the process and bagged a well-deserved win in front of a small but appreciative home crowd.
Cell C Sharks 35 (13) – Tries: Inny Radebe, Celimpilo Gumede, Fez Mbatha, Marnus Potgieter. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (3). Penalty goals: Bosch (3).
DHL Western Province 20 (13) – Tries: Leolin Zas, Kade Wolhuter. Conversions: Tim Swiel (2). Penalty goals: Swiel (2).