They outplayed Boland Dames for a hard-fought 33-14 victory in Cape Town and claimed a four-try bonus-point to move to the top of the log, where they finished the 2021 season as well.
Elsewhere, the Cell C Sharks also started to get going with a five try romp over the Mastercard Golden Lions Women in Johannesburg, winning 33-10. Defending champions, Border Ladies, bounced back to winning ways, with a three tries to one victory over the EP Queens, winning this Eastern Cape derby by 17-11 in East London. The Blue Bulls Women had a bye.
The defending champions had it all to do at Police Park though, as a spirited Queens side showed lot of endeavour in an entertaining first half. Eastern Province took an early lead with a penalty goal by flyhalf Byrhandre Dolf and enjoyed good possession early on.
Border scored after an attacking lineout delivered the expected result before Dolf’s second penalty goal edged the visitors ahead at the break.
The second half saw a much more cohesive effort from the home side, with two more tries increasing their lead. EP responded with a five pointer of their own, but just could not do enough to close the gap.
At Wits University, an early try by centre Zinhle Ndawonde showed the intent of the Cell C Sharks Women in their match against Mastercard Golden Lions Women. The KZN side came to play and enjoyed good attacking platforms.
Playing at flyhalf in this match, Springbok Women scrumhalf Tayla Kinsey controlled the game with good tactical kicking, while fullback Anesipho Malgas grabbed a hat-trick of tries, benefitting from the dominance provided by the Sharks’ pack of forwards.
The home side’s backs have shown their worth in both their matches thus far this season and scored two tries on the counter-attack, but there was little doubt about the result in this match.
DHL Western Province stormed into a 19-0 lead at Hamilton Rugby Football Club in Green Point before Boland Dames came back strongly in the second half of this entertaining clash between the two Western Cape neighbours.
It was Boland’s first match of the 2022 season, and they were caught napping by the fast-starting Province outfit, with the introduction of Felicia Jacobs bringing the expected results for coach Laurian Johannes-Haupt. The nippy Jacobs scored a brace and provided speedy service to her eager backline.
The Bolanders came back hard in the second half, with centre Demi Nel at the core of their fightback. She scored a brace as the visitors started making inroads at the breakdown and finding space from counter attacks.
With Boland closing the gap, a quick-tap penalty by Jacobs and a penalty try eased Province into their second win of the season.
Mastercard Golden Lions Women 10 (5), Cell C Sharks Women 33 (19)
Mastercard Golden Lions Women – Tries: Botle Mokoena, Zinhle Zwane.
Cell C Sharks Women – Tries: Anesipho Malgas (3), Zinhle Ndawonde, Tayla Kinsey. Conversions: Kinsey (4).
Border Ladies 17 (5), EP Queens 11 (6)
Border Ladies – Tries: Unam Tose, Sesethu Mbodli, Unati Mali. Conversion: Yandisa Nobanda.
EP Queens – Try: Johnerecia Booysen. Penalty goals: Byrhandre Dolf (2).
DHL Western Province 33 (19), Boland Dames 14 (0)
DHL WP – Tries: Felicia Jacobs (2), Lihle Mzinkhulu, Vuyo Maqholo, Penalty try. Conversions: Kirsten Conrad (3).
Boland Dames – Tries: Demi Nel (2). Conversions: Nel (2).