• Tue. Oct 25th, 2022

Western Province may have secured their place in the Currie Cup play-offs, but there will be no shortage of motivation when they take on the Sharks on Saturday.

Jan 4, 2021

Western Province may have secured their place in the Currie Cup play-offs, but there will be no shortage of motivation when they take on the Sharks in their final league fixture at Newlands on Saturday.
The dramatic 31-29 victory against defending champions Cheetahs in Bloemfontein saw Western Province move to second position on the standings, but they know they will have to beat the Sharks on Saturday if they are to host one of the semi-finals the following week.
Head coach John Dobson said that his team will be highly motivated when they face the Durban side, as they seek to ensure that this is not the last game they play at Newlands with Western province and the Stormers expected to relocate to Cape Town Stadium this year.  
“The first thing was to play in the semi-finals, I think that applies to every team and we have got that done. Now we have to determine the venue,” he told the WP website. 
“It is a good reflection of the effort the players have put in that we are in a position to determine the venue in next week’s game. It is not like we are scraping in fourth, we will decide where the semi-final is played next Saturday.
“We are really looking forward to that game, playing at Newlands. It is quite powerful, our motivation is to make sure that next Saturday is not the last game at Newlands and I think you are going to find us responding well to that.”
Dobson was impressed with the character his side showed to close out a win with the last kick of the game in Bloemfontein, although they could have made things easier for themselves having taken a 17-9 lead into the half-time break.
“It was a very tactical game, a real South African derby. It was a real test match in terms of the Currie Cup,” he said.
“It was a really tough game of rugby and to emerge with a win was fantastic for us.
“I thought our discipline was superb in the first half and I thought we lost it for about 10 or 15 minutes in the second half. That was very disappointing that once again, we made a game in which we could have pulled away from them into a thriller.”
Captain Steven Kitshoff praised the effort of the forward pack in a dominant display and added that the team will have taken some valuable lessons from their experiences in the second half against a spirited Cheetahs outfit.
“In the first half especially there was a lot of set-piece in a proper test match style and we played territory well and got the scoreboard ticking over,” he said.
“I felt like we were in control of the set-piece in the first 50 minutes, we slipped up a bit on the second half but overall we can be very proud of the forwards for the heart and the guts they showed.
“You can’t switch off for a second, especially against team that counter-attacks like the Cheetahs who have a deadly back three.
“Those moments are definitely a learning experience and guys will realise that you can’t switch off for even a second in a game like that.”
– WP Rugby