Cape Town – Western Province's hopes of a Currie Cup victory on Saturday will depend on their ability to reduce mistakes and improve on their set-pieces against the Free State Cheetahs in Cape Town.
“We need to cut down our errors and improve our discipline otherwise Free State will make life very uncomfortable for us on Saturday,” assistant coach Robbie Fleck said on Thursday.
Province had to settle for a draw against the Bulls last week when their set-pieces let them down. Despite looking purposeful when they had ball in hand, they were often starved of possession.
“The team would like nothing more than rewarding Brok Harris with a victory, but we also want to right the wrongs from last week.”
Province's prop, Harris, would be running out ahead of his team at Newlands, as a gesture to mark his 100th cap for the 'Streeptruie'.
Harris felt the team's scrum was better-prepared to perform under the new scrum rules.
“I won’t say it’s difficult to scrum now, it’s just a new thing that we need to get used to,” Harris said.
“I just felt that we weren’t settled with the new rules, so we went to look at it again and worked hard to improve.”
The Cheetahs coach said he was expecting Province to turn in a vastly-improved set-piece display on Saturday.
“We worked really hard on our own scrums and lineouts, but we also put a lot of work in analysing our opponents,” Naka Drotske said.
“Western Province will make a step-up this week and would have worked really hard on their scrums. We expect quite a tough battle upfront from them.
“Every week the plan is to get our own set piece right and to put a lot of pressure on the opposition. That won’t change this week as it has been the plan since the Super 15 competition.”
Fleck said his team would face a challenging time against Drotske's outfit on Saturday.
“We face a high-riding Cheetahs side that should probably have beaten the Brumbies in a Super Rugby play-off and, last week, they beat the Lions at Ellis Park,” said Fleck.
“They’re coming here on a mission, so that immediately puts us under pressure, but this (Province) team can operate under pressure.
“Cheetahs have shown they are executing their plan pretty well, playing in the right areas and possibly opening it up a little bit more at Currie Cup level than they were in Super Rugby.
“They have a good plan, good structures and, effectively, they're only missing four players from Super Rugby, so they’re bringing in a lot of continuity.
“They were able to nullify the Lions at the breakdown and it was an impressive win for them, so for us it’s a massive challenge.” – Sapa