Cape Town – Western Province's biggest challenge will be to adapt its style of rugby against Griquas in Friday night's Currie Cup game at Newlands, says coach Allister Coetzee.
In recent matches, WP have produced attractive rugby, which opposition teams have battled to contain, and as a result WP are unbeaten after six rounds in this year's competition.
Coetzee has rallied his troops ahead of Friday's match with a call to “keep playing with intent”.
“We are at Newlands, it is an evening game and it will be wet, so there are different challenges but we must still be accurate,” Coetzee said on Thursday.
“For me personally, we must keep playing the way we are playing – with intent.
“Of late, when we ran with the ball, you could see that there was great punch and great pace. It’s about what we do with that ball. We've done good things.
“We are working to get the balance right. We are doing more or less the same we have done before, but now people say, 'Province are playing running rugby again'.”
Griquas will run out at Newlands with an untried side after they were forced into making a number of changes as a result of injury.
However, this is unlikely to stop them from playing with their usual high intensity, despite a poor run of form which has seen them slip to the foot of the Currie Cup log, with a single victory from six outings.
Coetzee said a change in mentality had resulted in WP starting to play more expansive rugby, opting to run with the ball instead of taking the aerial route.
“We have reached a stage where we back ourselves to have a go with ball-in-hand, maybe instead of going for poles,” Coetzee said.
“All of a sudden, kicking is not your first option and when we move it wide, other things develop.
“Maybe in the past the first option would be looking for territory, but now we are making better decisions. It is not that it is now a magical plan.”
Griquas' coach Pote Human said his team would be decided underdogs, but he remained confident that the threat of playing promotion/relegation matches at the end of the season would spur his team to greater heights.
“We have to be realistic and look at the upcoming promotion/relegation matches,” said Human.
“If we can finish above the Blue Bulls on the points log, we will be safe from that.
“It's never easy going to Newlands and we know that we are the underdogs for a victory.”
After a 14-man WP side demolished the Blue Bulls last week, Coetzee felt it was vital for his side to defeat Griquas.
“We don’t want to be remembered as the WP team that went to Loftus and won one week and then lost to Griquas at Newlands the next,” said Coetzee.
“We saw how they (Griquas) fought against the Sharks last week and they gave us a big game in Kimberley in the first round.” – Sapa