CAPE TOWN – Western Province have welcomed a timely boost as players returned before their Currie Cup meeting with the Golden Lions on Saturday.
WP attack coach Dawie Snyman yesterday confirmed that Dillyn Leyds - who was released from the Springbok squad following the game against Australia - and Sergeal Petersen both trained with the squad yesterday.
Following their 32-27 loss to the Sharks at Kings Park at the weekend, Province will have to bounce back at Newlands if they want to keep their hopes of hosting a home semi-final alive.
Snyman said that Springbok captain Siya Kolisi was progressing well, but couldn’t confirm whether the loose forward would feature this weekend or not.
WP have a bye after the fixture against the Lions.
“Dillyn trained with us and so did Sergeal, I’m just not entirely sure what his situation is in terms of availability. He started training with us last week already. Siya looks good, he got busy with the forwards and he brings good energy to the group,” Snyman said.
“I’m not sure if he’ll play this week, we have to check with the medical team. It would be a bonus if he plays. We’ll also check with the Springboks to see what their plans are.”
While the presence of those players will do the group some good as the competition reaches the halfway mark, there are a number of on-field matters Province will want to fix.
A poor kicking game and questionable decision-making overshadowed the things the visitors got right in Durban - like their scrum and breakdown - and it was the wasted opportunities that Snyman lamented yesterday.
“You’d want to do more with 65% possession and 62% territory, but I think it came down to the individual errors we made and the decision-making in those areas.
“The poor kicking put us under pressure and we gave them relatively easy tries. There was also that intercept try and a silly mistake next to touch. We gave them points that almost took the game out of reach for us. We didn’t use our opportunities when we had the chance.
“We want to encourage the players to keep the ball alive, but it was just those errors where players need to realise whether they’re in control of contact or not, and if there’s good support around them. There are also coaching points we need to focus on to enable the guys to assess their situations.”
That didn’t mean they would shy away from their plan, though, Snyman said.
“We want to encourage movement of the ball. It’s one way to break defences because it’s so organised nowadays, so if you can get the ball in behind them and offload then it’s easier for the attack.”@WynonaLouw