Can Western Province up their game against Sharks?
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CAPE TOWN - After a poor performance against the Lions last week, Western Province will no doubt want to fix it by putting up a much-improved performance at their new home, Cape Town Stadium, when they host the Sharks today (5pm kickoff).
With the Lions going into the Ellis Park clash fresh off an embarrassing defeat to the Pumas, it wouldn’t have been unfair to give Province the favourites tag, especially after the 48-24 beating they handed the Bulls the week before.
But it was a very different display from the one they put on at Loftus by WP.
The Lions were commanding for most of the match.
This week, Province are going to have to get back to their characteristic set-piece dominance after they were far from their best against the Johannesburg side in this regard.
Their defence is also an area that they will benefit from improvement, and after some of the tries the Lions scored last Wednesday, maul defence is probably an aspect the Capetonians would also have had a look at.
Overall, they will certainly want to make their first Currie Cup game at their new, modern stadium a good one.
They have made five changes to their team to take on the Sharks, with three of those changes coming in the backline, while there are two up front.
Sergeal Petersen is at back at fullback, with Tim Swiel shifting to flyhalf, while Edwill van der Merwe makes his first appearance of the campaign on the wing.
Rikus Pretorius will form the centre pairing with Cornel Smit in the absence of the injured Dan du Plessis, while Paul de Wet comes in at scrumhalf.
The promising Evan Roos is back at the back of the scrum, with the exciting Hacjivah Dayimani making his first start on the flank. Reinach Venter will make his Western Province debut at hooker.
Head coach John Dobson said they are aiming for accuracy as they look to get back on track against Sean Everitt’s outfit in a chilly Cape Town this evening.
“After two games away from home we want to be as accurate as possible in all areas of our game at Cape Town Stadium,” he said.
Western Province Starting XV:
Sergeal Petersen, Seabelo Senatla, Cornel Smit, Rikus Pretorius, Edwill van der Merwe, Tim Swiel, Paul de Wet, Evan Roos, Hacjivah Dayimani, Marcel Theunissen, David Meihuizen, Ernst van Rhyn (capt), Neethling Fouche, Reinach Venter,
Ali Vermaak. Replacements: Jason Alexander, Leon Lyons, Sazi Sandi, Justin Basson, Johan du Toit, Juarno Augustus, Godlen Masimla, Abner van Reenen, Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, Lyle Hendricks.