CAPE TOWN – Western Province coach John Dobson says he feels for their supporters who had to watch how their Currie Cup final against the Sharks at Newlands played out at the weekend.
Province went down 17-12 in blistering heat in Cape Town, and they never really got going in a repeat of last year’s final.
It was a performance the WP coach described as their worst of the season, and for good reason.
The hosts’ biggest snag was without a doubt their multiple lineout malfunctions, and they also looked a very different side to the one that had cruised through the league stage of the competition with an all-round flair and top attacking approach to the game.
The Sharks also hurt WP on the ground at times and turned the ball over a number of times, while things didn’t go too well for the hosts under the high ball either - something that they had absolutely no issues with before the final.
“It was far and away our worst performance of the season and the Sharks thoroughly deserved to win the match of that I have no doubt” Dobson said. “I felt sad for the people that came to Newlands to see that spectacle we served up today.
“A big accent the whole week was to stay true to ourselves and maybe there was an element of us losing our way.
“Our body language wasn’t as good as it’s been, was it?”
WP’s lineout struggled from the get go and on Saturday there wasn’t one particular trend or mistake that made their set-piece an unpleasant one.
Dobson - who after the game said that it was a combination of overthrows, under-throws and just not keeping it simple enough - lamented the disaster that took place when the packs lined up.
“What is important is to look at facts and not the emotion of it. If you are going to lose eight lineouts, you are making another 40 tackles. It is very hard to defend turnovers when we are going backwards and they are going forward at such a speed,” he said.
“The overriding thing is that if we had won six of those lineouts, it could have been a different result. We lost by five points.
“If we had won those lineouts, it is guaranteed that we would have scored one try.
“Last year on our way to the final we really struggled with our lineout and yet in the playoffs I don’t think we lost one, which is contrary to what happened this year.”