CAPE TOWN – Western Province coach John Dobson is adamant they won’t underestimate the Pumas at Newlands today (kick-off 1pm).
Province will be looking to shift their Currie Cup campaign into gear after suffering a 30-17 defeat to the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last weekend.
Dobson also added that next week’s tough schedule made this game even more important.
After their fixture against the Pumas, Province will travel to Kimberley to play Griquas on Wednesday, before flying back on Thursday to host the Bulls on Saturday.
“What’s really important for us is the next three games in seven days. So a good start this weekend is important,” Dobson said.
“That is the consequence of last week (the fact that there is no room for complacency). We have to win these next three.”
Captain and lock Chris van Zyl also said the team were eager to right the wrongs of last week.
“There were a lot of positives to take from that game we didn’t back out.”
“Fortunately enough we have a lot of guys coming back, so for this weekend there’s this feeling of really wanting to kick this campaign off properly,” Van Zyl said.
And the fact WP welcomed back a lot of Super Rugby experience will certainly help that cause.
Last week, Province fielded a combination of Super experience and SuperSport Rugby Challenge players, and this week they boast significantly more Stormers players.
Flyhalf Damian Willemse is the only player in the outfit who will make his WP debut, and the Pumas will field a team with a number of Currie Cup debutants, including flanker Chris Cloete.
Cloete, who was on loan to the Kings for their Super Rugby run, should be one of the Pumas’ men brightly marked by Province, as the 26-year-old has become known as a menace at the breakdowns, and his ball-stealing and defensive abilities have made him a much talked-about prospect this season.
But Province will also have one man whose performance is highly anticipated - Willemse will be looking to emulate the attacking finesse he has shown in the Stormers jersey, and it will be a treat to see how the 19-year-old continues to grow.