CAPE TOWN – Western Province coach John Dobson is pleased with the “scoreline reversal” they managed against the Golden Lions at Ellis Park at the weekend.
Province’s superb attacking display gave them a massive 39-10 lead at halftime and ultimately a 65-38 triumph against the Lions who, just like WP, were unbeaten before the weekend’s Currie Cup highlight.
In recent years, Ellis Park had become a kind of hoodoo venue for the Cape team as they haven’t enjoyed a lot of success in the Highveld in the Currie Cup or Super Rugby. So the result was a massive one for more than one reason.
“We executed our plan of how we wanted to play and we got the result we wanted, but having said that I think there were a couple of turning points in the first half, and that’ll put a young team like the Lions under pressure,” Dobson said following the game.
“The Lions put us under a lot of pressure defensively and we knew with those steppers it would be the case. And I think it’s fantastic that you have that sort of attacking talent going up against our attacking talent.
“We wanted to play a certain way, it’s tough up at Ellis Park. This scoreline is a complete reversal of what we’ve had the last three years, so for us it’s a massive turnaround.”
Putting 65 points on a team like the Lions - even if you concede 38 - isn’t something to be disappointed with. But the way his team slipped a few tackles is something Dobson would have liked to see less of.
“We weren’t overly thrilled with our defence. We knew about the steppers and we knew we’d have to box them in, and I think sometimes we didn’t do that very well. I also think we gave them too many line breaks and our maul defence can improve,” he said.
Dobson made use of rolling substitutions as early as the first half, and while it’s something the WP mentor admitted he maybe hadn’t used to full effect earlier in the season, he was happy with how it work in Johannesburg. “It has been one of those things I haven’t been particularly clever with this season,” Dobson said.