The pressure is immense because I think whoever loses won’t host the Currie Cup final, said Dobson. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Professional coaches, regardless of the sporting code, are fond users of the cliché “one game a time”.

John Dobson, the Western Province Currie Cup tactician, is no ordinary coach though. A former journalist and businessman, Dobson though doesn’t fall back on the tired old lines, and instead has publically stated that Province are seeking a home final this season.

Unbeaten WP have two league matches remaining before the playoffs, with the Sharks tomorrow at Newlands before travelling to Pretoria to face the Blue Bulls on the horizon. However, the visiting Sharks are the only other team with a 100% record in the competition and Dobson is fully aware that for WP to achieve their objective, they need to overcome Robert du Preez’s outfit on Saturday.

“It’s a game of immense pressure because I think whoever loses won’t host the Currie Cup final‚ but there’s a massive sense of excitement in looking forward to the game‚” Dobson said.

“The Sharks maybe more experienced, but as a group we have decided we want to host a final at Newlands. So, we realise the importance of this game. But it is not pressure, it is more excitement. We want to keep on the way we’re playing and winning because I think that makes people happy.”

John Dobson during the Western Province morning training session at Newlands Stadium, Cape Town on Thursday. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
John Dobson during the Western Province morning training session at Newlands Stadium, Cape Town on Thursday. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Although the weather is expected to be inclement with drizzle around again, Province are committed to playing a free-flowing running style of rugby. This is in contrast to the Sharks that varied their approach this season, but Dobson believes his charges have prepared accordingly.

“They are quite a hard team to work out in terms of how they want to play. Sometimes you see them almost free-styling, with off-loads and that type of thing. And other times you see them looking for territory. There’s no doubt they are a momentum-based team,” he said.

“We know those guys, Dan du Preez, Coenie, Rob, Thomas, they are all good carriers, and they make yards, then we are under pressure. We have stressed all this week about stopping their momentum. I am pretty convinced they are a front-foot team.”

The teams for Saturday are:

Western Province

15 Dillyn Leyds‚ 14 Sergeal Petersen‚ 13 Ruhan Nel‚ 12 Dan Kriel‚ 11 SP Marais‚ 10 Josh Stander‚ 9 Jano Vermaak‚ 8 Juarno Augustus‚ 7 Ernst van Rhyn‚ 6 Kobus van Dyk‚ 5 JD Schickerling‚ 4 Chris van Zyl (captain)‚ 3 Michael Kumbirai‚ 2 Scarra Ntubeni‚ 1 Ali Vermaak.

Replacements

16 Chad Solomon‚ 17 Caylib Oosthuizen‚ 18 Carlu Sadie‚ 19 Salmaan Moerat‚ 20 Chris Massyn‚ 21 Herschel Jantjies‚ 22 JJ Engelbrecht.

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Sharks

15 Curwin Bosch‚ 14 Kobus van Wyk‚ 13 Jeremy Ward‚ 12 Marius Louw‚ 11 Lwazi Mvovo‚ 10 Robert du Preez‚ 9 Louis Schreuder‚ 8 Daniel du Preez‚ 7 Tyler Paul‚ 6 Jacques Vermeulen‚ 5 Hyron Andrews‚ 4 Gideon Koegelenberg‚ 3 Thomas du Toit‚ 2 Mahlatse Ralepelle (captain)‚ 1 Juan Schoeman.

Replacements

16 Armand van der Merwe‚ 17 Coenraad Oosthuizen‚ 18 Ruben van Heerden‚ 19 Luke Stringer‚ 20 Cameron Wright‚ 21 Leolin Zas‚ 22 Aphelele Fassi.

Referee: Ben Crouse


IOL Sport

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