CAPE TOWN – X-factor and physicality. That’s what Western Province coach John Dobson wants to see going into their remaining Currie Cup games.
Province have lost their last two games, against the Sharks and Golden Lions, and are fresh off a bye in Round Three. They next face the Pumas at Newlands, before concluding their regular-season campaign with two tough ones against Griquas and the Free State Cheetahs.
The Pumas secured their first win of the Currie Cup season against the Sharks at the weekend, and they’ll be keen to cause another upset at Newlands on Friday.
Until now, WP have looked rather different to the team that steamrolled through last year’s competition.
In 2018 they were superb on attack and devastating on the counter attack and in broken play, and that’s one of the things Dobson wants his team to rediscover this weekend and beyond.
“At the start of this competition Dillyn (Leyds) wasn’t here and Sergeal (Petersen) wasn’t here. Last year we’d turn the ball over and score,” Dobson said.
DHL WP are in fourth position at the halfway stage of their Currie Cup campaign. Three games left before the play-offs, starting on Friday with their Women's Day encounter with Phakisa Pumas at DHL Newlands - https://t.co/hXMm6zJjP0 #wpjoulekkerding— WP RUGBY (@WP_RUGBY) August 5, 2019
Leyds missed the first two Currie Cup games as he was with the Springboks, while Petersen recently returned from a lengthy injury layoff. Damian Willemse looks set to make his return in the Cheetahs game in two weeks’ time.
“We need the X-factor back. We started to see signs of it against the Lions and that’s why I’m so disappointed about that because we had enough chances and we had the flow. But we started to show a bit more life,” Dobson said. “It’s largely down to personnel. If you take Damian, Sergeal and Dillyn out... that’s a lot of X-factor. So hopefully with those guys back we’ll do better now.”
Dobson also explained that upping their physicality will be key, something he felt they dropped in their last game.
“The Pumas have changed quite a lot. They’re playing with a lot more width. It’s not so much about Stefan Ungerer kicking the ball into the sky, it’s about distance kicking. They played really wide towards the end and opened the Sharks up quite nicely,” Dobson said.
“They’ve got those massive locks and they come with big latches off nine, so we have to step up physically.”@WynonaLouw