CAPE TOWN - Western Province attack coach Dawie Snyman says Sunday’s away game against the Golden Lions will be good preparation for the Currie Cup playoffs.
Province are second on the log (32 points) behind the Sharks (47) with six wins from 10 matches, and John Dobson’s side have struggled away from home - with their only away win a narrow 46-45 one against the Blue Bulls at the weekend.
And although the Cape side hammered the Lions at Newlands earlier this season, Snyman isn’t expecting an easy run in Johannesburg.
“It’s going to be a tough challenge against the Lions, they’re on an upward curve,” Snyman said. “We have the chance to get a home semi-final and it’s definitely something we’re going to go for to make sure we get that advantage.
"It’s also good to play these tough matches in preparation for the playoffs in case you have to play a semi-final away. It’ll help with learning to cope with the pressure that away matches bring.”
Province are almost assured of a semi-final spot, but the Free State Cheetahs, who are third on the log with 30 points, can still beat them in the “home semi-final race”.
So, with games against the Lions and the pace-setting Sharks looming, getting a winning result is crucial for Province this weekend.
Snyman added that the lineouts will be crucial on Sunday, and he feels that former Bok lock Victor Matfield, who recently joined the Lions’ coaching staff, has added a few touches to the set-piece of the men from Johannesburg.
“You can definitely see Victor’s hand in the Lions’ forward play, what they do at the lineouts and what they do from there,” Snyman said.
The Joburg-based team are sitting in fourth place in the Currie Cup standings with a match against the Cheetahs next Saturday following the clash against WP. Win these matches and they’ll be in the top four and feature in the semi-finals.
Any slip-ups, however, like against the Sharks in Durban last weekend, and the Pumas or Blue Bulls could go past them.