A disappointed Chris van Zyl, captain of Western Province speaks to the media following Saturday's loss to the Sharks in Durban. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Western Province won’t be in need of a sit-down to help them understand that a big step-up is needed against the Golden Lions on Saturday.

John Dobson’s team suffered a 32-27 defeat to the Sharks in Durban at the weekend after beating the Blue Bulls 20-5 in their Currie Cup opener last week.

Given the single-round format of the competition, no team can afford to lose two games if they want a shot at hosting a play-off.

This result was WP’s one error, and there can be no more going forward, especially considering the tough opponents that await them towards the end of the 2019 fixtures list.

Province have a bye after their meeting with the Lions, before hosting the Pumas at Newlands. After that, things will get real - in the form of a momentum-fuelled Griquas outfit (2019 SuperSport Challenge champions) and a Free State Cheetahs group that boasts a full-strength Currie Cup squad for the first time since joining the Pro14.

So, what happened at Kings Park cannot happen again. And Dobson didn’t have to be reminded of that.

“It’s a very disappointing result for us. We didn’t deserve to win it,” he said after the game. I don’t know why we were so flat, our body language was poor from the start and we were very well beaten in the kicking game.

“We missed a lot of touches. I thought Curwin (Bosch) and Rhyno (Smith) were exceptional with their kicking game. I suppose it’s quite good the way we came back in those last minutes, but for us it was a very, very disappointing performance.

“I expect a lot more energy and passion than what we showed today. Like the Sharks did this week, we’ll bounce back next week. Today (Saturday) wasn’t our standard so it won’t happen again.”

SP Marais of WP during the 2019 Currie Cup Rugby match against the Sharks. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Dobson did find some positives in the game, though.

“I think our set-piece was good, our mauling was good, I think our breakdown was superb today, but we normally pride ourselves in playing in the blue and white but today we looked really, really flat.

“We knew we were in for a game, the Sharks are a much better team than what last week’s score implied. So we knew we were in for a game, I just didn’t expect us to roll over quite like that."

While the Cape side will welcome back a couple injury returnees for the Lions clash, Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi won’t be one of them.

The defeat placed WP third on the log behind leaders Griquas and the Free State Cheetahs in second spot.

@WynonaLouw

 

Cape Argus

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