CAPE TOWN – Western Province aren’t getting ahead of themselves despite a 65-38 thrashing of the Golden Lions at the weekend.
Province overcame their unfavourable recent history at Ellis Park when they ended the Lions’ unbeaten run to make it three wins out of three in the Currie Cup. But kicking coach Gareth Wright was quick to point out that they’re only halfway through the shortened competition when he addressed the media at the team’s training base in Bellville yesterday.
“It was a good win, but we’re still only half way through the season,” Wright said. “There’s still things we have to work on, but this side is getting better every week.”
WP, who along with the Sharks are the only unbeaten teams in the competition, will host Griquas at Newlands on Saturday (7.30pm kickoff).
And it’s another task the assistant coach is expecting to be tough.
“Griquas will always be tough, but ultimately we want to focus on our processes and on getting better,” he said.
Ahead of their meeting with the Lions, WP head coach John Dobson said that it’ll be important to play for possession rather than territory in an attempt to deprive the Lions’ steppers of the ball. And although WP didn’t completely dominate the possession stats, it’s what they did when they did have the ball that must have been pleasing for Dobson & Co.
Again, their eight-try performance is something Wright wants to see an improvement in going forward.
“I think the plans we put in place we executed really well. But again, there’s always one or two things you need to work on and get better at,” Wright said. “The fact that we probably had a little bit less in terms of possession, but made that possession count is a positive.”
Dobson named a strong pack ahead of the Johannesburg clash, and they did well to keep the Lions’ forwards in check - a feat hooker Scarra Ntubeni said was made all the more important given the arsenal the Lions have in their backline.
“The Lions have quite a dangerous backline. So as a forward pack we really wanted to try and dominate up front,” Ntubeni said.
“We struggled a bit when it came to the maul, but the scrums were okay. We really emphasised our work rate.
“We know our backs can attack and we knew that if we try and bully them our backs can finish the game for us. We saw the tries that they (WP’s backs) scored so it was really pleasing for a forward pack that we worked hard and our backs finished for us.”