Cape Town – The magical potion that helped Western Province pull off another incredible victory at Loftus Versfeld is made up of nothing more than “old-fashioned fight”, says John Dobson, following the 41-33 win over the Blue Bulls on Friday night.
Bulls boss Jake White brought all of his URC big guns who were available to take on a WP Currie Cup combination that had a few URC players, but was largely a second-string outfit.
Yet it was Province who sped into a 15-5 first-half lead, and then withstood an enormous second-half Bulls effort – which saw the hosts gain a 33-25 advantage at one stage – to hit back via Clayton Blommetjies’ try and a few more Kade Wolhuter penalties to clinch another impressive success in Pretoria.
“At one point, I thought the Bulls could have gone away from us. They were eight points clear and we were under a lot of pressure. But I can’t give you an answer (on how WP did it), other than good old-fashioned fight. The guys play for each other, and we were very much a second (string team) – we had 24 guys training in Cape Town yesterday who we didn’t bring up here,” Dobson said in the post-match press conference.
“We just asked these guys to do something special and keep fighting. The discipline was a problem as we gave them far too many entries in the second half – and our plan against the Bulls is to not give them penalties in the middle of the field and give them entries.
“We didn’t get that right… We just fought. We closed it out very, very well for a young team.”
On Thursday evening, White had questioned the status of the Stormers being the best team in South Africa, saying: “I read an article where Dobson said the Stormers are now the best team in South Africa. That’s amazing: in one season, you become the best team in South Africa. You don’t look at the last three or four years when things are like they are.”
But following Province’s win on Friday night, there can be little doubt about the Capetonians’ standing.
“The truth is that we’ve won the (SA URC) Shield, we’ve beaten all the South African teams home and away, and I don’t know how many points we are clear. So, I think there is a reasonable argument – I don’t want to sound arrogant – that we are the best South African team at the moment,” Dobson said after being asked for a response to White’s comment.
“And I must say that today was one of our greatest achievements. We came here with 24 guys training in Cape Town and beat a really strong Bulls team… it was an exceptional performance. So, I would say there is a case for us being at the top table at the moment!”
Blue Bulls 33 – Tries: Sbu Nkosi, Cornal Hendricks, Zak Burger, Johan Grobbelaar, Francois Klopper. Conversions: Chris Smith (4).
Western Province 41 – Tries: Paul de Wet, Kade Wolhuter, Ruhan Nel, Clayton Blommetjies. Conversions: Wolhuter (3). Penalties: Wolhuter (5).