CAPE TOWN – Western Province hooker Scarra Ntubeni says the single-round Currie Cup format forces teams to go all-out every week.
And while the format does have a few critics, Ntubeni seems to be on the other side.
“With the shorter competition, it is always in the back of our minds. It is not like previously where we went up to Griquas and lost and thought we still have time to catch up. Every week we are trying to raise our standards and prepare well because we know we can’t afford to slip up.”
One of the 2018 competition’s features Ntubeni isn’t too fond of is the rolling subs.
Against the Lions, WP made use of their bench as early as the first half - something that Ntubeni said could bring value in terms of player management, but not an aspect he’s a big fan of.
“Everyone is different. Some players would love it. But a guy like me can’t come off and go back on. It depends on the different types of players and the coaches and how they want to manage the players.”
“It can help with injuries as there is a lot of rugby being played now. If you can manage the bodies it is a lot better for the players.”
Province overcame their unfavourable recent history at Ellis Park when they ended the Lions’ unbeaten run to make it three out of three in the 2018 competition. 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 halfway through the season,” Wright said. “There’s still things we have to work on, but this side is getting better every week.”
Province, who along with the Sharks are the only unbeaten teams in the competition, will host Griquas at Newlands on Saturday.
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.