CAPE TOWN - Western Province attack coach Dawie Snyman says they will have to match the Sharks up front if they want to keep their backs from doing damage on Saturday.
WP will travel to Durban for the last Currie Cup round-robin weekend in the hopes of securing a win to bag a home semi-final spot.
John Dobson’s side put themselves under pressure in Johannesburg last weekend when they succumed to the Golden Lions, so they have to beat the Sharks to earn a play-off match at Newlands.
And apart from watching their own mistakes and limiting what plagued them at Ellis Park, Snyman says they will also keep an eye on the Sharks’ “dangerous” backs.
“The Sharks have showed that they want to play with tempo, but they are also very physical and they win their matches through forward dominance, and that’s how they bring their backs into the game,” Snyman said.
“(S’bu) Nkosi hurt us at Newlands, so he’s one to watch and he’s shown that he’s one for the future. But if we aren’t going to match them up front, we’ll give their backs space. But we also want to give space to our players who are dangerous in space.”
With players like utility back Dillyn Leyds and tighthead prop Wilco Louw back in the mix after their Springbok stints, Province will receive a much-needed boost for the weekend, and so will the Sharks.
Snyman was nonetheless happy with their Bok injection ahead of the weekend.
“They (Leyds and Louw) were at training (on Tuesday) and their experience is really valuable,” he said.
Against the Lions, Province were in control for the greater part of the match, but unforced errors and shaky defence left them vulnerable against the Johannesburg-based outfit.
And when asked what they will do differently this weekend, Snyman said: “It’s individual errors that put us under pressure, but you can’t put it down to one player. We need to be focused on what we want to do and our execution.”
“We would have been guaranteed a home semi-final. We really went for that match with the goal of winning it and we had the opportunities to do so, but we just weren’t good enough to pull it off.”
“It’s going to be a very good challenge and our chance to make things right. They’re playing with confidence and we’re expecting a very tough game. The Sharks had a bye last week so I think they’ll do everything to get the things in place for the semis.
Meanwhile, Leyds was the big winner at the WPRFU Awards evening on Tuesday night, as the pacey back scooped three awards at the Cape Sun. He bagged the Most Valuable Player, Player of the Year and the Composure and Capability awards.
Lock JD Schickerling was named Players’ Player of the Year, Stormers captain Siya Kolisi won the Above and Beyond award, and in the other senior category, Schickerling also took home the WP Best Forward title, while scrumhalf Jano Vermaak took the WP Best Back award.
Loose forward Jaco Coetzee was named theWP Most Promising Senior Forward, while flyhalf Damian Willemse was named the Most Promising Senior Back.