Dan Kriel in action for the Stormers during the 2019 Super Rugby game between the Stormers and the Sunwolves at Newlands. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – It’s time to roll up the proverbial sleeves.

While you’d be forgiven for feeling the 2019 Currie Cup season is still young, the single-round competition hits the halfway mark in terms of the regular-season schedule this weekend.

Saturday's game against the Golden Lions will be Western Province’s third of the season, followed by a bye, before they face the Pumas at Newlands and Griquas and the Free State Cheetahs away.

Province got their campaign off to a decent start with a 20-5 win over the Blue Bulls at Newlands, but a 32-27 loss to the Sharks last weekend means that WP will have to capitalise on their home-ground advantage on Saturday to continue chasing a home semi-final.

Centre Dan Kriel, though he admitted that they were their own worst enemy at times in Durban, said one positive is that they know what to fix, while he also praised the attitude in the camp.

“We had a strict hand that we should have stuck by and unfortunately we didn’t, which showed in the result,” he said.

“We had a specific kicking game with which we wanted to put them under the pump, and just silly mistakes. They scored three tries off our mistakes, so it’s back to the drawing board; there are small things we need to fix.

“I think we were quick on defence, I just think certain areas were more individual errors and not collective linespeed. There’s still opportunities there, there are things to fix. There’s no lack of effort from the boys, so that’s great.”

Dan Kriel of Western Province attempts to break through Cornal Hendricks of the Blue Bulls tackle at Newlands Stadium, Cape Town on 13 July 2019. Photo: BackpagePix

With Springbok centre Damian de Allende heading abroad ahead of next season, Kriel acknowledged that he’d of course be competing for a run-on jersey, but added that his focus at the moment is on the task at hand - winning the Currie Cup.

“I’m just grateful to be getting another opportunity. I’m not very happy about the result on the weekend, but I’m really excited to be back at Newlands this weekend and getting back to winning ways.

“Obviously it’s a long-term goal, but at the moment I’m just focusing on winning the Currie Cup. It’s a short campaign, so we’re all buying in.

“It’s always special playing at home. We’re looking forward to getting the home crowd out and getting back to winning ways.”

Dan Kriel:There’s still opportunities there, there are things to fix. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix


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