Western Province get stuck in for semi-final ... in a socially distant matter
CAPE TOWN - Western Province coach John Dobson says they’re taking extra precaution to ensure any potential Covid-19 impact is minimised ahead of their Currie Cup semi-final against the Sharks at Newlands next week.
Province finished the league stage of the competition in second place on the log after their last regular-season game against the Durbanites was cancelled due to positive cases in both camps. They will play hosts on Saturday, January 23.
With the playoffs having been postponed by a week as a precautionary measure due to Covid-19, WP’s training schedule was adjusted accordingly, and Dobson said that they are now focused on their players’ optimal conditioning and explained that they are training in groups of five, without rugby balls and while maintaining social distancing.
“We have earned the right to host a Currie Cup semi-final at Newlands and we want to do everything we can to put out a strong team for that game next week,” he said.
“We are fortunate that we had done a lot of technical analysis on the Sharks in preparation for our final league game against them which was cancelled.
“The players are doing a lot of analysis of their own this week and we are holding regular meetings online, but we are limiting physical interaction as much as we can.
“SA Rugby deserves enormous credit for how they have got rugby back on the field and to the sharp end of this great competition. I think we are very grateful for that, as unusual as it’s been,” Dobson explained.
He added that the squad is looking forward to getting back together as a group and working towards ensuring the last-ever semi-final at Newlands sees a well-prepared WP outfit.
“This week we are working on conditioning and technical analysis so that we can give it a full crack next week for the semi-final,” he said.
“Our players and coaches cannot wait to get stuck in next week and ensure that the team that runs out at Newlands is as well prepared as possible.”