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Western Province not taking Pumas lightly in Currie Cup clash

Cornel Smit during the Western Province training session held at the Bellville High Performance Centre in Cape Town on 10 May 2022. Picture: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Cornel Smit during the Western Province training session held at the Bellville High Performance Centre in Cape Town on 10 May 2022. Picture: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Published May 11, 2022

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Cape Town - While their season has been a torrid one so far, there is still some belief in the Western Province side as they enter the last three rounds of Currie Cup action.

Province are sixth on the Currie Cup log – with only the Lions below them – and have managed just one win in the eight games they have played so far.

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While the squad doesn’t lack individual firepower, Jerome Paarwater’s team have been lukewarm as a unit this season.

This weekend, they will travel to Nelspruit to face the Pumas, who pulled off a 20-10 upset over the Sharks last week, at Mbombela Stadium on Friday (7pm kick-off).

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Speaking on Tuesday, WP forwards coach Kabamba Floors said they have prepared for the challenges the Pumas will bring, while adding that they have worked on the issues that have plagued them since the plucky Pumas beat them 37-11 in their own backyard back in March.

“The Pumas are a really good team … they are in a good position at the moment and they have a good, physical pack,” said Floors.

“We have worked on a few things to just tighten things up and not give them too much space to work with.”

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On their last match against the Pumas at the Cape Town Stadium, the one-cap Springbok said: “We were in it until half-time. At the end of the day, you need 15 players on the field and you need discipline, so that’s something that we really addressed on the field. We need 15 players on the field.”

The 41-year-old also said that some of the Stormers players who featured in the United Rugby Championship have been training with the Currie Cup squad, but added that they don’t yet know who will run out in Mpumalanga this weekend.

Western Province still dreaming of a semi-final spot

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While Province are effectively out of contention for the play-offs – with just three regular-season games remaining before the knock-out stages on the weekend of June 18 – Marcel Theunissen still held out some hope.

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“We have been chatting about that game, and it motivates us,” said Theunissen.

“There were a few areas where we just lost a bit of concentration, but it definitely gives us some extra motivation to go up there and get a win,” the loose forward said.

“I still think there is a chance for us to get into the semi-finals if we win all our games, but we will definitely be playing for pride. We haven’t had the best season so far, but we have the jersey to play for.”

Floors added: “Nobody wants to be in this position as a player or a coach, but we have really grown a lot. We just need to move past the losing streak, and then we can get a few doubles (wins).”

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