CAPE TOWN – Western Province are always going to want to win the Currie Cup. And in a way, they need it.
At the team’s training base in Bellville yesterday, Province coach John Dobson spoke about the value the domestic competition still brings - although it’s more of a developmental competition nowadays - and the financial gain, of course, would be welcomed by any union.
But the shorted competition doesn’t offer much room for experimenting with selections, which makes that development goal a lot harder to achieve as the focus needs to be on winning every game. And according to the new Stormers coach, it’s their playing style they’ll be experimenting with.
“Western Province are always going to want to win the Currie Cup. With the financial pressures facing the unions you’ve got to try and win it,” Dobson said. “The main experimentation is going to be the playing style and how we train.
“Today (yesterday) was very traditional and we had a lot to get through, but we want to mix up how we play a bit more. There are various processes technical stuff we want to refine.”
After winning the Currie Cup in 2017 and going into the 2018 final unbeaten, Dobson also said that they need to create more “chaos” for their star attackers to pounce on this season.
It’s also something that will remain a focus come Super Rugby.
“We need to create more chaos, because that’s in our DNA... we’ve got Dillyn Leyds, Damian Willemse and Sergeal Petersen. And they need chaos.
That’s one of the things we’ll work on,” Dobson said. “Last year I think we did reasonably well because of the style of rugby we played. Hopefully given the passion for the Currie Cup and if we play the same style we can keep it similar to last year.”
When it comes to Currie Cup threats, Dobson mentioned the Free State Cheetahs, and on the positive side of the competition, he said the extended break teams will have before reporting for the Super Rugby pre-season schedule is a refreshing change.
“Our last game is against the Cheetahs away and they’re going to be very strong. A full-strength PRO14 team that’s well-coached will do very well in the Currie Cup. That’s probably one of the major threats.
“I suppose the one upside to the Currie Cup this year is that for once the 8th of September finish is that we’ll have a proper rest and time to recover from injury and to get some energy back into the camp for next year.”@WynonaLouw