CAPE TOWN - Despite having dominated the Blue Bulls in their one-half match at Loftus at the weekend, Western Province assistant coach Norman Laker is expecting a tough rematch in their Currie Cup semi-final on Saturday.
WP thumped the Bulls 34-7 in torrential downpour in the last Currie Cup match before the semi-finals - which will see Province host the Bulls at Newlands and the Golden Lions travel to Kings Park to face the Sharks.
And while getting four tries in 40 minutes- especially in those conditions - would be big confidence boost for any team, the WP defence coach needed no reminding that this is finals rugby.
"The big takeout is that we only conceded the one try in the 40 minutes. If we can keep that up for 80 minutes, I will be a happy man. It is going to be tough because a semi-final is never the same as a league game," Laker said. "It is a wonderful opportunity that you get. You only get one opportunity to play and you must make full use of it. There are no second chances in this game."
Province have been lethal with ball in hand this season (they have scored 38 tries and 276 points, with a points difference of 163), and while Laker said that they won't change their approach for the play-off date, he added that the unit with the tightest defence will come out on top in Cape Town.
And given the work they've produced in the Currie Cup in that regard, it's not something that should worry the Cape side too much, as they've conceded fewer points (113) than all the other teams this season.
"We will continue with how we play. It is who we are and what we stand for," he said. "Obviously, the other part is that we must make sure our defence is perfect in these types of games. If the opposition does get an opportunity, we must make sure they do not score. That will be the difference."
"We pride ourselves on our defence. I must compliment the guys about how hard they work on and off the field. We are not perfect yet. We still conceded one try this past weekend so we still have quite a few things that we have to improve before Saturday."