Catrakilis: Smal is with the times

Cape Town - Western Province flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis says Director of Rugby Gert Smal has made a difference since he joined the union earlier this year.

VIDEO: WP Currie Cup victory parade

Smal started in his role in April after the union acted following a disastrous start to Super Rugby by the Stormers. Smal immediately appeared to make an impact, as the Stormers rebounded to notch some impressive wins in the latter rounds of the competition. Smal also instructed head coach Allister Coetzee to adopt a more attacking strategy.

That strategy paid dividends for WP in the Currie Cup, which they won last weekend, beating the Golden Lions 19-16 in the final at Newlands.

Speaking to News24 live during WP's victory parade in Cape Town on Tuesday, Catrakilis credited the impact Smal has had on the team.

"He has changed quite a few things, obviously you've got to stick with the times, and he's very with the times. We have changed a little bit and he has made a difference and I'm sure you can see it on the field," said Catrakilis.

Apart from the change in playing style, Smal also added psychologist Henning Gericke as well as kicking coach Vlok Cilliers to the WP coaching staff.

Catrakilis though also credited the coaching trio of Coetzee (head coach), Robbie Fleck (backline coach) and Matt Proudfoot (forwards coach) for the way they have embraced the changes.

"They've all worked together, they've all made the changes and they're all with the times, so... they've all made a big difference to our game."


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